Saturday, June 4, 2016

Dealing with Burn Out

It's difficult to keep going when it feels like you've never done anything else. I feel you. Since I was 17 I've been cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry. I'm sure I'm not alone. For a few years I didn't have a car and had to walk two miles with heavy wet laundry to the laundry mat (my first two babies used cloth diapers only). The difference with that, is I didn't have to worry about anything else. I just did laundry. It took all day, but I would have one day a week when all my laundry was washed and put away. When you do your own laundry at home: IT. IS. NEVER. DONE. 

I bet if you pick up an organization magazine, you'll read somewhere that you should do one load of laundry each evening before you go to bed. I haven't found that to work for my three children. I agree that you need to stay on top of the laundry piles or the laundry will take over your home.

Dishes? I have found that if you are able to wash the pots and pans while you are cooking and then wash the dishes as soon as you are finished eating, your sink will stay empty longer. But that's not always reality. Sick babies, needy teens, and children that just need your hugs are far more important. Then you'll have a pile of dishes staring at you every day.

Cleaning your house can be fun and my children are at the best stage to help. But even they face burn out. I remember how overwhelmed and anxious cleaning my room could make me. I had too much stuff and not enough space much as I do now. I would love to get rid of most of my stuff, but it's not mine. I have three other people that live with me and I choose not to fight over their stuff. They've lost so much over the years, I'm not going to force them to lose more over my need to have a clean house. 

So how do you deal with the feelings of burn out? The thoughts, "I can't wash another dish". "Why do I have to keep washing these same clothes every week?" " I'd much rather just play on my phone."

1. Set a timer. Once you see how much time it actually takes to do a job, you'll be less stressed to do it the next time. 15 minutes to wash dishes isn't bad. How about starting a TV program and do some dishes just during commercial breaks? This will help if you have someone to yell at you if you can't see the TV. I've taken to watching French lessons while I do my dishes. Takes my mind off of the task.

2. An ounce of prevention. I don't think paper plates are the best solution, but you can ask your kids to just wash their plates after the meal. If you can tell your family is wearing clothes and putting them in the dirty hamper and they aren't really dirty- time for a family meeting. Our Norwex bath towels contain microsilver so you can use them more than once without laundering them each time. 

3. Planning. I use Sunday's as my meal planning day. Get a reusable write-on white board for your fridge. Write down your menu for the week. Then look at your pantry and make a grocery list based on your menu. Stick to that. If you are able shop on Sunday, it works well if you can wake up early enough. Trying to come up with something each day can be tedious and overwhelming. So a little planning goes a long way. While you're at it, plan your week's goals too. You are more likely to accomplish goals if you have them scheduled. A calendar is so important and helpful if you use it.

I hope this has helped. Please comment if you've found a great thing that helps prevent and/or get rid of burnout. 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like good advice, the bi-product of experience.