It is September and it is time to check in on our mental health. Have you incorporated these seven tips into your life yet?
How are you?
No, I don’t want the automated answers of “I’m fine.” or “Okay.”
How are you really doing?
With the school year starting, I know it can be a high-stress time. Maybe you are nervous about the number of classes you are teaching or you have heard about different students in your class and are nervous about the dynamic. Maybe you feel unprepared…or unmotivated because that burnout you felt in May is still lingering.
If you are feeling any of these things, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There is rarely a phase of education that is easy for any teacher. The beginning of the year is no exception. There is so much to introduce and the students need more guidance as they acclimate to their educational surroundings once again.
- Have a circle of people who check in with you once every week.
- Participate in school team-building activities.
- Do NOT take work home on weekends.
- Partake in a hobby that does not relate to school.
- Utilize any counseling opportunities your school may provide.
- Set boundaries!
- Lastly, be kind to yourself and give yourself grace.
Looking at this list, how are you doing?
Are you spending quality time with your co-workers and being honest about your feelings and needs? Have you been able to avoid taking work home on the weekends? Have you set clear boundaries for yourself?
If not, let’s start today, shall we?
What can you do TODAY that will better your health over the following weeks or months of the educational year?
You may be thinking that there isn’t a lot that you can do…because let’s be honest…there is a lot in the educational world that we have little control over. However, you have more control over your mental health than anyone else. YOU can make an appointment for yourself with the school counselor. YOU can choose to focus on the positives of each day.
It is hard, I know! How can we possibly focus on ourselves so much when we need to focus on our students, our own children, our significant other, or our coworkers?
It’s a tough feat, but you DESERVE the attention just as much as anyone else. These people who need you so much NEED you to be healthy and happy.
Think about it this way…
Recall a time when you got sick on a work day. Your nose clogged up, you had little energy, and your head was so full, that you couldn’t really think through your lesson plans. You decide to at least make it to lunch so that you don’t have to force your coworkers to cover for you. So, you get through your classes, altering your plans a little so you can at least sit down while teaching, and try your best to not lose your patience with the students because they are being…well…themselves.
Did they get the best version of you that day?
And they won’t if you are anxious, stressed, depressed, tired, and so on.
So take care of yourself, fellow teacher.
Check out the list above. Take some steps to provide sanctuary and support for your mind.
We are all in this together.