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Tuesday, November 14

November – No One Else for Now


Alone time is a pretty difficult concept for some of us to grasp. Between cell phones, email, and social media, we are spending more and more time plugged-in.  Solitude is the state of being alone with no one to communicate with, but it’s not loneliness.  You can be connected and lonely, and you can be disconnected and not lonely.  

Alone Time is Good for the Soul…
  1. Being alone gives you time to think. -- Life can be crazy sometimes, and being alone gives us the time we all need to reflect on important events and to organize our feelings about the things that have happened. Without this, we can get overwhelmed with all we are trying to juggle mentally, and this can cause extra anxiety and stress.
  2. You can get creative. -- There's nothing like putting on headphones, listening to your favorite songs, and getting down to work. Being by yourself gives you the motivation and the opportunity to open your mind and explore new ideas, then put those ideas to good use.
  3. You can recharge. -- Being around people means having to constantly be alert and aware of what's going on around you and in conversations that require your full attention. When you're alone, you can use that quiet time to recharge and regroup.
  4. You get to know yourself better. -- Spending time alone means putting yourself first, and getting a chance to explore your personality in depth. The more you get to know yourself, the more you'll find out just how awesome you are.
  5. You become more independent. -- When you're alone, you don't have the option of depending on other people for their opinions, advice, or help. You call all the shots, and even though that can be scary sometimes, it also means you become more reliant on yourself — and this is a great thing.
  6. You see and hear things you wouldn't otherwise. --  When we're quiet, we can hear and see things we don't notice otherwise. We are able to appreciate the small things in life because we’re not distracted when they happen.
  7. You get to do whatever you want to do. – You can spend all the time you'd like to doing exactly what you want to do, without compromise.  And going on your own private adventure can be exciting!
  8. You appreciate the people in your life. -- Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Taking some time away from the people in your life can help you realize how important and valuable they are to you.

How to Find the Time…
  • Set aside time each day to unplug from all the ways you connect with others. Turn off your cell phone, TV, and computer. You'll be amazed at how much more you can get done when you're not distracted.
  • Wake up a half hour earlier than everyone else in your house and use that time to create, produce, problem solve, meditate, or just “be.” 
  • If you’re at an office, close your door for a period of time and just concentrate on the tasks at hand.  If you’re a mom at home, close the bathroom door…..and good luck with that!
  • Once a week or even just a couple of times a month, commit to spending lunch with yourself. Don’t work through lunch, but take a walk, sit in the sun outside, and enjoy the time you have alone.
  • Mark off time in your day planner or calendar for spending time with yourself -- it doesn't have to be long. Any time that you can spend alone with yourself to reboot is better than no time. 


Homeschool Parents : The Challenge of Finding Time
We all know homeschooling is difficult.  It is a unique type of stress we shoulder as homeschooling mothers.  But if you’re not making time for yourself, you’re going to be facing burnout…

Symptoms of Burnout
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • feeling depressed – lack of hope
  • feeling irritable & fatigued
  • considering putting children in school
  • feeling angry and resentful towards family members
  • lack of confidence
  • feeling like your kids are behind or not learning enough

 Help for Burnout
  • Stop homeschooling.  The kids won’t suffer if you take a week (or two or three) off, especially if you school year-round.  Sometimes, you just need time to be their mom, and not their teacher.
  • Quit comparing.  My kids, your kids, the kids in public school….they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.  And no matter how it appears, almost no one has a super genius kid that excels in everything.  Recognize your child’s strengths and work on his weaknesses, and take joy and pride in his growth.
  • Get outside.  Sunshine, vitamin D, fresh air….need I say more?
  • But cut down on outside activities.  Too many extracurriculars, and you’re just running a shuttle service with an endless task of coordinating everyone’s projects.  Are you the CEO or the secretary of this operation?  Get back to basics.
  • Talk it out.  Sharing with another homeschool can really help put things into perspective.  I often find that, after starting the conversation, we both have concerns and confidences, and we can help each other find perspective and balance.
  • Consider a change.  I was the mom that spent hours planning 
    unit studies and fun learning, but it was very draining!  We investigated year-long unit study programs, and found one that was similar to what we had been doing.  I still supplement and change a few things, but the pressure to create something for each day is no longer there.   And for the aggravation that it’s saved, it’s been entirely worth what we spent.
  • Spend time with your husband.  You need to have adult interaction, and maintain your marriage.  We have a three-part series here about putting life back into your marriage.  You’ll be surprised at the effect on your whole family!
  • Spend time alone.  I know that it comes off as being selfish, but remember what they always say on the commercial airlines…before applying someone else’s oxygen mask, apply your own.  If your spirit is empty, you have nothing to give to your children.  Take the time to fill up your spiritual and emotional tank.

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