The school has not been in session long, however, let’s not forget about maintaining our health while we teach the generation of the future. Combating school life along with home and personal life can be grueling, however, it is a job that needs to be done. Serious educators are aware of this, and are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure a successful school year. An article featured in the October 2005 issue of NEA Today magazine featured five easy points to follow in order to stay healthy and full of energy for the remainder of the school year. Although these points were featured in an article printed 10 years ago, the step by step guides and points mentioned are still relevant today.
First, take an energy inventory, where are you in terms of your energy level. Emotional burnout can be a prevalent occurrence among teachers. Trying to jungle school life with personal and home responsibilities can be a challenge. Two problems the article mentioned as potential causes of emotional burnout were a lack of sleep, and a needed evaluation of your health, exercise regime, and eating habits.
“Most people don’t recognize a lack of sleep as the problem,” says Michael Thorpy, MD. A lack of sleep may be a result of staying up late grading papers or preparing lesson plans for the upcoming week. There may be a need to reevaluate the number of hours of sleep you are getting. In addition, many medical problems may result in fatigue. Make sure that you are seeing a doctor on a regular basis for routine health evaluations. An unknown illness may be the cause of some of your fatigue. Any one or combination of both of these problems may be the cause of your fatigue. After isolating either one, or both these issues as probable causes of you loss of energy, the article suggest you create your own energy protection plan, which may include seeking relief alternatives to help combat stress, getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising on a regular basis.
Evaluate your personal outlook of your day to day activities. Are the students feeling like they are to much of a burden to bare, are you agitated with every request the job requires of you, or are you living for your days off, can’t stand getting up and going to work in the mornings, if so, you may be experiencing emotional fatigue. “And exhaustion, which is part of the stress response, is one of the first symptoms.” Says Christina Maslach, professor of psychology and provost at the University of California at Berkeley. Although all of the work responsibilities of a teacher cannot be forsaken, there are relief methods one could employ to help cope with exhaustion and emotional fatigue. In her book, solutions Dr. Maslach suggest are calling for help including asking volunteers for help, developing your skills including working on and developing your organizational skills, producing a calendar and maintaining a to do list, and seek support from your fellow colleagues, local and state education association.
Nothing can replace a good night’s sleep. Check you sleep shortfall by following these simple steps the article mentioned. Evaluate how much sleep you are getting a night. The recommended amount for an active adult is between 7 ½ to 8 ½ hours of sleep per night. Try your best to get that much sleep a night. Also, try to get use to waking up without an alarm clock. The article mentioned that this could be scary to do, however, a properly functioning body should be able to wake up on its own.
How fast are you going to sleep after you lie down? Falling asleep too fast may be a problem. Reevaluate your routine, you may need to also take another look at you “Z” quotient. Methods recommended by the National Sleep Foundation include: Go to bed and get up at a regular time, have a wind-down routine such as a relaxing bath and some soothing music would be great, and also look into removing the television out of the bedroom, making sure your pillow and bed are truly comfortable sleeping quarters.
Eating healthy is always an excellent way of maintaining good health and vigor for the job. Nutritionist Jeanie Moloo suggests “re-fueling every three to three and one half hours.” Also, make sure your spirit is in tune with your eating habits and food choices, making sure you’re eating like you suppose to be always a wise endeavor to follow.
Exercising on a regular basis is yet another useful endeavor to embark upon daily. Exercise is extremely important. Jan Schroeder, an exercise physiology professor at California State Long beach has some useful tips to follow when trying to design you exercise routine. Make sure you exercise routine is unique to you. Visit her website and consider checking out one or more of her books from your local library, or renting or buying one or more of her books from your local book store.