Last week good friends of mine got hitched and I was so blessed to be apart of the wedding as a bridesmaid. It was the absolute perfect day! (The weather thankfully as gorgeous as it was!) They got married at a Yacht Club...the ceremony right on the water, and the reception in a gorgeous hall. The wedding was in Ottawa, so hubby and I chose to take a few extra days off work and explore/vacation! I took three days off work, thinking it'd be no problem. I've only taken one day off so far this year, and figured planning the sub plans wouldn't be too big of a deal. Well...I was a tad mistaken. First of all, making supply plans is WAY more work than anyone who is not a teacher would think. Second of all, coming back to try to figure out everything that was accomplished with the supply teacher is a headache in of itself. And third of all, trying to catch up with marking WHILE report cards are due is so busy it's really just insane. Bad timing? I think so. Man is it tough coming back after "vacationing"! Don't get me wrong, I love to teach. But boy do I love weddings more. Future wedding planner career.. perhaps.. :) I also do not enjoy this crazy busy schedule. It's been a busy year, but this by far is the worst it's been. A fellow teacher of mine told me to just let some things go... well I am letting go reports cards getting in on time, marking getting finished before next class, and my lessons being fully planned. Winging it is key at this moment.
So while I don't have a an art project, an interesting science lesson, or a writing idea to post today (Though I do assure you I have many pictures ready to post), I just have some small advice.
I thought since I am stressing with all this right now, I'd take a break, and blog a little bit with some advice for fellow overwhelmed teachers...or those who are just overwhelmed in general. It's my first year - so I probably don't have near as much advice as someone who has been at this for 10.. but..it's a start! You might also be thinking - why not stop blogging and get to work - well, my issue is that when I am as stressed as I am, I have an even harder time not procrastinating.
1. Make lists. And cross numbers off when done. If you don't do this already, it is definitely worth a try. The accomplishment I feel after crossing off something on my list is just an incredibly great feeling. Even if it's as small as 'photocopy science sheets'. Along with this...don't be discouraged when you don't get something done perfectly, or done on time. *Life goes on..
2. Try a new environment. After this blog, I plan on going to a coffee shop to write some report cards. This forces myself so get something done - rather than being distracted with cleaning at home, or doing pointless things at the school.
3. Always have a back up lesson for times like these. When I am this stressed there are times when I will just completely forget to plan a period. Having these back up plans ready to go gives me some leeway for such times.
4. Take the breaks you need. Whether it is a coffee date with a friend, a movie, reading a book, or going for a walk - do not give those up. Whatever it is that energizes you and keeps you looking forward to something, it is just as important as finishing up that marking, or finishing the plan for that lesson. You have to help yourself before you can help others right?
5. Take a DAY for yourself. Crazy, I know. How can you possibly do that if you are SO busy!? Well, it is possible. It's all about prioritizing, which I know is tough. But having that one day for yourself, may give you that release you need to come back the next day with full force. I try my best not to work on the weekends at all. This is hard at times (especially now), but it really helps me to have those days to focus on the other things that matter to me, other than teaching. If everything I possibly do is about teaching, I think I would go crazy and eventually start to not have enjoyment for it anymore.
6. VENT. We all need to do this at times - don't hold it in!! It's just not worth it. The importance of letting it all out is underestimated.
7. Find an outlet...something else to put your focus on to get through your stress. I am still learning the importance of this and even trying to find out what exactly mine is. I lean towards cooking, sometimes drawing, or writing (which is why I am writing this blog post.)
8. Drink LOTS of water. This honestly has helped me so much more than I would have thought. It perks me up and gives me just a little more energy that I need. Hate drinking water? Here is a blog post with some great advice for drinking water that might help you: Tea Time with Bri I put fruit in my water (otherwise I wouldn't drink it near as much) and this also helps me drink less coffee. (Which really just gives me an hour boost, and then I am back to feeling low again.)
So this is not rocket science, and I am sure many of you can think of more ways to help while being overwhelmed, but these ideas may get you thinking what you can do for yourself, so that you can continue to do the best possible job set before you. One last piece of advice that has really kept me going during this entire year...
** Remind yourself that it is GOD who gave you this job, this calling in your life at this moment. Your work is being done for HIM, no one else. It is all about doing the best you can for God's glory. Therefore, bring your stresses to God, take it one day at a time, and do it all for His name.