Homeschooling is such a rewarding yet intense experience!
Yes, we are blessed with the gift of time with our children. Yes, we get to witness incredible learning revelations and milestones reached.
But, homeschool moms often get little to no time to relax.
This lack of time for self is often compounded when we have little ones. As much as snuggles and playtime are special, it can be very draining. With older kids, we are often busy preparing lessons, overseeing work, and running to and from activities.
So, I ask: how do you take care of yourself?
I want to help you learn helpful ways to manage stress levels and find a renewed sense of self. With an overall increase in well-being (like the Mayo Clinic reports stress management can induce), Self-Guided Relaxation for Homeschoolers can be a fantastic way to boost your homeschool life!
Why I Started Practicing Self-Guided Relaxation As A Homeschooler
Homeschool life with five active boys can feel like a whirlwind. When we are not homeschooling, we are often busy running the boys to friends’ homes, sports, and church events.
Not long ago., I found myself becoming even more tired than the usual mom-of-5-boys tired. My entire body ached. I tossed and turned in bed at night, unable to feel refreshed in the morning.
I knew that I had overextended myself with too many activities, commitments, and blog work.
In my rational mind, I knew that I had to step back and refocus. I knew that I needed to take time to care for myself.
When my back started to give me significant pain due to tension, as well as increased anxiety over to-do lists, I knew that I had to revisit my mental health therapist experience for a solution.
B.B. (before boys), I worked as a mental health therapist for youth and their families. One of my most favorite techniques to teach clients was self-guided relaxation. I found that this skill is helpful for a variety of conditions like depression, anxiety, and anger.
I started to use these simple techniques when I would feel muscle tension build. During homeschooling, at the grocery store, and at the soccer fields. I started to sleep more soundly and just feel better overall.
After practicing self-guided relaxation, I was able to be more present during our homeschool hours. My energy levels, attitude, and patience level improved. I felt more like the homeschool mom I knew I could be!
My approach to self-guided relaxation may not look like something in a textbook or a magazine. I have customized my self-guided relaxation approach to fit into my busy homeschooling life with boys. Also, being a Catholic Christian, I have incorporated aspects of my faith into my personal self-guided relaxation.
This approach to self-guided relaxation for homeschoolers can easily be adapted to any belief system.
Tips on Self-Guided Relaxation for Busy Homeschoolers
(**Disclaimer-I am not a medical professional. I merely provide these tips with the best of intentions to help fellow homeschoolers learn and use relaxation to boost their lives.)
- Breathing: gently and slowly
- Breathe IN through your nose. Breath in all that is positive, good, and love (I add in parts of my faith here)
- Breath OUT through your mouth all that is negative, stressful, and tense
- Breaths are not forced or labored. Your breaths are restorative, healing and releasing.
- Tense muscles of focus:
- Feel the presence of the focused muscle group
- Gently tense these muscles on an inhale
- Become connected with your body once more
- Slowly release muscle tension with an exhale
- Select a place you love: where you feel (or have felt) most relaxed
- Capture that place in a mental picture
- It is okay if the image is fuzzy. It is the feeling that it evokes that is important.
- Your special place may be a color, smell, book, etc. Whatever relaxes you the most!
- This is not a competition:
- There is no “perfect” way to relax.
- Praise yourself for taking time to take care of yourself!
- Ideally, calm and quiet is key for learning self-guided relaxation.
- However, we are parents and homeschoolers. Our kids are often with us 24/7/365. I have snuck into the bathroom to do relaxation. I have had all my boys lay on the floor with me and lead us all through relaxation techniques.. I have used these tools on myself in line at grocery store.
- Accept where you are in your stage of life. Mommies to 3 under 3 may not get to take a shower, let alone do a 15-minute relaxation series. And that’s okay.
- Accept that you have 523 items on your to-do list and 3 kids hanging on you
- Accept that ____ . Fill-in-the-blank with whatever may make your relaxation time not as perfect as you would like it to be. Adding extra pressure to yourself to create the “perfect” relaxation will only add to stress and muscle tension. Let it go!
- It takes time to master:
- Learning to let yourself relax takes time.
- It sounds easy but can be hard.
- Letting go can be scary. When stress and muscle tension is all your body knows, it feels normal. But, what good is the tension doing you? NOTHING! Give yourself time to practice and learn.
- If you continue to struggle, you may need to try a new approach:
- There is not just one way to do Self-Guided Relaxation.
- Take a break and consider what you are struggling with. Is it letting go or maybe giving yourself permission to take care of self?
- Look at what you discover in closer detail to determine what you may need to focus on.
- If you really continue to struggle, consider these suggestions:
- One-on-one therapy sessions can be marvelous ways to learn ways to care for yourself.
- A trained professional can help you examine what you are struggling with and assist you in learning how to cope.
- PRAY! Sometimes, we are trying so hard to do everything perfectly. And, every single time (well, at least in my life) I realize that if I turn to God and share my struggles with Him that He helps me rid myself of my burden.
In the second audio, I take you step-by-step through a basic guided relaxation process.
This series on How Homeschoolers Can Use Self-Guided Relaxation to Boost Their Homeschool Lives will continue with topics on:
- Finding ways to relax amidst homeschool chaos
- Using gentle breathing techniques to refocus and center
- Helping our children learn and practice relaxation techniques
Thanks for stopping by. I pray that these tips help you on your homeschool journey!
How do you incorporate relaxation techniques into your homeschool day?