Making Over Third Grade!: Becoming a Better Me
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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Becoming a Better Me

I love teaching. I mean, I really love teaching! It is something that I have wanted to do since I was 5 and it is the only thing I could ever imagine doing. It is my happy place. Someone recently said that teaching isn't just my job, it is my hobby, and you know what? She was right. It is my hobby and my job. But the thing is I spiral and that isn't always good for me.

I get to the point where I am short-tempered, tired, and stressed, and then I feel like I have to do more in order to make it all "right." Everything needs to be perfect. When in reality there is no way that it can be, it's impossible. So I keep spinning all the plates hoping that it is enough.

I have been a podcast junkie for some time (this is going to connect - I promise) and I love to binge podcasts. I found two podcasts recently that focus on teacher health Just Meg and Healthy Teacher, Happy Teacher with Jessica Martin, Both of these teachers have been very open about their anxiety and their health. It has been refreshing to listen to other teachers who have given all to their students and classrooms and who are dealing with issues with anxiety and weight issues. It was like a breath of fresh air to hear others give voice to some of the issues that I felt were unique to me. I am not alone.

There are so many teachers who have anxiety but it is something we don't talk about. I come from "a nervous family" as my mom would say. She had issues with anxiety and it is something that one of my brothers and I have had to deal with as well. Medication has been a lifesaver but also a millstone. There is a desire to skip doses in the evening but I know that I need it to stay on an even keel. I have always been very emotional and empathic toward others. Both can make days exhausting. But when I come home I don't always recharge for me. I do more for work, do housework, and take care of those I love. I have (finally) come to the realization that in order to be any good for those I love I need to start putting myself first. I need to live my best life and in order to do that, I need to be healthy. That means taking my anxiety meds as prescribed, finding time to read, write, - and yes, exercising.

I don't always deal well with New Year's Resolutions in January but I seem to always make them in August as the new school year (hence a new year) starts. So here is my resolution for 19-20, I will find time each day for me. Even it if is just 5 or 10 minutes. I will make the time to get healthy by eating better and exercising.

I am sharing this here because that way it will make me more accountable. I need to be held to the iron and I need to dedicate time to take care of me. How many of you have the same issues or concerns? I think it is more widespread in our profession than we would like to admit. I would love to hear your stories if you are willing to share them.

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