It is that time of year again. School is starting soon or may have already started in your area. Here in Georgia, we started weeks ago. However in the North, I know many kids...
Avoiding Extracurricular Activity Burnout
Some Most All of us are busy people. We work at jobs that keep us hopping all day long. After a long busy day, most people want to come home and relax, right? Well there are those who come home and get started all over again being busy.
Are you busy because of yourself or your children? There is a difference and there is a solution for both. The results of being too busy no matter what the reason are the same: burnout.
Here are a few tips to avoid extracurricular activity burnout:
If you feel like you are close to going over the edge, re-evaluate the need for all of your extra activities. No one has to be superwoman anymore. If you are a member of one committee at church, you don’t need to chair another. The PTA will survive if you are not on the executive board. Every event that the neighborhood hosts doesn’t need your assistance. Too much to do usually means that something isn’t getting done.
Write all of the activities down on a sheet of paper. Next to each, list the reasons that you became involved in the first place. Be honest with yourself. If it was to impress another person, then say so. Eliminate the ones that were begun for all the wrong reasons.
Choose no more than three activities a week. If you have children, even three may be too much. Being absent from the house every evening doesn’t leave much time for family or closeness with your spouse.
Schedule your activities on the same night that the kids have their practices. They don’t need to be at the same time, but this minimizes the amount of time the family is out of the house. If everyone can take a few days a week for extracurricular activities, then that leaves the other evenings for family time.
If the cause of your imminent burnout is shuttling the kids from one venue to another, get help. Organize a carpool with the other player’s mothers. Each week, take turns carrying the entire group to practice.
If you need to, give your kids a limit on the number of activities they can be involved in during the school year. Too many activities could mean meltdown for them as well. During the summer, they can add on a few extra activities since school will be out.
Sometimes, you may have to say “No” when asked to volunteer in order to keep your sanity and your family. Getting involved in the community is great, but too much of a good thing is bad for anyone. Don’t lose sight of one goal for another.
Learn to balance your work, family, and extracurricular activities.
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