The following is a post by contributing writer Michelle of Raising Cajuns.
If you struggle with depression, you know how hard it can be to meet your own needs while making sure your children are happy, healthy, and educated. You’re with them all day, every day, which can be an added challenge when you can barely manage your own emotional state and are suffering from sadness, anxiety, and even anger. But what many of us forget, especially in those vulnerable moments, is that several aspects of homeschooling can be beneficial in fending off mild depression. Of course, consult with a health care professional, then consider taking advantage of these homeschooling perks:
- Your children need you. When you’re depressed, it’s hard to see this as a benefit. But think about it. When was the last time you could hide under the covers and just be sad all day? You can avoid a lot of things when you’re depressed and homeschooling, but you can guarantee your children will get you up and moving one way or another.
- Enjoy built-in flexibility. You don’t have to fight over fractions or physics. When you know you’re already struggling, you can switch gears and do something you will all enjoy. Or at least something less painful. Build in a review week or ask your children what they’d like to research or study that week.
- Eat with your kids. We want our kids to eat healthy foods, but when we’re not feeling our best we can let our own diet slide. If you’re going to take the time to cut carrot sticks or apple slices for your kids, make sure you eat some, too.
- Create together. Paint, draw, sew, or write with your kids. It’s good for them to see you doing these things, and artistic expression is always good for the soul.
- Go outside with your children. Don’t just send the kids outside to play while you do the dishes. Go with them. Read in the sunshine. Walk the dog together. Work in the garden. Put on a raincoat and boots and splash in puddles. Fresh air and sunshine do wonders for a healthy mindset.
- Have fun. Especially if you don’t want to. Play a board game. Visit friends at the park. Take a field trip. Make popcorn and watch a funny movie together. You’ve got pint-sized companions with you who naturally know how to have fun. Hang out with them. Fun is contagious.
Michelle is a wife, mother, writer, and Cajun who prefers everything extra spicy. She writes about their homeschool adventures at Raising Cajuns.
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