Avoiding Burnout in Life and Homeschool

How to Avoid Burnout in Life and Homeschool | Elemental Blogging“If you work all the time, even at something you love, you will burnout.”

Someone told me this once, but I didn’t listen. You see when you have a home business, homeschool and stay at home with your kids, taking off is virtually impossible.

Well, if I’m really honest, it’s possible to take time off, I just have to really work at it. I’m the type of person who always has something going; there are more ideas in my head than I can possibly complete. It is a challenge for me to not do some type of work each day, whether for Elemental Science or for homeschool.

At the beginning of this year I was working everyday, sometimes till very late at night, on top of homeschooling, taking care of the house and two kids.

I was constantly overwhelmed with all that I wanted to do.

It was a recipe for disaster and I was quickly heading towards burnout. It was apparent to me and my husband that I needed to create rest in my day as well as limit the amount of time I devote to work or I was going to burnout.

Avoiding Burnout in Life and Homeschool

Here’s what I have learned about avoiding burnout in life and homeschool.

#1 – Rest

This seems so simple, but it’s not, I have had to learn how to rest.

About 6 months ago, my husband and I decided that as a family, we would take one day a week off for rest, no work allowed. I remember on our first day of rest, it was a struggle for me to not work.

I was worried that people wouldn’t understand if I didn’t respond to their emails in 24 hours. I was worried that taking a day off would cause me to miss my deadlines.

Rest was a discipline that I had to learn, but I’m so glad I did because learning how to rest has restored my sanity.

#2 – Know Your Priorities

There are only 24 hours in each day, some of which you need to sleep and eat in. You need to know what your priorities are, so that can choose what to fill your day with.

You need to be able to decide which activities must be done, which can wait for another day and which don’t really need to be done at all.  Each person is different, but for me God and family come before work, so the activities that involve them come first.

I’ve found that I’m happiest when I have my priorities are in order.

#3 – Get Organized

Once you know your priorities, you can structure your day.

I’ve found that when I structure my day, it alleviates a lot of the stress that leads to burnout because I know that I will have time to work, play and rest. I don’t do well with a by the minute schedule, which is why is use the term structure.

Instead, I have a general flow to my days where I write out my goals for each day. I write my goals at the beginning of the week, which helps me to know what to focus on during my work time. I also write out a weekly meal plan, which I resisted doing for years, but have found to be the best time saver so far.

The Final Product

These three things have prevented me from crashing and burning. It’s taken some time to adjust to it all, but the end result is a healthier me, which in turn creates a happier family. Now, I live my life from a place of rest and organization, instead of fear, worry and busyness.

How about you, how do you avoid burnout? Do you have any tips to share? If so, be sure to leave a comment below!

by Paige Hudson

 

By Paige Hudson

Paige Hudson is the author of Success in Science and a homeschooling mom. She has a passion for sharing the wonders of science with children, which is why she writes science curriculum for homeschoolers at Elemental Science. She holds a BS in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and currently resides in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia with her husband and 2 children.

6 comments

  1. Paige, do you know your dd’s learning style and can you use that to your advantage in seperating individual tasks from parent-lead tasks? I’ve got three to figure out and it always seems like they are glued to me or under my feet waiting for task assignments even after I’ve given them step by step assignment lists. I might have created this scenario and am trying to un-do it so we can move on. For example, one of my children is concrete/ sequential per Cynthia Tobias’s book. He is very independent, but tends to need encouragement (Eeyore). I’m still figuring out the other two. They tend to be on the other end from me on the spectrum. Well, that’s enough for now. Always cling to that free time. Breathe deeply and step away from the technology maybe.

    1. Honestly, I don’t know my daughter’s learning style. That’s horrible to admit, isn’t it? As for independent vs. parent-led, so far, I have tried to give her certain tasks to work on independently and then checked back to see how they were going. Sometimes this has worked, sometimes not so much. At this point I usually get her started on a task and then have her finish on her own as I’m yanking little man off the counter that he just climbed up! She doesn’t really follow an assignment list per say, but she was an only child for so long (8 years) that I didn’t really push the independent work like I should have. So, I may have created the same monster :). Hope that helps!

      BTW, deep breathes are always good, so is nap time :).

  2. Thanks for the post Paige. Hope your move is going well. After this past month, we are reeling and trying to get back on track. Mom has literally “checked out” some days, but your post has inspired me to get back to business just by setting my priorities, we need to eat right, so that should probably be my number 2 priority each day after prayers. I too have been looking at learning styles and have realized WAY too much of our curriculum is parent led vs. independent study. there has to be some things they just have to do on their own to give me a break. Math is one of our worst right now.
    anyway good luck on finding your break and thanks again for the encouragement!
    Megan

    1. Amy,

      It’s a journey and baby steps definitely count. Rest was (is) a hard thing for me to do, but it’s worth the effort!

      Paige

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