Having summers off is a nice perk of being a teacher. During the school year, there is an ever-presence of stress. Some teachers handle it better than others but regardless we all feel it. Summers allow teachers to basically recharge the mental batteries and take time to focus on themselves. This can come in many different forms. Some teachers go on long trips where they can view different locations. Others like to start new hobbies and try new things that they normally wouldn’t have time for during the school year. Me on the other hand fall into a third category where I basically spend most of my time binge-watching Netflix while taking reading and video game breaks.
This blog was something that I thought of for a while and felt that I needed to have a creative outlet and express my thoughts and opinions. Although the last couple of blogs have been more informational, this one is more of a reflective post and perhaps to achieve insight by reflecting my thoughts. By doing so, perhaps this will help someone else also gain perspective.
My motivation for this post began as soon as I woke up after only getting six hours of sleep. I woke up irritable and not feeling any motivation at all. Have you ever have one of those days when you feel anxiety and stress and cannot put your finger on why you feel stressed? Everything seems to annoy you and you don’t know what to do to alleviate that feeling. Many times when your in this mood, it doesn’t just affect you but the people around you. Unfortunately it was my wife and dad who were affected this time which of course ended in apologies. The big question is why do we get into these particular moods?
I have a thin theory and may not have much validity but I believe that stress has two sides. One side is where the stress is coming from. Obviously we feel stress from many different sources and only a very small population (and I don’t personally know anyone) that doesn’t feel stress at some point. It could be your job, a family sickness, a homework assignment, or even something as simple as having to clean around the house. Side two is what we do with that stress.
There are many different ways I feel you can do with that stress. One way is to try and relax the stress away and try and let it roll over you like waves at the beach. This could mean taking a nap or laying down to watch a T.V show on the couch. Although a lot of people do this method, it isn’t my go to. My method falls in the other camp where I have to do something about the problem or doing an activity that takes my mind off of the stress. Neither way is wrong and there are times where I will try and calm myself and try to relax. But for me to truly feel the alleviation of stress I am more of a doer.
Now what you do to alleviate that stress is entirely up to you as long as its healthy and doesn’t bring harm to others. Remember this is a family show and we must maintain our moral fortitude so no drug use or playing with knives! It all comes down to personal preference and there is not one particular method that works for everyone. Here is a top five lest of stress of things that I enjoy doing to alleviate stress.
NUMBER 1: Reading
This is something that I need to do waaaay more often but once I get into a good book it gets really hard for me to put it down. This doesn’t necessarily mean reading a book. This could cover reading a magazine, online articles, or even read your favorite blog *cough* TEACHER TALK!!! Regardless, find something that interests you and go from there. P.S to save money get a library card where you can read all the books you want for free. I personally dig mystery and fantasy. I enjoy reading because it takes me on mental trips to places that I normally wouldn’t think about. I don’t know about anyone else but when I read I get the little movie playing in my head imagining what is going on in the story.
Number 2: Physical Activity
This can cover a wide variety of things such as hiking, biking, shooting basketball, playing with your kids, hunting, fishing, and my personal favorite activity of weight training. When it comes to teaching or if you have a desk job, all the pressure tends to be stored above the shoulders and so its important the rest of your body gets some action as well. I like to work out about 4-5 days a week and that ranges from taking classes and free lifting but it still gives me an excuse to move stuff and forget about the stress of the day’s duties.
Number 3: Video Games/Games
I personally love playing games and enjoy it even more when its with a large group of people. Plus it lets my competitiveness shine through and work off a lot of steam. I personally like video games because because of the immersion and entertainment level is high for me. However board games count too even though my wife refuses to play Scrabble with me anymore because she uses words like “Totalitarianism” and I use “dog” and “hat”.
Number 4: Netflix/Television
Find a couple of shows to watch in your spare time. Usually I try not to watch too much Netflix because I feel like you can keep watching and not do anything productive. Plus I always try and avoid the “are you still watching_________?” from Netflix and I feel horribly judged. “Yes Netflix I am still watching the Office for the 5th time through get off my back!!!” But still, sometimes you need a little brain break.
Number 5: Blogging
This is a new addition to my hobby list but I have already seen a ton of pluses with this. Blogging has allowed me to draw from my mind and put it to the page and share my experiences with others. Although the previous four hobbies are great, blogging allows you to create something of your own and it can be personalized to your own interests. Plus the community created by blogging allows you to connect and relate with people with similar interests. Plus it allows you to read others blogs and gain perspective on various subjects.
In the end, I feel like stress is never going to go away completely; even when its in the middle of summer and there is no reason to feel stressed. I need to keep finding ways to alleviate that stress and keep working towards managing the stress when it comes. I feel as life goes on, life will always throw hardships at us and it is our job to fight it off at all costs. Because when those hardships get to us, it becomes unbearable and we sometimes take it out on the ones we love the most. Like I said in a previous post, although work feeds us physically; we need things to feed our souls and makes us excited to get us out of bed every day.
Homework for this post. Reflect on what your biggest stress is and where does it come from. On the other side think about what you do to alleviate that stress and why do you do it? If you are still feeling stress after all of that then what else can you do to alleviate that stress even more?
Thank you to all the people who have been reading my stuff!!! If you like what you’ve seen and you want to read more then check out these other posts on my site.
Classroom Bell: Another post about work related stress https://teachertalklife.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/homeroom-bell/
What is is your Why: What is your intrinsic motivation in life and what gets you motivated?
My First Classroom Experience: A post about my…….well……first classroom experience