I really don't remember the last time I didn't feel stressed at work. Gone are the days that being prepared for my lessons and confident with my content and my experience was the formula for a good day. Even unforeseen behavior issues couldn't rattle me enough to ruin a whole day. These days I go to work stressed and I leave stressed. A light bulb moment with a student might provide momentary stress relief, but feeling stressed and overwhelmed is the given. And those light bulb moments are rare.
While my stress level has risen and become a constant, my ability to relieve it leaves something to be desired. Because getting overwhelmed and shutting down completely I'm sure doesn't count. And I do know enough to know that avoidance and overindulgence are not recommended methods of stress management--long term anyway. I can attest to the temporary satisfaction of aforementioned methods: getting in my pajamas at three in the afternoon and sipping a lemon drop martini with my feet (all cozy in fuzzy socks) up on my coffee table and a bag of Cheez Doodles on my lap is my idea of wonderful, just not a long term plan.
But this week I am happy to report that stress didn't get the better of me. It was manageable. Without lemon drops and Cheez Doodles. Because I tried harder.
Did somebody mention light bulb moments?