We so often try to pretend everything is fine. We aren’t thriving, we aren’t feeling fantastic, maybe we are on the edge of literal exhaustion, but you know, overall we are fine. Even though we know we really aren’t. We really could be better. True exhaustion is a hard thing to climb out of, like being stuck in a deep ravine with steep walls on all sides. But yet, as parents and as human beings, we deserve more and to thrive in our lives with joyfulness.
Moving from exhaustion to thriving requires something more than being fine. It requires figuring out what is really and truly essential and nourishing, and moving toward that. I especially enjoy embracing this task as we move into the darker days of winter. There is something special about all the festivals of light that occur in these months of dwindling sunlight such as Martinmas with its lanterns (November 11), Diwali with its lights (November 14), Advent (which begins November 29) and Hanukkah which begins on December 10. I still cling to these traditions, even if we celebrate in a more low key way with older children at this point because those traditions give me nourishment. The creativity nurtured in these ways nurtures me.
Another way I find that helps me climb out of the exhaustedly fine stage is to block out days to be home. Even with working part time and homeschooling, I still try to do this. Some weeks are more successful than others just because teenagers need to be places and if they can’t drive, their schedule becomes your schedule, but I do try. I also block out blocks of time and carve self care into those blocks. So today looked like-
8-10 Homeschooling (Laundry, dishes)
10-10:30 walk outside in the beautiful air
10:30-11:30 More homeschooling (Prepare lunch)
11:30 get ready for work/drive
4-5 Self Care
Schoolwork for myself and my teenager, look at calendar for tomorrow
Pray and Bed
Each day looks a little different, but I find I am most successful with combatting that sense of being exhausted if things have a rhythmical order that includes me and not just me being in the state of doing for everyone else. It’s a tough thing to learn and try, but yet rather than having the days and hours slip away and out of our hands, especially with older children where we can be pulled by so many directions, it is helpful to think of the anchors of the year and of our days.
What are you doing to combat your exhaustion? I would love to hear!
Blessings and love,