Frazzled Families and Overcoming Parental Burnout

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Dr. Lisa Coyne discusses parental burnout, strategies to ease exhaustion, and ways to preserve mental health for both parents and children alike during this public health crisis.

Burning out is not an overnight phenomenon. But with parents in newfound roles of educators, remote workers, and caretakers during the pandemic, the feeling of overwhelming exhaustion has become increasingly more common in parents.

It’s challenging for parents and guardians to keep their mental health insulated while balancing their caretaker role during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Coyne offers strategies for parents to help them feel mentally balanced and to prevent burnout so they can continue to care for their families.

This content is also available in Spanish.

Audience Questions

Dr. Coyne also answers participant questions including:

  • What is parental burnout? Are there telltale signs and are the symptoms similar for all parents or do they differ based on household roles?
  • Is it different from job burnout?
  • What does recovery look like?
  • How can a parent work, play, and provide care at home all in the same day and keep themselves from burning out during this time?
  • What do you suggest for a break-time activity that parents and kids can take part in together that does not necessarily involve an electronic device?
  • How can parents help younger children deal with the stress of being home, being cooped up, and not seeing friends.
  • How do I get a break? How do I help kids understand that I really need a break as a parent?
  • What about the need for physical affection from parents during this time? If parents struggle with it, what do you recommend they do?


Parents may also find this additional information helpful:

About Dr. Coyne

Lisa W. Coyne, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, and is a senior clinical consultant at the Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.) at McLean Hospital.

Dr. Coyne has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on anxiety, OCD, and parenting. She is the author of “The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years,” a book for parents of young children.

Recent books by Dr. Coyne:

Learn more about Dr. Coyne.

More COVID-19 Resources

It’s important to think about ways to manage your mental health during these difficult times. McLean is committed to providing mental health and self-care resources for all who may need them. You and your family may find these strategies from McLean experts helpful to feel mentally balanced and safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

Learn more on our COVID-19 mental health resources page or get access to our COVID-19 Webinar Series.