Like most school employees, Ed & I see August as the start of a new year. January does provide a fresh new perspective, but August is truly when shifts occur and adjustments need to be made. We recently discussed how throughout our summer vacation, we saw our stressful patterns and negative thoughts fade away. This makes sense since the absence of work stress left an absence of needing coping mechanisms. We tried to brainstorm how we could bring our summer mindset into our work year.
Although it may be impossible to forever be in vacation mode, separating ourselves from work helped with a fresh perspective. With a rested mind, calmer disposition and renewed motivation, I was able to analyze and identify some of my key issues and set corresponding intentions
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Yeah this should be common sense, yet I get caught up in it all.the.time. I have been a life-long perfectionist and am still recovering from Ms. Perfect syndrome. Nothing will ever be perfect and things often do not go as planned and when items do not get checked off my to-do list, I panic. I often stress way more than I should and create problems that really are not there. I saw found this on pinterest and it describes me oh so accurately.
Switching from reacting to observing. I catch myself reacting a little too quickly based on my gut feelings and desire to fix things. I want to take a step back sometimes and truly observe the situation before reacting. While talking this through with Ed, we realized, some situations do not even require our reaction, but we jump to it too quickly causing unnecessary stress.
In my office there is a feedback box and one student wrote something like this “sometimes counselors should not immediately say you should, you could, why don’t you…sometimes kids just need to vent.” I felt this was very powerful and honest feedback and something I need to be much more aware of doing.
Stay present. Sometimes, the nature of my job gets heavy. I hear a lot of things that are going on in kids lives and they are not always pleasant. Sometimes, I need a break from the serious stuff and I distract myself by talking with co-workers, walking around campus or talking with kids about funner topics a little too long. And although none of these things are necessarily bad every once in awhile, I should try to be more mindful about my time and more efficient.
Hopefully re-visiting these intentions every few months will help me stay on track and manage my stress levels better. I am truly excited for this school year and ready to continue supporting my students.
“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.” Carl Rogers
This July, I started my eighth year in education. Eight years! Over the summer, I took time to reflect on my seventh year and realized my job is very similar to a relationship. The first couple of years were the honeymoon stage; then about the sixth year, it started to wear on me. The seventh year was definitely rocky and I nearly ended it in divorce.
After some much needed rest while on summer break, I came to the conclusion that life has always been this way but I’m just now becoming conscious of it. Events come – they’re exciting for a time – but then the inevitable decision has to be made, either I leave it or refocus my attention. I’ve decided this year I’m going to refocus my attention. I’ve caught on to some of the shenanigans I play on myself while I’m at work and would like to change them.
One of the patterns I’ve caught on to in my relationship with work is mental aggression. I unconsciously choose a coworker to dislike and then I make it a priority to find reasons why they’re trying to make my life miserable. Why do I do it? I’m bored. Does the coworker really not like me? Probably not. Am I special or the only person who feels this way in the work environment? No. But it makes work fun. I get to text Angelina about the daily happenings of “purple nose” and “Sandy Said”; two people I know that are jealous of me and want to see me fired. Are they really jealous of me and want to see me fired? Probably not, but in my head they are! So this year I’ve decided to consciously check my thoughts about each person I interact with and become aware when I’m sitting idle with nothing to do.