This week I went back to my teaching job for the year. I’ve gone back with a real peace in my spirit that God really has something in this for me and to just be really organised this year to avoid overwhelm.
I’m generally an organised person but stress still plays a massive role in my life.
The best kinda way to describe stress is like those elastic bands. Each time a new stress is added, another gets added to the ball. Eventually it becomes so big that you can even bounce the ball about. It’s jumping all over the place. And if you cut the elastic it starts to contract back, wriggling away into its former state.
We’re like that elastic. We’re stretched. We can get bounced about with various commitments that come our way. Sometimes we keep adding more elastic (in other words say ‘yes’ more to the things that don’t light us up). Then finally it either snaps (like us) or slowly starts to go back to its former glory but by then the elastic is all shrivelled up (a.k.a tired and burnt out).
When our bodies are in constant state of alarm, it will soon show the loss of elasticity. This leads to damaging consequences.
So when I did the stress quick quiz during our Teacher Professional Development Stress course, and scored a 44 I knew it wasn’t good. In fact, the psychologist who presented the talk at school said that if you are over 41 in your score you have or are suffering a severe stress.
I’ve been working on this one for a while now. I have strategies in place to help like yoga, journaling, art therapy, psychotherapy, natural medicine, and saying ‘no’ when I don’t want to do something.
But what I have struggled with is that I loooove to help people. And in doing so I think of a gazillion ways to help or I’ll respond straight away to a text/Facebook comment/email. Not to mention this gig lights me up. I love to create! It’s an awesome buzz. An adrenaline high.
I work my teaching job and my coaching job. I help out at my church. I’m a mum, a wife and a friend.
But that adrenaline high I’ve been constantly on is not serving me. It’s putting a lot of stress on my body and this year I’m determined to be more strategic with how I run my time and my life.
Did you know I’m also a Type A personality?
You know them? They’re the competitive types, the ones that feel guilty when they relax, the ones that hate delays and can get angered easily (Confession: I’m a pretty bad road rager! Don’t worry I don’t lash out and get out my car or anything).
They’re also 4 times more likely to have heart attacks.
So it’s time for me to ramp up how I manage my business, my school job and my family because if I don’t I’m going to be heading for some serious consequences.
And you’re there too.
//You’re cranky when you get stuck in traffic on the way to your work. You’ve got 20 mins to get to your first meeting and you’re at least 25 minutes from your workplace now. You’re feeling stressed.
//You’re a single mum with kids. Your ex has bailed on you again and dumped the kids back on your door step a day earlier than you had planned. That mani-pedi you had booked for you to have that much needed down time, now cancelled.
// Your boss has told you that you’re doing an amazing job. BUT that’s why you’d be perfect to take on an extra job this week. If anyone can do it, you can.
// You’ve left an assignment to the last minute.
// You can’t pay your next electricity bill.
The list goes on and on.
What can you do to manage your stress? Here are 2 tips to help! That’s it.
Get a proper night’s sleep
It is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation that you get between 7-9 hours’ sleep a night. The reason why sleep is so important? This is where it repairs the stresses from the previous day. Sleep gives your brain time to be replenished.
Think about it. When you have had little sleep how have you functioned the next day?
I don’t know about you but I can’t focus, I make mistakes and my hands even shake. My resilience is down and I’m moody.
When your body doesn’t get enough sleep the following happens:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Nervous twitches
- Tightness in your muscles
- Elevated levels of adrenalin. (These add to your increase in anxiety).
Sleep is one thing you can easily do (and if not, seek medical/alternative medicine help). Switch off technology 2 hrs beforehand as technology mimics sunlight which sends signals to your brain that it is still ok to be up, long after you have turned off the device.
Create a timetable that incorporates rest and relaxation
Create a timetable where you look at what is going on in your week and how you can deliberately schedule in time to do something fun for yourself or simply just to relax. If I know I have a full on week (like this week) I turn down social occasions as I need down time to myself to refresh. HOWEVER, I plan on catching up with a friend for a swim on Friday. Cause. YAY! I need to get out of my house after doing a First Aid course all day the day before. I’ve factored it in. It’s done. I’ll also go to yoga in the mornings to help increase my GABA levels, (which is an important neurotransmitter – critical) which is important in helping your anxiety stay away.
You could start by writing down a list of 10 things that give you pleasure and make sure you do at least 2 of those a day.
//It could be as simple as having a much needed work break away from the computer and drinking an artisan coffee in your fav mug.
// It could be taking your dog for a walk.
// It could be ordering take out on a Friday night when you can’t be bothered to cook after a long week at work.
// It could be reading a chapter from a book. Like old school way, paper kind.
// It could be writing a note to someone who has shown kindness to you this week.
Whatever it is, sleep and making deliberate time to rest and relax are crucial to managing your stress levels.
If you’d love help being able to come up with a timetable to help you manage your work, life balance and want to let go of putting so much emphasis on what others think about you then get on a call with me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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