Simple Strategies to Turn Around a Bad Homeschool Day

Q ::What do you do on those days when homeschooling is hard? I understand the big picture and know not to beat myself up when we hit a bump, but is there any way to actually turn around a bad day when it's happening

A :: Perspective definitely helps when you're having a bad day, but you're right, it isn't always enough to reboot a rough morning. Frankly, some bad days are just destined for Mythbusters and hot chocolate, and that's okay. But there are bad days that are completely salvageable, and these in-the-moment mood-shifters can help you do just that.

Take a 15-minute distraction break. Intense emotions can overwhelm you—which is fine when you’ve got time to process them. When you don’t, calm down by reading a magazine or playing a computer game. Your feelings will still be there when you’re ready to deal with them.

Have a quick yoga class. Studies show that the concentration and discipline required to strike a yoga pose have a calming influence. Close the math books and take a few minutes to run through some simple yoga poses together before you get back to it.

Start keeping a joy book. Write down all those moments of homeschooling awesomeness—where you just plain did it right. Then grab it when you’re hitting a wall. Reflecting on your successes can help you quickly shake off a tough day.

Focus on calming down. Science suggests that most stress is caused not by what’s happening around us but by our overreaction to what’s happening. If you can catch yourself freaking out, you can calm back down with focused breathing and concentration.

Get some fresh air. Exercise helps you manage long-term stress but can actually pump up negative feelings while you’re having them. A change of scene has a better quick-fix effect, so drag your history books outside for a change of pace.

Plan a little me-time. You probably can’t skip out on a Tuesday morning, but you can make plans for a Friday girls’ night out. Giving yourself something to look forward to can help you shift focus away from your negative feelings and reduce your stress.

What about you? What are your tricks for turning around a bad day?