Sometimes I recognize when I’m stressed, and other times, it’s like a typical Wednesday and I just want the work day to end. My coping mechanisms depend on my mood. At times I want to come home and pour myself a bottle of wine. Other times I push myself to the gym, or to pick up some take-out that will help me feel better. Some weeks, I countdown to Thursday when I have my #therapytime. I try not to judge myself too hard when I don’t see the gym for weeks on end. I recognize some coping mechanisms are healthier than others, but they are all helpful in just getting me through the DAY.
Day by day is the only way we can live, taking what comes and rolling with the punches. With my job, it helps to prepare for the weeks to come, and possibly to take one day or one afternoon to plan for the 2-3 days ahead. In a PERFECT world. Planning and prepping is ideal, but realistically not always possible. Also, there’s times when unexpected things come up, and boom! you have to drop what you have planned and make like a rubber band (super stretchy.)
When it comes to stress management, I recognize Twitter works for and against my productivity. Sometimes during down-time, I vent to the the Twitterverse. I also document tidbits of my day; something a student has said during therapy, or some epiphany I’ve had in the course of the workday. Kids can be comic relief any day. Those days, I’m reminded why I love pediatrics. On days I’m just trying to get a student to sit down and care about what we are doing, my attitude becomes I’m over it and cannot wait until Friday, or spring break, or June (depends on the severity.)
Don’t misunderstand me. I am thankful for my career, which wasn’t an easy road. I think it’s easy to get discouraged, or loose patience, especially when you’re working with others. My ultimate take-away from working in a school environment is: YOU CANNOT CONTROL OTHERS. You hope for a “team-focused, positive, communicative” school team. IN A PERFECT WORLD everyone will consider one another and communicate well. You hope for on-board parents that will take your recommendations seriously. You hope for students that will not refuse services and will put forth their best effort. And this may be the case, overall, but in only takes a couple of difficult students to make things seem unbearable.
We don’t live in a perfect world. Therefore, stress can be expected. IT can also be managed, not in a pre-determined way someone else says you should manage it, but by paying attention to your current habits in a non-judgmental way.
What are some ways you manage your stress?
What are some habits you realize help manage stress that you hadn’t taken into account before?