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Burnout. It’s the dirty word women don’t want to talk about. Burnout is wanting to curl up in bed in the afternoon, and playing on your phone for an hour in the morning instead of greeting the day with energy. Burnout is losing patience with your kids, and ignoring your husband. Burnout is falling behind, and dropping the ball.
Even worse, burnout is neglecting yourself.
Burnout is too many days of the same yoga pants, and no longer caring about yourself.
You deserve better.
It’s easy to fall behind with all the things we have to do. Moms have a ton on their plate. Homeschoolers add another layer of stress and responsibility. Even with all the crazy on your plate, here are some simple ways to take care of yourself:
1. Choose Fun: This seems counter-intuitive, but when you get very, very busy… it’s a sign that you need to take some time for fun. When your kids ask you to play, don’t say “no” because you have chores to do. Say yes. Put down the laundry. Set aside the computer. Get down on the ground with those kids, and play. Life is so much better when you’re having fun. Start there.
My favorite playmates
2. Get Your Rest: Yes, I know you have a lot to do. Yes, I know the easiest time to do them is after the kids are in bed, or before they get up in the morning. But- is there one or two days a week that you can go to bed early? Can you declare Wednesdays to be “movie and a nap for mommy” day? If you can, do it.
3. Disconnect: Put. Down. The. Smartphone. Now. Smartphones and laptops and tv screens all emit light that will keep you awake much later than you want to be. They also suck up time that you could be using for sleep, or chores, or fun with the kids. Delete candy crush and facebook from your phone, and put it down. It may hurt for a day or two, but you can do it!
4. Keep Good Snacks Close: I don’t know about you, but the more tired I get, the less likely I am to make smart snacking choices. I like to keep goodnessknows® snack squares in my bag so I can have something smart to munch on while out and about. These snack squares pack a punch- they have just enough chocolate to ease my cravings for sweets, and enough fruit and nuts to fill me up. I also try to keep already chopped veggies in the fridge, fruit, and healthy dips on hand so I can always grab a good snack when I need one (and avoid the drive-thru line!)
5. Shop Smart: We already know that eating well can help improve your energy levels, and make you feel better about yourself. While at the store, only bring home items that fit your idea of eating well. Bring home fruits and veggies for the kids to snack on, meal plan before you go to avoid picking up fast food.
goodnessknows® snack squares can be found right at the register in Walmart- look for all three flavors: Cranberry, Almond, Dark Chocolate, Apple, Almond & Peanut, Dark Chocolate, & Peach & Cherry, Almond, Dark Chocolate
6. Ask for Help: If you’re trying to get more sleep, and trying to have more fun with the kids, you may realize you have less time for the to-do list. Remember that no one ever really does it all. You make choices. You can choose to sleep and play, or choose to stay up late doing the dishes. You can be well rested, or you can have a clean kitchen. The other option? Hire help. Train the kids to take over some of the work. Make sure you are sharing responsibility with your husband. Hire a mother’s helper or bring in a housekeeper once a month. Outsource math to an online teacher. If you can find a way- get help.
One of my helpers, checking his chore list.
7. Drink Water: I know you are tired. I know the coffee or diet coke helps… but it only helps for a little while. Try water. Lots and lots of water.
8. Set Limits: When all else fails, practice saying “no.” When you are feeling burnt out, do not take on any additional obligations. Say no, and protect your time and energy level.
What tips do you have for moms struggling with burnout? Share them here, and then check the rest of the goodnessknows® snack squares tips!