How to Permanently Recover from Burnout as a Homeschool Mom – Part 2
Last time we talked the first steps to permanently recovering from burnout. You can read the post here.
To recap, they were:
- Take some time to recover.
- Get some inspiring input.
- Figure out your priorities.
- Put in the big rocks first.
Let talk more about what further steps to take to fully recover from burnout and banish it from your life forever! Download the free printables at the end of the post to help you figure out where to go from here.
5. DECIDE WHAT TO CUT DOWN ON OR TO CUT OUT COMPLETELY
Once you know what your big rocks are, it will be easier to see what is less important in the season you are in. Remember that cutting out things need not be permanent and you may have more time for something in another season of your life.
Look at your external commitments and decide what you can cut down on – get help from your husband.
Look at your household, homeschool and work-from home commitments and see how to cut down on those things too. Think hard what you can delegate or automate.
6. AUTOMATE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
See what fresh systems you can implement to help your days seem less overwhelming. Automating various parts of your day ensures that they take up less time, so that you can have time for your big rocks and space to breathe.
Automate your breakfast and lunch plans – we have some clipboards stuck up on the wall with our breakfast and lunch plans. We have the same seven breakfast and lunches listed. So, unless I feel like a change, I never have to think about or plan breakfast and lunch. I know what we will be having and what I need to buy to be ready. These breakfast and lunch plans have become part of our daily and weekly homeschool rhythm and we all know exactly who will be making which things on which days (sometimes the children help) and it requires very little time or attention, making an uninterrupted homeschool day possible.
Automate your dinner menu, have it planned in advance.
Automate snack time – involve your children in the preparation. Maybe give each of them a day where they are responsible for the snack. You can tell them in advance what they will be making and then hopefully it will happen without your involvement.
Automate your children’s morning and evening routines. We have a list stuck on the inside of their closet doors where they know exactly what they’ve got to do when they wake up in the morning and exactly what they’ve got to do before they go to bed at night. If they need help, they can come and ask us, please cut my toenails mommy, please help me do this or that – but everything happens without us or them having to remember.
Automate chores – morning chores, meal time chores, bedtime chores, etc. At mealtimes we have a system where each child has a particular job and they know what their specific job is before the meal and after the meal. We have that printed out on our wall. The youngest puts out the napkins before a meal and puts them away after. Other jobs are putting out cutlery, crockery, waters, serving food, sweeping under the table after, straightening chairs, clearing dishes, etc. Every time someone forgets they can go and look at the list on the wall. I don’t have to get involved, yelling out all kinds of instructions, it’s already planned and well-practised. I can get on with serving dinner or taking care of the youngest child or for some reason I am not there for a meal, it is much easier for my hubby and the children to have an orderly meal together too.
Automate your cleaning routine.
So you get the idea, the idea is to put in as many systems in place so that you can be relaxed in the midst of all the craziness, especially if you have other things you need to be focusing on, those things are still going to happen and then you are not going to become overwhelmed with all the things you need to remember.
If you are not sure how to automate these things, I will help you know how to do this in a future post. But for now, the easiest thing to do is to write out a list in each of these areas and stick it somewhere prominent like on your fridge or cupboard door – anywhere so you can see it when you need reminding – and then that system is in place and it is one less thing for you to worry about.
7. MAKE A FOCUS PLAN
Make a focus plan so that you only need to focus on one thing at a time.
This means dividing up your day into different “focuses” so you can be full present for each one.
For example: (yours will look different to mine)
From wake up to 9am: Focus on getting yourself ready, helping children and morning chores.
9-1pm: Focus on Homeschool (as if it was your paid job and required your full attention)
1-2pm: Focus on lunch and chores
Afternoons: Focus on business, work or extra murals, individual time with children
5pm: Focus on children husband family time
Evening: Time for us, me and my husband relaxing, time for me, self care, etc.
FOCUS TIME means each time block has a particular purpose and a particular focus – and that reminds you what you should be doing during that time.
Then stick with your plan! I have to be very strict with myself. The more I stick to my focus plan, the better my days are.
Focus on each thing and be fully present for that thing. Focus on rest during rest times, focus on doing during the doing times, focus on your family during family times, homeschool during homeschool times. So every part is important, every part has its place and you are fully present during each part.
The breaks are important. The do’s are important. The balance is important.
Be present and enjoy your husband and your children and enjoy each part of your day.
No matter how the day goes, start afresh the next day by sticking to your focus plan.
8. BUILD IN BREAKS AND KEEP THE BALANCE
I often like to think about how God gave us the four seasons – seasons of change. In our lives as Mom’s, homeschoolers and homemakers, it’s like we go through all these seasons every day.
Every morning, when you wake up, it’s like springtime. There is newness, there’s a fresh start, you have fresh energy.
Once your school and work day starts, it’s like summer – it’s intense, you sweat, you work hard like you are bringing in the harvest
In the evening, it’s like autumn, you start to slow down, you have time together, you wind down.
Then its winter – time to rest, sleep, recover and be refreshed.
Just like we need these seasons each year, to recover from burnout and to remain fresh, we need all these different ‘seasons’ in our days and weeks. We need them to feel fulfilled and keep balance.
So, remember to keep the balance! Keep working at things in smaller chunks so that the overwhelm doesn’t build up again. A good balance of sticking to the plan and bringing in new things to inspire you always helps.
Let’s talk about breaks. Breaks are so important, and they often don’t happen if we don’t plan for them Try to build breaks into your day, into your week and into your year.
- Daily breaks: Plan every day to have a break during the children’s rest time or while they play.
- Weekly breaks: Plan for some kind of break each wekk
- Monthly and yearly breaks
- Every month, we try to take a family day out together.
- Every six weeks we take a week off from school to be refreshed and energized and to plan for the next six.
- Every year we try to go away for a week or two
LET’S WRAP IT UP!
To recap, the steps we have talked about are:
Take some time to recover. Get some inspiring input. Figure out your priorities. Put in the big rocks first. Decide what to cut down on. Automate as much as possible. Make a focus plan. Maintain by keeping your balance and building in breaks.
Download the second part of the printable RECOVER FROM BURNOUT pages which helps you to work through the steps and write down your plan.
Write down for each step what are you going to do.
- How you are going to get some rest?
- What are your 5 biggest rocks?
- What are your priorities? What are your focuses?
- What are you going to automate?
- When are you going to take breaks?
- What do you not have time for right now?
Make a plan to show this to your hubby or friend and work through the process together so that it feels set in stone.
Download the printables to write on while this is fresh in your mind! See the link below
Thank for reading and may the Lord bless you and your family this week!