Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mental Health: Rest and Organization

I have been exhausted lately. I get home from a stressful day at work and I want to do nothing but watch TV. This doesn't feel healthy.

It's still winter, and the early darkness, everlasting cold, and periods of snow that have wreaked havoc upon school schedules have also created some pent-up aggression in students who need to get out and move, in turn, creating chaos and discipline issues in my job.

(Not my classroom, but at times is has looked like this...)

Mary Kay is starting to look good. Or a career as writer. Or both together. Why did I go into education??

It only takes one student flying off the handle to ruin the tone for the whole day. While I love them all bunches they each have a bad day every once in awhile, some more than others, and when they each take turns, those bad days turn into bad weeks.

It's up to me to create solutions. I reschedule things. I create new lessons. I change plans. I remove items from the room. I intervene earlier, trying to keep the rest of the class going while one student is dealt with. I send emails. I meet with supervisors. Then I get back to the paperwork and daily things that need doing just to keep up.

My body feels the tiredness from the workout of my brain.

So what do I do to chill out and take a mental rest from the grind?

Sometimes I do watch TV. Sometimes I need a hot shower or bath. Usually the drive home, listening to the radio allows me some time to debrief. I can reflect on the day, what worked, and what didn't. I get to plan my evening's homework, which is usually very little because there are so few hours left. I help my children with homework, eat dinner, do my chill out thing, maybe some homework, and then it is bedtime.

There is nothing I need more than rest. I have been googling vacations. Obviously, I desire one.

There is some comfort in a clean, organized space. That kind of space can be a mental breather.
I do not have that right now at home, nor at work, due to time spent catching up. I feel defeated in time management. I can't wait for spring break.

One goal for myself is to organize and clean up one area each day. Whether it be at home or work, I have to get something looking and feeling in control; managed.

Another thing you can do, and I try to do, is to organize your (my) mind. Step one is to take charge of your worry, anger, sadness, and irritation.

I have had to fade some pesky demons in the beginning of this year. I have had to learn when to reach out for support, when to stop kicking myself, and when to accept that I was not solely responsible for the actions of others even if they happen in my space.

The next step is to stop and focus on one thing at a time. I know I get to thinking about several things at once. I have to write them down and then conquer them one by one. Even if it's an email I need to send, a note to a parent to write, or pages to copy, all the little things can build clutter in my mind trying to be be remembered. 

While there are more steps, and you are welcome to click the link, these first two are most important. When juggling family, career, personal obligations and goals, and your health, it is best to keep your health at the forefront. You can't juggle anything if you are sick, tired, or mentally exhausted.

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