And I don't want to talk about it. My first week of work was quite overwhelming, the special needs pre-schoolers I am working with require a lot of assistance and a LOT of patience. I have been trying to keep my cool all week (although I have cried everyday at 2PM when they leave), but the stress has started to get to me, and it's too early in 2010 to get burned out! With that said, I thought I'd write about stress. The word itself even gives me chills (and as I am typing this, the children who live above me are screaming crying and THAT is even stressing me out).
Being a Working Girl in any field can feel like a lot of pressure at times. There are things you are required to do in order to keep your job, as well as things you want to do to prove to your boss that you're right for the job. Presentations, reports, events, meetings, lesson plans, conferences, report cards...it's hard to keep track of everything (especially when you have to keep track of it for 16 three-year-olds and their parents as well), and it can get very stressful very fast. However the key is to manage your stress (along with managing your work, your boss's calendar, social events, and errands, right?) because if not stress will get the best of you and it can damage your performance, your mind, and your health. Here are some tips I found on about.com about why managing is important.
1. Get Organized: I live for making lists! "Food store", "calls to make", "stuff to pack for business trip" and to be extra organized I recommend numbering your lists according to importance.
2. Work It Of: Sometimes you just don't feel like going to the gym, and I can't blame you. After a tiring day at work it's hard to get motivated to go back out (especially if the weather is crummy) so lay on the floor and stretch. Take deep breaths as you reach above your head and to your toes. It will help relax your muscles.
3. Develop Strategies: It's impossible to avoid stress. It happens. Have some back up plans to keep you on track such as an easy meal you can defrost if you don't have time to make dinner or a "go to" outfit that makes you feel more important for that intense meeting next week.
4. Take 5: When you feel yourself getting tense get up from your desk (or ask a teacher to cover your class) and take a few minutes to get your head clear. Get some fresh air or splash some water on your face and take lots of deep breaths.
5. Set Realistic Goals: Lose 40 pounds by March is only going to stress you out more when Feb 28th rolls around and you've only lost 10.
6. Take A Nap: Studies show that a 15-20 minute nap can improve your mood and stress-handling abilities. As for myself, when I come home from school if I took a nap, I wouldn't wake up until the next morning. But there's nothing wrong with crashing on the couch for a bit after a long day.
7. Stay Involved: Join sports teams in your area, go to weekly dinners with friends, or take up a new hobby.
8. Eat Well: Try to stick to a balanced diet during the week to keep your immune system strong and help you sleep well. Vitamin C is magic to a teacher.
So remember girls, it is okay to be stressed out, but managing it is key. Stay organized and take some time for yourself. You deserve to have some fun! And if you ever need to vent, email me and we can share war stories!