If you are already feeling like you’ve hit the wall, and are tired, stressed, frazzled, and at the end of your rope….. there is hope. Here, you will find a collection of tips and ideas for surviving a homeschool burnout.
Tip #1. Stop.
If you are feeling burnt out, it’s time to stop. Cut all your projects, commitments, activities, and extras down to as limited as possible. You need a break. You need to take time to recover. Get rid of (or at least pausing) all the things that have been pulling you in many directions will help that happen.
Tip #2. Simplify.
Right now, if you are burnt out, strip life to the bare minimum. If you need to hide all the dishes and use paper ones… do it. Only clean the bathrooms once in a while (they will be fine… no one will die if you don’t clean them every day or every week or even every couple of weeks. Trust me.) Don’t answer the phone or the door, if you aren’t up to it. Don’t set any big goals.
Tip #3. Skip School.
When you are burnt out, the thought of trying to tackle anything official for school can just be so overwhelming. Give yourself and your kids permission to skip school. Instead of structured learning, snuggle and read together. Use online games and activities. Watch documentaries and educational TV shows. Play board games. Guess what? The kids will learn. They have an amazing ability to learn so much, even without us being intentional with a plan. And, if you need to….. know it’s OK to take a break from homeschooling and send the kids to school. You haven’t failed. You are allowed to do what’s best for everyone, and if that’s it – do it. If you feel up to taking them out of school again in the future, you can do that. So don’t sink farther into the hole because you don’t want to fail at homeschooling.
Tip #4. Soothe Your Soul.
Think of something that allows you to relax, recharge, and get some time to recover. Spend time doing something you love – reading, knitting, crafting, photography …. whatever it is… just do it. Make sure that you get a full night’s sleep, eat properly, and drink lots of water. Allow yourself to indulge with limits. Have that chocolate bar you are craving or make a batch of cookies to binge on. It’s not going to ruin you forever to have one cookie binging session.
Tip #5. Seek Support.
It’s hard. INCREDIBLY hard, but very important to ask for help. See if friends or family will help you with the kids, or bring you meals, or come sit to talk. Sometimes even hiring someone to come babysit while you relax can give you some healing space or a nap can be a game changer. Or hire someone to clean for you. Think of how you can use help, and ask for it. People won’t know if you don’t tell them.
Tip #6. Start Slowly & Set Small Goals for Success.
When you are starting to feel like your head is coming above the water and you are stable again, start small. Set a goal to accomplish one thing. Don’t dive back into life at full force – it will just drag you under again. Maybe your first goal will be to have the kids add math lessons to 3 days of the week. See how that goes. Then build from there – add in more subjects and days until you are back to full school plans like you usually have. When that is going well and you feel on top of things, you can add more to life. Remember, slow is the key.
Tip #7. Step Back and See.
When you have started feeling better, before committing to anything extra, step back and evaluate whether that thing needs to be a part of your life or not. Something overwhelmed you in the first place so think about what was the straw that broke the camel’s back? How can you make sure that doesn’t happen again?
Being burnt out is exhausting. The thought of doing… anything…. is just overwhelming. Hopefully, if you are feeling burnt out already, these tips will help you survive a homeschool burn out. You can do this.
Want more tips on how to better handle the different parts of your busy life? Check out the other posts in this 10 day series: Homeschooling & The Myth of Balance.