How To Avoid Burnout During The School Year

Thank you Council For Responsible Nutrition for sponsoring this post. I am proud to be one of the 170 million Americans who take dietary supplements each year!

Going into our sixth year of homeschooling, I knew this one would be slightly different from the others. Miss B officially started kindergarten this year and Caleb, even though he is not quite three, is bound and determined he is doing school just like Miss B. In two shorts weeks he will turn three, and he is ready to tackle most kindergarten activities, thankfully his attention span only lasts an hour or two and then he is happy to settle into playtime. This is our first year with having to plan curriculum for four children, four different levels and all with their very own personalities. My hats go off to the teachers that have 20+ children with different personalities to deal with at a time.

Even though this year started a little later for us with our amazing 10 state road trip, we are finally settling in to the daily hustle and bustle of school. The kids are handling it well, and honestly it’s been our easiest start to the year yet….but we still have a few things to add into our day. One thing I have found is the first few weeks of starting school are somewhat like the first few days of drivers ed – everyone is a little car sick and wants to bail out. For us, starting off a little slower and then adding in a few more items once we are a month or so in helps our transition.

If you are a teacher in a public school, online, or a homeschooling teacher, you know how hard it can be to keep your head above water. We rejoice when Friday rolls around, and Sunday evening we start feeling all the emotions of what is coming Monday morning. Before the start of school this year, I was determined to make this year the best one yet, for myself and the kids. Being their teacher and mom can be a struggle when it comes to difficult school days, and I always want to be a better mother than teacher, so I decided this year I would also make myself a priority. If I am focused on staying healthy and happy, I will in turn be a healthier and happier mother and teacher.

Tips on How to Avoid Burnout During the School Year

Have a plan – I couldn’t live without my planner. I have one for daily life and one for meals, so it would only make sense that I create a plan for each day of school. I have planners for each child and spend some time before school starts on Monday gathering everything I need for the week for each child. Going into the week prepared makes it so much easier to start the day rather than starting the day and week scrambling and behind.

Make time each day for physical activity – When I am mentally exhausted, it affects me physically. Mental exhaustion can make your body feel like it has run a marathon. Before I get to that point, I try to make time for us to get up and move. If you happen to be peeping in the window, you might see us doing jumping jacks, hopping on one foot, running in place or stretching to name a few. When tense moments arise or we start to have a frustrating moment that lasts longer than a moment, five minutes of good exercise usually ends in laughter and lighter moods all around.

Have a hobby – Everyone needs something in their life they enjoy, something that is relaxing, fills you and lets you take yourself out of your normal hustle. This might not be daily, but throughout the week, setting aside a small amount of time to enjoy an activity does wonders for burnout. For some it might be painting, crafting, hiking, birdwatching, tennis, running…the list can go on and on. We all need something that lets us escape and relax. Give yourself permission to enjoy yourself.

Get enough sleep – That’s a given, right? We all know we need eight hours of sleep, but some days we need more hours in the day and there may not be anywhere we can take those hours from. The truth is, when we sacrifice our sleep, everything suffers. EVERYTHING! Our moods certainly do. I know I must be having an off day when one of the children ask, “Mom, did you not sleep good last night?” Yep, even they know we NEED sleep! Over time, our immune systems weaken and our bodies are not able to fight off illness like they can when our bodies have time to recover and repair themselves naturally. Having a good routine of going to sleep and rising at the same time helps us in more ways than we can imagine.

Eat the Rainbow – When work/school lunches roll around, many of us find ourselves in a rut. We need to make things that don’t take forever, don’t break the bank and can usually be eaten on the go or easily. Somedays it may mean fifteen extra minutes of sleep or making lunches. When we aren’t getting enough sleep, that decision usually ends up with sleep being the winner. Ensuring we eat as many colors of the rainbow in our fruits and veggies ensures we are receiving essential nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. Our household goal is eating a minimum of five different colors daily. Of course more is always better, but five is a very doable goal with eating fruits or veggies with each meal.

Take supplements – No matter how hard we might try, it can be truly challenging to get all the essential nutrients we need from diet alone. Dietary supplements help us fill in the gaps and give our immune system a boost. Especially during the winter months, taking specific dietary supplements can help to enhance our mood and increase our energy. I personally take an allergy friendly, non-GMO vitamin designed specifically for women that also includes Omega 3s, D3, Folate and CoQ10, a B-12 vitamin, a mineral supplement that includes Zinc, Selenium, Chromium, Magnesium and Calcium. I may add other supplements throughout the year, especially during the winter months or if we are going to be traveling. Taking dietary supplements allows me to be proactive in taking care of myself so I can be healthy and present for my children all year-long. Having food allergies in our family, even my children take daily supplements and vitamins to give their bodies and immune systems a boost. (Dietary supplements are products intended to supplement the diet, not substitute a good diet. These products are not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”) According to a survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, most of us, about 76 percent of U.S. adults (more than 170 million!), take some form of dietary supplements each year.

Stop multi-tasking – At least once or twice daily, I intentionally spend a few minutes breathing, walking, even eating mindfully without multi-tasking. When I concentrate on only what I am doing at the moment, I find things more enjoyable. It takes great effort me to not mentally build a checklist or think of later things that need to be done, but if I can focus on breathing, my surroundings, or enjoy what I am eating, it allows me to truly relax.

None of these concepts are new, they are actually all things we all know, but in our society we tend to take better care of everyone over ourselves. Sometimes we need reminders to make ourselves a priority so we can be present to take care of those around us, whether they be our students, our children, or both.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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