How to Avoid Parent Volunteer Burnout this School Year

Thank you Council For Responsible Nutrition for sponsoring this post. I am proud to be one of the 170 million Americans who take dietary supplements each year!

Even though my twins have just started kindergarten, I am no stranger to being a parent volunteer. For the past two years, my boys attended a co-op preschool where parent volunteering was not just encouraged, it was required. This is just one of the many reasons that we chose that particular school and it was a wonderful experience for all of us.

Now that they are in elementary school, I want to continue to be an active parent volunteer. But I also learned a valuable lesson from my two years as a preschool class mom (and the volunteer marketing director too). Being a parent volunteer can lead to burnout fast if you don't get organized and remember to take care of yourself too. 

This year, I'm not only volunteering in my boys' classrooms, but I'm also helping to lead their Cub Scout troop. And I've just joined a volunteer program with my dog to visit schools and libraries to help kids with reading. How do I do it all? Let me give you my best tips to get organized, manage commitments, and avoid parent volunteer burnout.

How to Avoid Burnout as a Parent Volunteer

Choose Your Commitments

When we're deciding how and when to volunteer, we often think only of time. But that's just one consideration as to whether or not you should commit to a specific project. You also need to think about what kind of work it is and whether it is the best fit for your interests and abilities.

There are so many ways to be involved that you should choose something that you know you can do well. And if it is an ongoing commitment, be sure it is something that you will enjoy too!

If being in the classroom isn't your thing, then maybe shelving books in the library is a better option. If you are crafty, then throwing a class party might be up your alley. If not, maybe maintaining the PTO website is more your style. The better the fit, the better the chances that you will avoid burnout.

It is OK to say No 

Parents, especially moms, want to do everything for their kids. So much so that we overextend ourselves.

You can say no.

You don't need to make a million excuses. Simply say, "I'm not able to at this time, but please ask me for the next opportunity." It is far better to decline than to over commit and burn yourself out, or commit to something then drop the ball.

Keep Track of Your Schedule

You know I'm lost without my planner, and keeping all of my volunteer commitments written down on the calendar is key to maintaining balance and making sure I am not over committing.  You can use a paper planner or a calendar app if that is easier, just be sure that you write everything down so that you stay on task.

Take Care of You too

We've all heard the saying, "you can't pour from an empty cup." It's especially true when we are parents who take on extra commitments. When you are a parent volunteer, it is just as important for you to take care of yourself as well.

In order to avoid burnout during the school year, you need to make sure that you are engaging in healthy habits that will keep you focused and full of energy. Do not sacrifice sleep to finish just one more project, and remember to include time for exercise or yoga in your day.

Healthy eating habits are critical too, but if you're like me, you don't always get everything you need from diet alone. That's why dietary supplements are so important. They can help you fill in nutrition gaps and promote overall health and wellness.

I always start my day with a multivitamin, to make sure that I'm getting a good balance of the vitamins and minerals I need. In fact, 73% of supplement users take a multivitamin, according to a 2017 survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition. But supplements are more than just vitamins!

I also take digestive enzymes to help keep my system well balanced. And I substitute an afternoon coffee for green tea so that I get an extra boost of antioxidants.

There are lots of choices in dietary supplements, and it's important to talk to your doctor to see what is best for you.

And remember, they are meant to supplement your healthy habits, not to replace them. So to truly avoid burnout, make sure that you are doing all of these things to keep yourself healthy and your family happy.

Visit the Council for Responsible Nutrition to find out more about dietary supplements and their role in a healthy lifestyle.

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Volunteer parent burnout is real but you can avoid it with these easy tips! See how to get organized, manage your commitments, and take care of yourself too. #ad #MyYearSupplemented

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