Know Your Self: Self-Care
You are the instrument of your own success. No matter your goal, you cannot achieve it, and you definitely cannot enjoy it, if you are burnt out. Burnout comes in many forms, but signs include fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, overwhelm, hopelessness, lack of desire for pleasure, and irritability. Children can experience similar symptoms if they are overworked as well. Some tips to combat stress will reduce your chance of experiencing burnout.
Blow off steam.
Young children blow off steam at recess, and college students play sports or work out. Adults need movement to expend physical energy, too. Even if you’re tired, working out or playing a sport will help you get a dose of the endorphins that make you feel happy and satisfied.
Mindfulness has been shown to increase concentration and happiness. Being “centered” in the present moment, even for a few minutes, helps people remain peaceful for the rest of the day. This can be done through yoga, meditation, journaling, or taking a quiet walk.
Connect through relationships.
Vent to your friends, help out a neighbor, or do a special activity with your child(ren). Authentic and reciprocal connection with other people is one of the best ways to fend off burnout. Extra points if these are people with whom you share a passion!
Creativity engages the brain differently from the executive functioning, planning types of tasks adults and children are required to do daily. Creativity allows you to exercise your brain, explore, play, and do something that is not necessarily goal-directed. Try out painting, pottery, drawing, sculpture, or building blanket forts and telling stories with your child.
These tips are just small lifestyle adjustments that can help reduce stress in your life. Whether back to school or any time, organization and self-care are extremely important for a happy and healthy life.