Burnout is a very real struggle when it comes to learning, especially when working remotely. Students are often overworked and stressed out which leads to a lack of drive and motivation to complete the important tasks placed in front of them. It is very easy to become overwhelmed while homeschooling, especially since the student has to hold themselves accountable. Getting assignments done in a timely manner requires productivity, which is near impossible when you’re overworked. This is why it is essential for students to find the proper work/life balance in order to avoid burnout and falling behind in school.
Can It Wait?
With remote learning putting so much on your plate, it is important to learn how to prioritize. You may have a lot that needs to get done, and you want to get it out of the way, but is there anything that can wait until tomorrow or the day after? There are high-priority assignments and low-priority assignments, distinguishing between the two will help you avoid burnout while homeschooling. Ask yourself if starting the assignment or project the next day or later in the week will have any negative effect on the outcome.
If the answer is no, and delaying will not cause you to fall behind, cut yourself some slack. Finish the work that is due now and worry about the rest later. If you’re constantly worried about every single thing on your schedule for the school year, you will become overwhelmed have trouble getting anything done at all. It’s great to get a head start on assignments, but if it’s 3:00am and the project isn’t due until next week, go to bed!
Weekends Are Yours
You don’t have to work 24/7. Your brain needs time and space to recover from those long study sessions. Finish all of your work during the week and take Saturday and Sunday to relax! If you have anything due over the weekend or the following Monday, just make sure to finish it all by week’s end. This way, you can simply submit the assignments as the due dates arrive and not have to worry about anything else. You should also check your agenda and plan the following week’s schedule so that’s out of the way. Homeschooling can be stressful, but if you plan ahead, you’ll have plenty of time to destress during the weekends.
Create a Rewards System
Another great way to avoid burnout is to reward yourself when you complete tasks. You can set milestones and treat yourself to something you enjoy after a certain amount of work is done. Perhaps you have a 6-page essay to write. Reward yourself after each page completed, or every 2 pages, or even once you make it halfway through. How you decide to set up your rewards system is up to you, but you must stick to it. Tell yourself that you won’t get the ice cream, watch the movie, or take that nap until you reach the goal you set for yourself. This is a great way to reinforce positivity while homeschooling and avoid becoming overwhelmed with what’s in front of you.
Limit Daily Hours Worked
Every workday should have a cutoff time. Proper rest is important since a lack of sleep hinders focus. After a certain point, it will be difficult for your brain to retain information. Despite its popularity, late-night cramming is not an effective study method. Set a time that you will not work past and hold yourself to it so that your brain is not under too much stress. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours straight is tough for anyone, so make sure you aren’t overdoing it. Tell yourself that you will put away the books and get to bed at a reasonable time. The good news is that remote learning is flexible, and as long as nothing is due, you can just pick up where you left off in the morning.
Make Wellness A Priority
Another reason students’ experience burnout is because of unhealthy or irregular eating. Quick snacks like chips and cakes are easy to go for when you’re swamped with schoolwork, but it is very important to carve out time to prepare a meal that is wholesome and balanced. It doesn’t have to be complicated, a vegetable salad, or a simple pasta dish will suffice. It can be anything you like as long as you are getting your essential nutrients. Don’t skip meals either, no matter how busy you get, it is even more difficult to get tasks done when you’re hungry. Caffeine alone is not an acceptable meal and coffee should not be used as a crutch. Not only is it unhealthy, but you’ll only experience a brief boost before the fatigue sets in. Make sure to take your vitamins, eat healthy meals, and drink plenty of water each day. Your brain needs the energy!
Yoga & Working Out
Pick the one that works best for you. Homeschooling consumes the brain and yoga is a great way to clear your mind and practice being mindful. It promotes relaxation and stress relief. You can use this time to set your intentions or goals for the rest of your day and get yourself in a clear and positive frame of mind. If you’re not a yoga person, try going for a run outside, a hike, or making use of the at-home gym if you have access to one. Working out is a great way to combat burnout because being active allows your brain and your body to release all of the tension it might be holding from sitting at a desk all the time. It’s also a nice change of scenery from the surroundings that you are used to as well as good for your heart and overall health.
Phone A Friend
Or a loved one! If you’re having trouble staying motivated and holding yourself accountable, a pep talk from a close friend or family member could be just what you need to stay on top of things. Even better, if you have a friend who is also homeschooling, staying in contact with them when needed can help you motivate each other. Sometimes all you need to get out of a slump is to get someone on your team who can empathize with what you’re going through. Virtual study sessions where you quiz each other, encouraging texts, or scheduling daily phone calls are all ways you and your virtual study buddy can conquer the remote learning world together.
You Are Not Alone!
Are you feeling stressed out? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. What matters most is how you respond. Make sure to keep all of these points in mind and you’ll be just fine! Homeschool life can be a bit overwhelming, but with the right mindset, good people in your corner, a healthy lifestyle, and a system in place that prevents your brain from becoming too packed, burnout will be nothing but a distant memory.