It is at the end of April every year when my personal wellness goes out the window and work seems to take over my life. There are so many events as we gear up for the end of the year, that I often feel like I am a hamster on a running wheel trying desperately to keep up. At this time of year, I exercise less, eat more junk food, and sleep becomes interrupted with thoughts of what I didn’t do during each day. This is a pattern that I know is my weakness, but something happened last week to signify that my approach to personal wellness in the spring has to change.
After teaching music for many years, I decided that this was the year for a big change. I have been at the same school for a decade and I felt as though I really needed some new learning. Last week, I accepted a job at a school across town where I will be running a program for 10 intermediate Developmentally Delayed students. I have always been drawn to helping our special needs students and the school that I accepted a job at has a built-in mentor next door. She is an expert in running similar programs and will really teach me a lot. I am very excited about this new challenge!
This opportunity is so exciting and wonderful, but it will come with a lot of challenges that potentially could be stressful. Maintaining a good work/life balance and focusing on personal wellness will be an important part of my success in this role.
As I finish up this year and look forward to next year, I know it will be important to focus on the building blocks of personal wellness.
- Physical Activity: My goal will be to get out and just get my heart elevated at least three times a week.
- Laughter: My goal will be to laugh every day as much as I can.
- Nutrition: My goal will be to try to make sure that my diet doesn’t consist of an over abundance of Doritos and McDonald’s French fries.
- Reflection: This is important for growth. However, I sometimes overemphasize the what went wrong instead of having a good balance between acknowledging successes and failures.
Some years go better than others in the area of personal wellness and stress management. Some years you have kids that get along and make major gains in their learning, while other years you have a parent who is mentally ill that you are constantly dealing with or administration whose vision doesn’t match your philosophy of education. The best part about our job is that when things go wrong, you can do your very best until the end of the year and start fresh in September. In order to make it to another September, we have to take care of ourselves along the way.