Balance,  Live

Why “Workxiety” is Real and What I’m Doing to Combat it This Year

Soooo it’s been a while since I’ve last written. There are so many reasons why. Mainly, I’ve been enjoying summer! We’ve been to California and back on a wonderful trip with my sister and brother-in-law. I’ve also been cooking up a few classroom projects that I will share soon. But for today, I want to focus on my current struggle—pre-school stress! I’ve got a nifty new phrase for it from my gal pal and teacher friend Patty—workxiety.

Why is workxiety a thing for teachers even before school starts?

  1. I am not 100% sure about your school districts, but over here, things seem to be constantly in flux. We report for institute days next week and we still have not received a copy of our master schedule with our class periods and room assignments. I personally like to be in control and this is something that I cannot do anything about! WORST!
  2. We are already balancing the million and one things we will do throughout the school year. It’s not just about curriculum and planning lessons for the year to come. We have department meetings, grade level meetings, after school clubs, and our own professional development. There is a lot going on and we are beginning to think about these expectations as we prepare to return for the year.
  3. We are having back to school dreams. Anyone else experiencing this?! I can’t sleep! Suddenly my nights are filled with thoughts of my classroom not being ready, students exploding at me, somehow leaving my oven on and having to go home so I miss class, and on and on and on. This lack of sleep is really starting to get to me! Not being able to turn it off and relax can make this going back to school thing even more stressful.

 

What am I doing to combat the “workxiety” this year?

  1. Committing to my life outside of school. We are PEOPLE as well as teachers. This commitment to the things you love outside of the classroom can help you be your BEST self for your students and your family at home. What does this look like for me?
  • Weekly trivia with my husband and friends on Tuesdays
  • Catching my favorite shows throughout the week (Scandal, anyone?!)
  • Making time for to read before bed.
  • Being flexible when things come up.
  1. Maintaining a positive attitude. School and drama can sometimes go hand in hand. It can be easy to get sucked into other people’s negativity or to be the one creating the negativity. This year, I, along with my gal pal Patty (she is SO wise!), am returning to a regular practice I used to follow—Gratitude Journaling! At the end of each day, I will write down AT LEAST one thing I am grateful for from throughout my day. There is a lot of research about why gratitude journaling is a good thing, but the main thought is that if you keep your mentality about your day positive, i.e. grateful, you will become and feel more positive overall.
  2. Attempting to leave work at work. While I do not have an exact schedule of what this will look like for me yet this year (I will write a post on planning work time throughout the day once I know my daily schedule), I have found that if I am strategic with the hours I have at school, I am able to SIGNIFICANTLY minimize the amount of work I do at home. With the exception of work on one night a week and maybe a little bit on one day of the weekend, I am hoping to not do work much at home this school year. I will be sharing my successes and failures with this throughout the year.
  3. Committing to overall health. While I am still working on writing my personal health rules, there are a few things I definitely am committed to.
  • Time for regular exercise 3-4 times a week—what this looks like varies for me. For example, right now I am getting into spinning and am working on fitting in 1-2 classes/week in addition to my weights and interval training.
  • Planning and preparing healthy meals for myself and my family—eating right is so important for stress management and overall wellness. Each week, I shop on the weekends and spend part of my time on Sunday prepping foods for the week. This includes washing and chopping greens for salads, precooking some meats for protein, roasting veggies, cooking quinoa, etc. Also, the crockpot is one of my best friends. I use it 1-2 times/week and when I arrive home—a delicious, healthy, stress-free meal awaits!

 

While I am completely struggling with workxiety as the school year gets closer, I feel like I have a lot of good tools in place to help me through this year. I also have a lot of very supportive coworkers who are there for me when I need them. I am looking forward to getting back into a normal routine, being a part of my school community again, and to meeting my new students!

What tools, systems, and plans do you have in place to make sure you have a stress-free year? Have any advice you can share with myself or other teachers? Comment below or share this post!

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