What Is It and Why Might You Get It?
Oh, the homestead burnout. Often us homesteader bloggers make life seem so perfect. Our Instagrams are filled with beautiful pictures of luscious gardens, our published posts give the idea we know everything already, and it can be quite discouraging. When I started this blog, I made a promise to myself that I would try to stay away from making everything seem “perfect”. To avoid burnout, I try to remind my readers (that’s you!) that I don’t know it all…and surely never will. Gardening kicks my butt and I get pretty messed up still after butchering day. I’ve been at this life for almost 3 years now and, although it’s getting easier, it isn’t always easy. Actually, I’ll note that this is why my motto is “Living simply isn’t always simple, but it’s always worth it”. Following up with all of the above, homesteading burnout is real.
What is it?
You can call it whatever you want, really. Gardening burnout, homestead burnout, farming burnout, complete overwhelming of life, etc. You mostly experience burnout when you’re just trying to do TOO MUCH. This means you’re trying to do your daily chores, the projects that must be complete, but still pushing yourself to do the projects you just simply want to do. Within this lifestyle, there are sacrifices of all kinds that must sometimes be made. For example, I really want to get my medicinal herb garden going but before I can do that the second hen house must be finished. I have to understand that the hen house takes priority, but the medicinal garden will get done eventually.
If we’re talking reality, burnout happens in multiple walks of life. Business owners are overloaded with clients, mothers or fathers are overloaded with children and chores, or maybe you just lack structure in your life which can lead to spiraling. Note: That is definitely not saying I always have a structure in my life! If you read my posts often, you know this is a #NoJudgementZone. Find what works for you, not everyone else.
Why Am I Experiencing Burnout?
Personally, I get in these funks every now and then where I just feel so overwhelmed and lost. I’m currently pulling myself out of one of these said funks, which is what prompted me to write about homestead burnout. Fall is here and there’s just really not so much to be done compared to the Spring and Summer. Most of my projects and problems seem to present themselves right before Fall hits. Every year, I go from being “slammed” with projects to entering into Fall with not-as-many-projects. I seem unthankful, and I don’t mean to give off that impression. It’s nice to have a break once the Fall rolls around! But I also slip into this feeling of uselessness. I was go-go-go for so long and then the opposite occurs, so it’s just a large adjustment.
How Do I Deal With Burnout?
This is what I’m learning. I can tell you the one thing that’s helped the most when you’ve lost your drive is to physically make a list of the 5 top reasons why your drive was there in the first place? Here are my 5 top reasons for homesteading, in no particular order:
- I want to know where my food is coming from for peace of mind and health benefits.
- I want to work towards a sense of self-sustainability and self-sufficiency. Not to be alone, but to have skills to help my family and neighbors in need when they need it. This alone can cause homestead burnout!
- I acknowledge that this lifestyle is the best one for me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I love being connected to the Earth and becoming more aware of the world around me. Solitude isn’t a sorry way to live, within moderation.
- Children aren’t far off for my husband and I. It’s very important to me to raise my children in this lifestyle. (This is a BIG part of what drives me!)
- And finally, I am driven to work towards this lifestyle to make it easier on my working husband. To reduce our overhead and have the knowledge to teach him the ins and outs of the farm once he’s here more often.
Yes, Fall is always a part of the year that I feel the homestead burnout coming on because there’s not as much to do. And yes, some things have to take priority over the things we would rather be doing. So with all of that said, since the Fall is a slow time for me I do try to start projects that I WANT to do, not that I HAVE to do. That medicinal herb garden? I plan to have it done by the end of the year. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to and I’ve worked my hiney off getting everything else done. Take advantage of your slow seasons and choose a project or two that you just simply “want”. You haven’t given up your freedom and you aren’t a slave to your homestead, do please remember that folks.
Talk About It!
So to throw out a conclusion for you, this is normal. Burnout is normal. Let’s talk about it! You’re not alone in this life or in this experience and there’s no reason why a dialogue can’t be started. I’ll admit it’s super vulnerable to admit that you’re reaching the stage of burnout. Declaring that you’re burnt out makes it seem to some people that you’re giving up or you’re tired of what you’re doing. Neither of those things is always the case, sometimes you just simply need a break (Here’s a few ways I take a break when I need it!). If you’re homesteading alone, you can read “How to Homestead Alone and Not Die in the Process” by Gently Sustainable about how to do that without losing your mind! Do you ever experience homestead burnout? Tell me about it!
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