A Few Simple Ways to Avoid Homeschool Burnout
As we are rapidly approaching the end of the semester, it seems a perfect time to discuss a few ways to avoid- or treat- the exhaustion that inevitably can sneak in at this point in the year.
Minimize Unnecessary Activities:
I have found that at this point in the year it is always a good idea to take a look at our lives and pay attention to anything in our schedules that we don’t need to hold on to. It might be too many unnecessary classes, field trips, or unplanned activities that have somehow creeped in. Any of these, and certainly a combination of all, can definitely impact our energy levels and our ability (as homeschooling mothers) to carry on through the year with a joyful spirit.
A little note:
Last week I felt completely burnt out, and I couldn’t figure out why I felt like I was on a treadmill that never stopped. When I looked at our weekly schedule it seemed to have breathing room and much time for coziness- something I most definitely require large doses of. And yet, there I was, utterly comatose. I thought back over the last few months and realized that almost every weekend had been occupied by festivals, gatherings, and events. I then decided to experiment with our next weekend, and rather than planning a super exciting weekend, we did absolutely nothing. Well, not nothing. We read. I drank tea. The kids beaded, painted, and played for hours. I rested. What a difference. In one weekend I rested more than I had in the last few months! This really made me comprehend the importance of clearing our weekends and preserving them for self preservation. There was nothing overwhelming about our schedule or about homeschooling, it was simply all the activities added on that were draining me slowly.
I cannot express how calming it is to declutter your home. Not only does it make the home more spacious and clear, but it also makes it so much easier for children to keep their rooms, as well as the common rooms, tidier. Taking a few days to de-clutter the toys, the drawers, the closets, and the cabinets can make enormous strides in your overall feeling of calm. Combine this with your children being able to tidy up their rooms and play spaces with less effort, and it is well worth the time.
This is probably the most difficult one for me. Self care- hmmmm. What does that mean? After quite a few years of ignoring it, I am trying something new. I have decided that every Friday afternoon, at the end of our homeschool week, I will take a long quiet bath, with bath salts, and any other little luxury I might be able to throw in- and then I will rest- intentionally. I know if you have small children, toddlers, this might not be feasible-yet-or it might be. If not, the time will come soon. Pull out the legos, turn on an audio book, and do something kind for yourself. This might be the most important step in avoiding burnout. Creating some time, each week, to care for yourself.