Teachers, the struggle is real. Kids have all the energy. It’s not fair, but it’s a fact.
Even on their very best behavior, kids are gas-guzzling, high-speed race cars, and you are their filling station. In addition to being smart and appropriate all day, you also have to be a bottomless spring of delight for their 30 (or 90? Or 200?) young minds, every single day.
*sigh* How. On. Earth?
The emotional and decision-making demands placed on teachers have real physiological effects on your body. Much like working muscles need to recuperate after being pushed to the limit, your mental and emotional health need your help to stay in balance.
Yo-yo emotions activate the stress response in your body, even when you’re having one amazing experience after another. Of course, you also worry, especially when a student is showing signs that something is off at home, a parent is complaining, or the administration hands down new expectations. Plus, you have your own life outside the classroom competing for your time and attention.
Technology to the rescue! Here are 7 ideas you can use with your phone or laptop to fight energy-drain:
Automate your life. Use your calendar to create recurring “set it and forget it” events for everything from oil changes to pedicures. Sources like Amazon.com’s Subscribe & Save and Soap.com automate monthly orders- great for grocery staples and heavy bulk items, like dog food. Never leave your kids at the soccer field or wash an emergency load of laundry with hand soap again!
Sleep. Do you want to go to bed or wake up earlier? Take advantage of your iPhone’s Clock app and its built-in Bedtime function. The Health app’s sleep tracking function lets you review the quality of your sleep.
Exercise. Play is good for you, too! To increase your energy, try hitting an activity goal of 5000 steps or 500 calories everyday. If you use a wearable fitness tracker, like a Fitbit, you can track details using the free app without having to keep your phone on your body.
Water. Set “vibrate” alarms on your clock or calendar to refill your water glass throughout the day. Even if the glass isn’t empty, get in the habit of getting fresh water with every buzz to equal at least 32 oz. during the day.
Worry. Persistent anxiety can ruin your life. This simple trick might help: Set two timers, five minutes apart. Use a Notes app on your phone (or a Word Document, or just a sticky note) to make an unabridged list of all your worries. Then, at a set time, take out your list, and worry, as hard as you can. That’s right; fret to your heart’s content! When the second bell rings, put that list away and get on with your life. Your problems will still be there when you come back. Bonus points if you can shift the daily “worry window” to a weekly one!
Meditation. Remember “stop, drop and roll”? When your stress level threatens to burst into flames, you can stop, inhale and exhale. Set an alarm with a lullaby ringtone to cue the beginning of downtime at the end of the work day. Meditation apps like these can teach you how to take a few moments just for honoring yourself.
Lhay Thriffiley is dedicated to helping as many school districts as possible reach their maximum parent-teacher communication potential. Learn how one district upped their teacher calls by 28% using Channel by SchoolStatus!