It’s been a tough few days. I’ve had several extremely busy teaching days, and as a music teacher there are always the added extras that accompany the new academic year – curriculum plans, open evenings, meetings, re-establishing rules and expectations, instrumental lessons, deadlines, data analysis… My head is swimming. Of course, everyone is in the same situation and I’m lucky that I work in a good school, but with the added anxiety caused by circumstances in my personal life I felt that I was walking around with almost a dark haze in front of my eyes and a huge weight pushing down on me today. Luckily, my lessons were focused around sixth form today and so there was a little more opportunity to attempt to try and organise myself and the department than there would have been if I had been surrounded by the younger ones all day.
I find that, as I age, I am becoming less resilient when coping with stress. In my twenties, I tackled everything head on and seemed to fly through things that I found difficult. Now, I still get the work done, but I often face an internal struggle and almost argue with myself rather than simply just getting on with it. I’m becoming more and more stubborn. However, I recently made a commitment to myself that I would ‘suck it up’ and just do what I needed to do.
Consequently, I’ve worked really hard, even more so than usual, and I’m proud of everything that I have achieved since I went back to work, but I’m shattered. After ticking off a large amount of items from an enormous list since 7.00am I decided that I was going to leave the laptop at school at the end of the meeting this evening, and when I stepped outside I was grateful that the weather was warm and the sky was blue. The Bloke is helping at the Open Evening at his own school, so on my way home I was able to take a little bit of time just to sit and try and breathe until I had calmed down a little. It helped, and after feeding the cats I find myself sitting on the couch with a precious few hours alone. I’m going to have a long hot bath, watch some mundane television and have an early night, and hopefully at some point the throbbing in my temples and knots in my stomach will subside… It still feels that my head may explode.
How do you cope with stress and anxiety? What do you do to relax?
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