PDF Life on the Wire: Avoid Burnout and Succeed in Work and Life

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Below are five strategies for counteracting stress and preventing burnout. Leave work at school. I find this to be the most useful strategy in reducing stress in my job as a teacher. I have just learned to do this during the current school year, and I have never felt better. Even during the summer break, most teachers are already planning for the next school year. Share the workload. This is the second year in which I have had a teacher next door to me who teaches the same age group.

Sharing the workload has helped both of us reduce stress. We plan lessons together, group students across the two classrooms, assign the same homework and troubleshoot areas of concern. Having a colleague to plan with has made a world of difference, and I do not feel the same amount of burnout that I normally would during the school year. Take a mental health day.

Teachers get a bank of sick days and personal days. My best advice is to use those days. Many teachers save them for their retirement so they can cash out on them. In my school district, the payout is a small percentage, and I find that my sanity is worth far more than an additional check in the future. Taking an occasional mental health day benefits teachers and may even positively impact students by giving them a more refreshed teacher. Arrive at school early. Most of us complete our best work earlier in the day.

This is why I arrive at school at least 30 minutes before the time I have to report. I can use this quiet time in my classroom to tackle the papers that need to be graded, prepare lesson plans and make sure I have the materials needed for that day. I also answer emails and parent phone calls before the first bell, so that I am ready and focused for my students.

Arriving at school early allows me to leave at the end of the day to get home and enjoy quality time with my family. Avoid the Sunday blues. We frantically scramble to lesson plan for the week, grade papers from the week prior, and enter grades into the grade book. I have finally, after 11 years of teaching, learned how to avoid the Sunday blues.

I now leave the classroom Friday afternoon planned and prepared for the next week.

Healthy Principals, Healthy Schools

It is so important to be able to enjoy a complete weekend without having to worry about school. This notice will help you determine those who will be interested in participating. The following poem might accompany the notice. Change the days of the week in italic type as needed so that the final revealing takes place on Halloween day.

For example, in the poem below, Halloween day is on a Tuesday. Halloween is almost here So let's set out to spread some cheer.

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On Wednesday, start with a card Now surely, that won't be too hard. On Thursday, brighten up the room A decoration should lift the gloom. On Friday, bring a little treat Something edible and fun to eat. On Monday, there's a pumpkin theme Pretty simple, it would seem. On Tuesday, bring a scary witch To complete your task without a glitch. At half-past-three we'll end the fun By trying to guess the guilty one. Can you pick the Ghost who has been concealed?

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On Tuesday, all will be revealed. Then each participant draws a name from the pumpkin and becomes that person's Secret Ghost. Or the Secret Ghost might have the gift delivered by another person. At the end of the week, assemble all participants so they can guess the identity of their Secret Ghost and see if their guesses are correct as they personally give the last gift of the week.

And immediately after Halloween is a great time to buy candy on sale. Stock up on some of the candy items below and when the time is right, attach an appreciative saying to the candy and give them at staff meetings, put them on staff members' desks, or drop them in teachers' mailboxes.

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Some examples of candy rewards include Starbursts -- You are bursting with enthusiasm! Peppermint Pattie -- Get students to have the sensation of learning! Red Hots -- Our staff is "Red Hot!


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Soon after I gave him some goodies, he returned once more. I'll be back five more times tonight. The following are some burnout symptoms according to Psychology Today :. Anxiety: Worry and nerves are always normal in the beginning of your job or career, but when it becomes part of every workday, it's an issue. Stressing about the future day-by-day is not something you should have to deal with. Depression: Hopelessness should never be a part of you reoccurring moods, especially when it has to do with work. If extremely down and depressed to the point of you feel stuck, take action by finding professional help.

How to Avoid Burnout

Anger: Workplace anger and violence is never welcome. Snapping at coworkers or anyone in your life for your internal feelings is not the answer and should also require you to seek professional help. Fatigue: Like mentioned above, feeling tired and drained of energy is not good for you and definitely not beneficial to your work. To be successful, you first have to be ready to get your tasks done. Insomnia: Sleep is a must for everyone. Falling asleep and staying asleep are issues that are not only signs of burnout but are ones that directly contribute to the development of it.

Limited appetite: Not feeling hungry and skipping meals consistently is not okay for your mind or body. You need to refuel to stay healthy, focused and motivated. Warped concentration: Having a hard time remembering certain things to the point where you stop getting things done? Getting too distracted every day? Physical issues: Shortness of breath, intestinal pain, chest pain, headaches and dizziness are only some of the physical symptoms you may feel with burnout.

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You should know how your body feels in a normal, everyday state. Illness: If your body is lacking any of the above, such as sleep and nutrients, your immunity will likely drop. This will cause you to become sick more often.

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While your job is important, your health and happiness are far more valuable. Employees quite literally run the company. Finding the right leadership style to suit your workers is a huge step in limiting stressors for each member, but it can also be as simple as providing the best equipment for use at the office. At a small company, sometimes the little things make a huge difference. For instance, if one of your employees does a lot of stapling, why not make their job easier by providing them with an electric stapler that requires minimal effort, or an ergonomic stapler that's easy on wrists with repetitive motions.

Stress in life is inevitable but increasing workplace happiness while building a business and making profit is possible.


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