Advice for the Overwhelmed

I was feeling completely overwhelmed and confused. You’re probably thinking, “Been there, done that.” I know I’ve been there before. Thankfully, after years of  meltdowns … or rather, “experience” … I knew just what to do about it. Blather my complaints to others. right?!? No, no, no! Pull yourself together, Jane!

Despite 4 years of homeschooling, and as much research as I could fit into those four years, I’ve still never settled on one perfect solution to all our homeschooling needs. Have you found something perfect yet? Since I still seem to be looking, the research, the decision-making, and the angst continue.

So what constitutes “perfect?” Because we’re trying to put our best effort into this, we don’t want to settle for curriculum that’s just mediocre. We want outstanding. We want memorable. We want “mentionable” … something we’re happy to tell everyone else about. We want “braggable” … something that brings forth results that make us look good. And of course, we want affordable.

Lately, it seems like I spend every waking minute reading curriculum reviews and poring over catalogs and websites.

Oh, the choices!

Oh, the choices!

I keep going back to our stacks of school books and flipping through them again and again, trying to decipher why I might have thought something wasn’t working.

I’ve finally decided that it’s time for a break. I’m not actually making any good decisions at this point. I’m tired and grouchy and bored. There are so many worthwhile activities I could be enjoying if I could just let this go for a while.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choices, too, take some advice from another mom in the trenches:

Shut it down. Don’t just walk away. Shut your computer down completely and make a choice to do something, anything, different. It’s time to let the brain rest.

Do something outside that allows you to savor the moment you’re in. I hate gardening, so that’s not what I would choose, but I love to walk in the dark, when it’s quiet and I can hear the nighttime noises of nature. Sometimes I like to just sit on the porch and watch the world go by.

Breathe consciously. That’s right … think about your breathing. Just enjoy the thought of air being pulled into your lungs and oxygen coursing through your blood to your brain. Imagine any built-up stress being swept out as you exhale. I close my eyes when I do this and experience an instant release of tension.

Take a nap. Allow yourself the luxury of feeling like you’re on vacation, even if you’re not!

Pitch a tent and spend some time in it. Take a break from the world of electronic noise … air conditioners, appliances, tvs.

Ahh. Peace and quiet.

Ahh. Peace and quiet.

Read a book. I’m not going to say that it can’t be related to homeschooling, but the goal is to give my brain a break from thinking about school stuff, so a novel is better medicine at this point.

Get some exercise. Even the tiniest bit helps. My kids were playing “Just Dance” on the Wii this week. I went in the room and danced along without actually playing the game. Dancing helps me every time, as long as no one’s taking pictures!

These are only a sampling of ideas. Boring maybe, but that’s the point. We all need to give our brains a break now and then. After taking a breather, it’s easier to go back and dive in again. Next time I will take notes, keeping track of the pros and cons, prices, etc, for each choice I’m interested in. Then when I need to take a break again, I won’t have to start over completely when I come back.

What helps you to settle your brain when you start feeling overwhelmed by choices? Share in the comments section below.

Just for fun, check out the Homeschooling A – Z posts! They’re not what you might expect!

You can start with A here: “A is for …”

Do you Facebook? Be sure to like Courageous Jane Homeschools!


3 thoughts on “Advice for the Overwhelmed

  1. Pingback: Shut Down or Tune In? | Jacqui Senn

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