A man is taking an online meeting. His two children are by his side.

Children, job, relationship – it is all getting too much for me

“Digitisation, working from home and a high workload put a lot of people, particularly single parents, under extreme time pressure,” explains Martina Hubner.

People cannot do their jobs or look after their children in the way they would like to. This leads to feeling inadequate in the course of time. “The plan you have often does not come to fruition – everyday life is sometimes dedicated simply to “surviving”, and there is frequently no room for spontaneity”. In addition to this, people often feel guilty and irrationally anxious. It’s a topic we talk about in counseling sessions: “we try to put the guilty conscience into perspective and explain to the parents, for example, that quality is more important than quantity in the relationship between parents and children, and early groups experiences have been shown to be beneficial to children’s social development.”

It is particularly important for Martina Hubner to look after the mental health of those affected: “I try to support my clients with self-regulation on three levels: mental flexibility, emotional stability and physical wellbeing”. Mental flexibility is about the ability to see things from different perspectives and expand your own perception. For example, a problem can also be viewed as a challenge. It is always essential to pause and promote what is known as a connection to the self by giving thoughts space, naming them and consciously perceiving the feelings and physical sensations that go with them.

Promoting emotional stability relates to the ability to respond appropriately, particularly in high stress situations, and to control negative emotions. Being aware of physical sensations and reactions is essential for physical wellbeing. “Not just always responding from a place of burnout, but instead perceiving things with an inner distance that creates clarity and responding to an event in the outside world instead of reacting, that's the goal,” says the expert. An initial recommendation is therefore to take a minute to pause, slow down, listen to yourself and feel your inner self several times a day. It is also important to bring the focus back to your body and your general wellbeing: healthy eating, exercise/fitness, socialising, creating time for yourself. These and other components can lead to you feeling better overall.

If you want to talk to experts about this, you can arrange an appointment free of charge at one of the Austrian family counseling centers.

Our interview partner

Martina Hubner is a clinical psychologist and health psychologist and works in the family counseling team at ifs - Institut für Sozialdienste in Bregenz, Vorarlberg.

ifs - Institut für Sozialdienste 
St.-Anna-Straße 2
6900 Bregenz
ifs.at/familienberatung.html

The interview was conducted in May 2022.

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