Today, we're diving into a topic that affects many of us but is not often discussed openly: emotional labour.

You may have heard this term thrown around of late, but what does it mean?

Emotional labour refers to the invisible work we often do to manage and regulate emotions, both our own and others. It’s similar to the Invisible Load, the often overwhelming list of tasks parents carry when running a family. The load is called invisible because it involves using your mental capacity to organise and carry out household tasks.

It’s a facet of modern life to be taken seriously, and if either of these terms has sparked some recognition, this post is for you! In our typical Hummingbird Home Staff fashion, we bring solutions - as a housekeeping employment agency, we know lots of them.

So, let’s get to work and help you manage the burden of emotional labour with practical strategies to address it. After all, we all deserve to be healthy and happy individuals, with clean and happy homes!

1. Identifying the burden of a Mental Load

Ever feel like you're the person responsible for keeping track of everyone's appointments, birthdays, and to-do lists?

Whether it's remembering deadlines, planning events, or coordinating schedules, taking on the mental load can be exhausting and overwhelming. If you're the one constantly juggling and organising the mental load of your household or group, then you're likely bearing a significant emotional burden. Here's how you can alleviate it:

Delegate and share responsibilities

Encourage others to take on tasks and share the mental load. Whether it's your partner, family members, or roommates, involving others helps distribute the responsibility more evenly. Hiring a housekeeper could help significantly with household tasks, and as a housekeeping employment agency, we’re the experts!

Utilise tools and technology

Take advantage of shared calendars, task-management apps, or virtual planners to streamline the organisation and ensure everyone is on the same page. A simple Google calendar could help significantly for a streamlined organisation.

Communicate openly

Sometimes, people don't realise the extent of your emotional labour unless you express it. Have a conversation with those around you and explain how you're feeling. Remember, this might be new information to them just as it is to you, and there’s no better way to tackle something than as a team!

2. Stepping Back as the Emotional Support System for Everyone

You might find that you're the one who always listens to your friends' problems, offers advice, and provides a shoulder to cry on. We all have moments when we need to lean on our loved ones for support, and that's perfectly normal.

However, if you find yourself constantly being the go-to person for everyone's emotional needs, you may be bearing the brunt of emotional labour. While being there for others is admirable, ensuring you're not neglecting your emotional well-being is essential. To combat it:

Set boundaries

It's okay to say no. Communicate your limits and let others know when you need some time for yourself.

Encourage mutual support

Foster a culture of reciprocity where emotional support is a two-way street, and everyone takes turns being there for each other. Let family members and friends know what you need and when.

Seek support elsewhere

Don't hesitate to share the emotional load with your wider friend circle, senior family members, or professionals. Remember, you deserve support, too! If you decide that support will come in the form of hiring a housekeeper or nanny - housekeeping employment agencies are the place to start!

As experts with over 25 years of experience, speak to us to discuss your bespoke needs today. We treat every family as individuals, and our stringent hiring process means we match the right candidate to your needs.

3. Stop Feeling Guilty for Prioritising Your Self-Care

When you finally decide to prioritise your well-being by practising self-care, do you find yourself feeling guilty or selfish? This feeling often arises when you're conditioned to put others' needs before yours. It’s easier said than done, especially for those who take on most parental or household responsibilities.

However, remember that self-care is not a selfish act but rather a necessary one to maintain your emotional and mental health. Having a good self-care routine enables you to manage your stress levels, sleep schedules, diet and exercise routines, which in turn makes you a happier person.

Here’s what you can do to help:

Challenge societal expectations

Recognise that self-care is essential and that taking care of yourself enables you to better care for others.

Start small

Incorporate simple self-care activities into your routine regularly. It could be as simple as reading a book, taking a long bath, or going for a walk.

Reframe the guilt

Remind yourself that you deserve self-care and that it benefits you and those around you. You can't pour from an empty cup, after all!

Find household help with Hummingbird Home Staff

While emotional labour is undoubtedly vital to maintaining healthy relationships, it's crucial to find balance and ensure you're not bearing the brunt of it. By identifying signs of emotional labour overload and implementing strategies to address it, you can take steps towards a healthier, more sustainable emotional well-being.

Remember, you deserve support, and your emotional well-being matters too! Hiring a housekeeper is a massive step in the right direction; having a professional person tackle household tasks leaves you with space to think clearly and concentrate on your family and career. Contact us today to see how we can help you manage the mental labour of raising a family and running a household.

3 Signs You're Bearing the Brunt of the Emotional Labour – And What You Can Do About It
Kerry Barnham
Posted by
Kerry Barnham on 12th Dec, 2023