By Diamond Robinson, IPLI Mentor, South Bends Schools
Being a school administrator can be nonstop. How many of you can relate to waking up and checking emails, attending a virtual meeting on the way to work, going to work, and it feels like a whirlwind, going to after-school activities, and then heading home only to do it all over again tomorrow? Burnout is REAL! As Winter Break approaches, it’s essential to unplug from work and recharge yourself. Airline stewardesses often say that you can’t give oxygen to someone else if you don’t give yourself oxygen first. So what can you do over Winter Break to recharge?
COMMIT TO INTENSIVE RECHARGING
Develop strict rules for Winter Break. Remove work-related electronic devices and take time to rest and recover from exhaustion.
TRY A RESEARCH-SUPPORTED RELAXATION TECHNIQUE
Relaxation works best if it occurs at a specific time and place and with a focus. Find a relaxation technique that can help to reduce anxiety, stress, and burnout.
“It’s not stress that kills us; it is our reaction to it,” argued Hans Hubbard, a scientist who studied stress. One solution is mindfulness, a way to train your mind to create space between a cue and your response. Set time for intentional mindfulness. Consider surrounding yourself with visuals and bells that remind you to relax.
It is important that we schedule and plan time to create intentional joy. Consider putting “joy” on your schedule to ensure that what makes you happy and fills your cup is a priority.
WORK ON YOUR RESPONSE TO STRESS
Here are three tools to help you improve your response to stress:
- Increase positive feelings.
- Increase confidence.
- Increase focus.
By strategically defending against stress, you can model what it means to be engaged and joyful for teachers and students. Such a life is possible if taking care of yourself daily becomes a priority. Happy Recharging!