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!
Keeping up with everyone’s schedule once kids are back in school can be all-consuming. I’m married to my to-do list and color-coordinated schedule during the school year and it is the only way I don’t forget about absolutely everything I have to do. There’s still a few slip-ups, but I try to stay on top of things.
Unfortunately, what comes along with that not-being-a-hot-mess-ALL-the-time status is something we have all experienced: BURNOUT.
We start out the school year like this:
And end up looking like this within a few weeks:
We’ve all been there. I have to constantly fight burnout once we get through the first month of school. With 6 kids in four different schools, there’s always somewhere to be or something to do.
I realized I was running myself into the ground when I went into a routine doctors appointment last year and he told me my blood pressure was through the roof. I was told to reduce my stress level.
Here’s the problem, though: How do you reduce your stress level as a mom?
I REALLY wish I could tell you I have the answer to that one. I’m still working on it. I do have some ways to help you manage though, even when things are stressful, to help reduce burnout during the school year.
I know, if I’m being realistic, my schedule isn’t going to get any slower. I have kids in school from preschool to high school and each of them has their own schedule to stick to. As a working/work-at-home mom with 6 kids, I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that life is going to be crazy for the next 14 years or so.
There are some things that make a huge difference in how I’m able to manage the chaos and avoid burnout.
How to Avoid School Year Burnout
These are my top 5 things that I MUST do if I want to avoid burnout during the school year.
Get plenty of sleep.
If I find that I’m not dealing with the stress well, 9 times out of 10 it is because I really just need to get more sleep. My excuse when I realize this is to complain that I just don’t have any more time in my schedule to add extra sleep in. Then I realize that complaining to myself is silly and I find a way to make it work.
Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night. When you try to make too drastic of a change to your sleep schedule it can be difficult to fall asleep. Pushing back your bedtime by 15 minutes a night makes the transition easy. If you tend to get distracted at night and forget about bedtime, set an alarm on your phone. This is the only way I remember to start shutting things down for the night. I set an alarm to remind me to start getting ready for bed and another alarm to remind me to actually go to sleep.
To get more sleep, I have to make sure that my kids are in bed, because no one is sleeping if kids are still going 100 miles an hour. My goal at the moment is to be much stricter about my kids’ bedtime schedule. That helps me protect my own sleep time. Getting enough sleep increases my tolerance level for whatever amount of stress I’m dealing with so it is the first place I start when I find myself leaning toward burnout.
Follow a Good Supplement Routine.
After my twins were born, I started feeling really run down. I was sleep deprived, sure, but this was more than that. I just didn’t feel like myself, even on those days when I’d gotten a (relatively) full night’s sleep. I’ve taken supplements off and on throughout my life but this was when I really got serious about it. I took an assorted handful of dietary supplements religiously every day, and little by little, I started feeling better. My energy improved, my mood improved, and I was much better able to handle everyday life. Now, taking supplements is a regular part of my daily routine.
It turns out, I’m not alone. A survey done by the Council for Responsible Nutrition found that most adults (79% of women and 73% of men) take dietary supplements.
It’s definitely important to practice other healthy habits, such as eating healthy food and exercising regularly, but there are always gaps in our nutrition. Taking supplements helps me to fill those gaps and keeps me feeling my best.
When I’ve felt especially run down in the past, I’ve gone to my doctor for supplement recommendations. My doctor always has great ideas to help me find the perfect supplements. For example, after running blood work at my last appointment, my doctor recommended Vitamin D to get my levels back where they should be. I’ve loved working in partnership with my doctor to find supplements that can help with everything from energy levels to heart health.
I’m kind of terrible at exercising. I’ll admit it. That being said, I feel so much better when I make an effort to exercise every day. I’ve been aiming for 10,000 steps daily. I try to fit my steps in throughout the day so that it doesn’t feel like I’m spending time that I don’t have, but I love taking a walk at the end of the day to wind down.
Fortunately, I have a dog who absolutely loves walks and is ready to go any time of the day. She helps motivate me to get out and enjoy the nice fall weather that we are having right now, and I feel so much more centered after a good walk. I’ll often listen to audio books or upbeat music while I walk and that definitely helps too.
Have a Family Command Center.
Nothing stresses me out more than having to scramble to do something or be somewhere at the last minute. Nothing.
That’s why having a system to stay on top of things is so important to me. I have my systems to keep track of my work commitments, bills, personal goals, and more, but the most essential way we stay on top of who has to be where is with our Family Command Center.
I’m very visual, as are my kids. Having everything clearly laid out in one place helps us communicate and stay on top of what needs to be happen during the day.
Take Time to Breathe.
I’m not going to tell you to meditate, because, honestly, I’m the WORST at that. I just have no patience. But if that’s your thing, definitely do that.
If it isn’t, make sure you are carving out space in your day for something that recharges you. For me, that’s usually reading a good book. I have friends that swear by a hot bath or an extra long hike on the weekends.
Find what helps you refill your own cup and do more of that, even if it is just for a few minutes a day. Having that bit of time to ground yourself makes such a huge difference in most people’s ability to handle stress.
Being proactive and taking steps to prevent burnout when you start feeling overwhelmed can make life so much easier. I’m hitting the point in the school year where the novelty of a new year wears off and I start getting overwhelmed. I’m adding a few things to my supplement routine and making sure I’m being really good about getting enough sleep.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.