Thursday, January 3, 2013

Let’s Fight Burnout!

BurnoutIn Charmelle: Trying to Avoid Burnout, Part Two from Reality 101: CEC's blog for new teachers, Charmelle gives tips to help with stress.

They were a great list and I thought I would add my two cents in and maybe add a tip or two.

Find a hobby. Find something outside of education that catches your interest. It might take some investigation and trial and error but look for it and don’t give up. You might try several things and decide it isn’t for you. Try something else. You don’t have to have this hobby for the rest of your life! It isn’t like marriage! When you get tired of it, move on to something else.

Nurture your friendships. Don’t take them for granted. These people can end up being a great support system.

Don’t take your family for granted. When stressed, sometimes people take out their frustrations on their family because they know their family loves them. Step back and realize that these people are your best support system. Appreciate them and let them know that you appreciate them. Go out of your way to show them that you aren’t taking them for granted.

Do something nice for someone else. When I feel stressed and do something kind (possibly a random act of kindness), it makes me feel good. It takes my mind off of myself and I can bask in the good feelings for a little while.

Of course, as Chantelle mentioned, exercise. It doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise. It can just be plain walking. When I was really stressed one year, a colleague offered to walk with me three times a week during my planning period. It really helped. It helped to walk and it helped to talk.

Find balance. If your whole world is consumed with what you are doing for your class, you need to stop. You need to find balance. You need to set aside an hour or two for something fun. You need to set aside some time for family and friends. Spending every minute doing school work will not make you a better teacher. It will make you a tired cranky one. (Trust me, I know! I have seen myself end up this way!)

What other suggestions do you have to avoid burnout? Please share.

Image: 'Extreme fatigue'
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