I know there have been lots of subscriptions to this blog in recent weeks (because I receive the email alerts), and I wanted to apologize for the absence of new posts. Simply put, I haven’t been feeling well for a long time. My husband got laid off in October and is still out of a job and I have been really struggling with low-grade depression.
I have to say, I really miss blogging here. This was my first attempt at blogging. It’s been enormously successful in that I get about anywhere from 200-500 hits a day, which is unbelievably cool.
I just looked and saw that I’m up to 200,188 views since it’s inception. You gals (and guys?) are great and I DO have more content to post.
Let me tell you…depression – even low-grade depression – sucks and I mean literally. It sucks joy right out of your life. And whether you are a parent or a teacher, lack of joy in your life hurts your kids too.
I know a lot of people who come here are educators and some are parents. So, for my first post back, I wanted to share an awesome link to Fran’s website on educator wellness called WellEducator.org. She has some awesome ideas to help with teacher burnout. Do you recognize yourself in a stage of burnout? Let me tell you, I don’t know Fran…directly, but she’s been commenting on my other blog about my burnout and I have appreciated her support. I wanted to tell her I appreciate her and share her blog with my readers on this blog too. What a great resource and it’s so thoughtful that she is sharing ideas on how to cope with teacher burnout.
I know a lot of my readers are parents who are either homeschooling their children or who are part-time homeschooling their children that could ALSO benefit from the ideas Fran has on her website, after all, parents are our children’s first teachers, right? There’s lots of wonderful ideas to help recover from burnout we can use as parents. Let’s face it…whether teacher or parent, taking care of children (whether your own or someone else’s) is HARD work; most caretakers of children do NOT do enough to prevent burnout and exhaustion. Some of us tend to be perfectionists, idealists, and so OTHER-centered for most of the day that we forget to take care of ourselves (what, you mean it’s okay to have needs AND have some of them met? No way1?!?).
I’ve been a mother for 9 years and I’ve struggled through most of them and I’m really tired of floundering. I have three daughters who are now 9, 7.5, and almost 6 – beautiful, sometimes frustrating, and oh so wonderful when they aren’t fighting with each other or melting down due to hypoglycemia. I have got to tell you…I am recognizing and admitting that I am suffering from major burnout, and quite possibly adrenal fatigue.
I’m doing what I can to relieve my burnout…taking some spendy natural supplements…engaging in some mindfulness meditation…and recovering from well, pervasive negative self-talk, and seeing my old therapist, just to have someone to talk to about it rather than whine about it on the blog.
I’m starting to read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s books, starting with Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience:
If, according to the “old” saying, “Begin with the end in mind”, I’d like to see if I can find more
joy, creativity and the process of total involvement in life which [he] call[s] flow.
Which is something I think we are born with as children, but we lose over the course of our lives if we are unfortunate to have parents that are, for whatever reason, lacking joy and creativity.
I don’t know about you, but I have challenging children. Not challenging in necessarily a bad way. Just that my daughters have always needed more, and sometimes more than I had to give. Two of them are not great at emotional self-regulation, all three are highly sensitive in different ways, one who was struggling and overcame social anxiety/selective mutism, another who had a bad fright last Halloween and still has anxieties, and meeting their growing desires to participate in group activities (oldest is participating in her first ‘real’ sport – ragball – the step below softball; middle daughter is participating in chess club; middle and youngest will have science camp over the summer) when you have no income coming in adds a bunch of stress.
I think I’ll be addressing some of these core issues here (to get advice as well as share resources) on social-emotional development, how to encourage kids’ passions when you are on a shoe-string budget, dealing with family issues during job loss and how to help children cope with news about global crises too, more educational ideas, as well as interject some things I’ve found that are just plain fun.
Someone posted on my other blog another mama’s post on Five Strategies to Help a Moody Mama.
So, my first resolution is not to bite off more than I can chew. I am going to target a post a week, and not every few days like I was trying to before.
So, what do YOU do to reduce/prevent burnout as a parent/teacher?
How do you restore yourself when your stress has reached critical mass?
Do you have any links of favorite places to reduce your stress and live a more intentional life?