A single mother who is working from home is finding it increasingly difficult to spend time with her 2 young children due to her mental and physical fatigue, low mood and responsibilities related to home and work. She feels very guilty of not giving them time regularly and experiencing a sense of mental distance from them but at the same time does not feel like making out time for them. How can the counselor support her and help in managing her distress.
It is key to validate the challenging circumstances and the emotional experiences that she has. It may be useful to help her consider her experiences from the perspective of burnout, thereby facilitating identification of suitable ways of replenishing her emotional resources. Ensuring brief breaks during the day to engage in activities that she finds replenishing could be useful (listen to a song, drink water mindfully, walk, nap, gratitude notes etc.). If possible, facilitate identification of a suitable extended family member/ neighbour to engage the children for some time each day (with COVID19 precautions). Ways of engaging with her children that could have a lower demand on her energy and yet replenish her, could be explored. Based on how young the children are- tickle games, playing pretend, colouring, stories etc. could be used, where she engages with them just as another child and not take on a disciplining or teaching roles.
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