Stress Management Tools for Teachers--Or Anyone Who is Feeling Stressed
Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT RScP
Career Transition & Job Search Coach
I love this time of year, but I recall that when I was teaching, this was always a stressful time. The activity level at school would ratchet up, and many of my colleagues would start their countdown until the last day of the school year. I had one colleague who lived for her summers off. I think she only worked to support her summer vacations.
Teachers have a tendency to mark off the time by counting down from one break to the next break. In the fall, they look forward to the Thanksgiving holiday followed quickly by Winter Break. The next big break would be a teacher work day if they were lucky, and then there was Spring Break to look forward to. After Spring Break, the countdown toward the last day of school and the beginning of summer vacation began in earnest.
Just counting the days.
Perhaps other professions have this type of cycle, but if they do, I am unaware of them. My experience outside of my coaching work has been in education.
Some of this tendency to count down from one vacation to the next is just built into the culture because of the calendar that drives the school year. For whatever reason, the country still uses the outdated agrarian calendar that was adopted back when the farmers needed their kids during the summer months to work in the fields. We haven't needed summer vacation for that reason for decades, but change is hard, and only in some parts of the country have public schools adopted a year-round calendar that provides shorter breaks every quarter but goes through the summer months.
I suspect that the stress in those schools is relatively high, too, and teachers simply count down from break to break like everyone else.
The fact is that teaching has become more and more stressful, and sticking with the profession for the long haul has gotten more and more difficult. I get messages like this one a lot although I admit, this one has more angst in it than some:
"Hi Kitty, I am literally sitting in the parking lot of my school waiting until the last possible second to go into that building. I have been teaching for 17 years and trying to make it to 20. I don't know if I can hang on that long. I have talked to a retired administrator friend who has recommended that I go to the doc to get put on anxiety medication. I don't want to be on meds to get through work. Help!"
Sound extreme? Believe it or not, it isn't when compared to the stories I hear regularly. "I feel used up," is how one young teacher described her stress. "I don't even have time for my husband."
What to do? There are still two months of school left even if you factor in Spring Break which is coming up for many soon if it hasn't already started. How to manage the last weeks without getting sick from the added stress.
The solution is to try to manage your stress more effectively.
That is why I am in the process of developing a program (the first module is already up and running) that provides, over the course of the next few weeks, 7 solid strategies for managing your stress.
To see more of what I am referring to, take a look at this link.
In this program, I offer resources on the following 7 strategies:
1) Managing your mindset (and your attitude).
2) Creating healthier habits (staying physically strong & well).
3) Controlling your environment at home and work.
4) Managing your workload more effectively.
5) Using the 5-Second Rule (by Mel Robbins).
6) Setting better boundaries.
7) Asking for help when you need it.
A 7-week mini-course on how to not just survive the final weeks of school but thrive and enjoy yourself in the process.
Do you have to be a teacher to appreciate the content in this course? No! Anyone will be able to benefit from the program, but I have designed it with teachers in mind.
The course is being offered to the public at large for $97 or two payments of $57 each, but if you are reading this newsletter or you happen to find it on Facebook where I will be advertising it, you may take advantage of a $30 discount, and you may get the program for $67. Just use the coupon code: Kitty.
In return for your investment, you will receive lifetime access to the program as I build it over the next few weeks, and you will also be able to email me with questions that you may have as you work your way through the program between now and the end of the school year.
So, what do you say? Interested? Then hit the buy button below:
In the meantime, if you don't already have the eBook I wrote on stress and work-life balance, feel free to download it for free here: http://kittyboitnott.leadpages.co/ebook.