FRESH FROM THE FARM WITH LOVE
Live your best life! Recharge and fight back against burnout
The leaves are turning brilliant colors, covering the hills in vibrant flames of red and orange as the air keeps getting chillier. Fall is here.
I love fall. The colors, the smells, the pumpkins, having hot cocoa after a lovely hike—these are amazing things. With fall’s return, school has started too, but it’s very different this year for us.
This is our first year homeschooling. Not distance-learning, which is what we did for many months last school-year, but truly homeschooling. I can go more into that another time, but what I want to focus on today is something many of you, like me, experience: burnout.
Even before COVID-19 really hit the United States, 2020 began with a bit of a bang. Life was crazy, unorganized, and there were some big decisions to make. We were both strained and burned out. Just as we figured some things out, COVID hit. The schools closed, and our daily routines changed entirely. Our fourth child was born in May, which brought more adjustments.
The learning curve trying to juggle the farm, homeschool, take care of the kids and run our businesses has been steep. Some days, I end up finding my half-eaten bowl of now soggy cereal on the table after some series of mini-crises prevented me from getting back to finish.
There have been many small things to be grateful for along the way, but it all leads up a question for you: What are you doing to take care of yourself with the burnout you experience?
There are days I’m running on fumes, and often not just a single day, but weeks in a row.
Fall is a brilliant, but fleeting time. Don’t miss out on the good things of life because you don’t care for your own wellbeing.
But you know what? Just as a car cannot run on fumes for forever, God didn’t make people to do that either. Rest is necessary, even if in small amounts, and some of those days I’m running around constantly are the ones I’m weakest with my family.
Years ago, I learned even monks and nuns have “recreational time” built into their day. I know some Dominican sisters in Michigan who really enjoy playing soccer. It amazed me!
It’s not selfish to figure out even small ways to recharge.
Here are a few small things I’ve been doing to help recharge, because if I’m being realistic, the crazy of my life is here to stay!
When I make a small 20 or 30-minute walk a priority, I find it really rejuvenates me.
The fresh air helps clear my mind, and it’s a fabulous time for me to spend time with my two dogs—Killian, a Siberian Husky, and Strider, a Golden Retriever.
Art has been with me as long as I could hold a crayon, and I want to improve the gift God gave me. There are plenty of times in my life when I don’t get time to draw, but I am trying to make the time.
The only way to improve is by practicing. It really can give me a huge, recharging boost to spend a little time drawing or painting.
Hikes with my kids
This one isn’t alone time, but I’m finding it is just as important. I’m not getting the time my kids are young back, so I want to use it well now. There are many beautiful state parks locally that we love to explore. Since the start of school, we have only had two of these outings, but you can bet there will be more!
This may be a go-to for many, but for me and my husband, it is novel. With my baby needing me so much in the evenings, taking time to draw isn’t always feasible. So, we’ve been watching more TV.
Some years we have little time for more than re-runs of the short Andy Griffith Show, but this year we have been attacking the Marvel movies. Most of them we watch over two or even three nights, but it has been enjoyable and relaxing.
What are things are you doing to recharge?
Let us know in the comments below!
For Maria, it is all about family, and that includes the animals! She loves spending time caring for and being with her four boys. Maria also loves her dogs and chickens, and of course, the goats that produce all of the milk that goes into the soap! Maria's business specialty, in addition to caring for the animals, is crafting each product by hand. Maria also loves art with her favorite subject being, you guessed it, animals!