“How the heck do I prioritize myself when my job is SO STRESSFUL?”

 

If you’re an achiever AND people-pleaser like me, this is probably a question you ask yourself a lot.

 

I know I used to.

 

I spent every waking moment feeling like I was behind and trying to keep my head above water. It took me years to feel like myself again and that I wasn’t consumed with work.

If you’ve been in that same position, but not knowing how to “fix it”–this blog pep talk slash training is for YOU.

This is what I *wish* I knew about resting, self-care, and prioritizing myself…and the advice I would give to first-year teaching me if I could talk to her right now.

I’ll start with an obnoxious buzzword:

 

SELF-CARE

Lack of dealing with our stress is the reason that we have anxiety about work. Dealing with stress, day after day, with no end in sight, leads to burnout. 

You see, 20-30% of teachers have moderate to severe levels of burnout. The signs? Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and decreased sense of accomplishment. Any of you ever feel that way?

WE NEED TO START PRIORITIZING US, and it’s unfortunate that wellness has turned into another to-do for everyone to strive for. Self-care becomes a task we try to check off and feel behind on, rather than something that rejuvenates us or makes us feel any better.

It doesn’t help that the media and our districts sent out emails and training on the importance of self-care in the midst of us teaching DURING A PANDEMIC.

That’s why so many people roll their eyes at the phrase, “Self-care.”

But, the objection that we have no time to fill our cup is a limiting belief — and if you stick to your limitations you get to keep them.

And it just isn’t true.

 

BRAINSTORMING

Think of some activities and things YOU can do that make you happy, relaxed, content, fulfilled…these things don’t have to take a lot of time…they don’t need to cost a lot of money…in fact, it’s better if they don’t.

Don’t think too hard…

Now BRAIN DUMP all of these ideas onto a piece of paper.

This is different for each person, and that’s totally okay.

These should be tasks that aren’t for the sake of productivity, but just for YOU.

We’re going to call this your JOY list.

 

HOW TO ACTUALLY INCORPORATE THIS WITHOUT GETTING OVERWHELMED

Each morning, while you’re drinking your coffee or driving to work, ask yourself THESE questions: What am I LOOKING FORWARD TO today?

What thing off my joy list can I incorporate?

WHEN can I do that thing?

Sometimes it’s just the intentionality of building something small into your day-to-day that can help you get out of a funk and find the positivity in your life when things are challenging.

 

NEED IDEAS?

Below is a brain dump of 50 of My Own Joy List Ideas. Take some for yourself if you like!

  1. Dance
  2. Make a playlist
  3. Do a face mask
  4. Light a candle…or incense…or a Scentsy…or essential oils
  5. Walk around the block
  6. Roller skate or bike ride
  7. Take a mindful shower or bath
  8. Read
  9. Draw or sketch
  10. Watch one episode of a show I love
  11. Create a vision board
  12. Body brush
  13. Go thrift shopping
  14. Meditate
  15. Call a relative 
  16. Play with my pets
  17. Yoga
  18. Hike
  19. Take photos
  20. Take care of plants
  21. Stargaze
  22. Plan a trip
  23. Journal
  24. Chill in my hammock
  25. Foam roll
  26. Do your nails (or get them done)
  27. Write a letter
  28. Watch the sunset
  29. Watch the sunrise
  30. Enjoy a coffee drink you love
  31. Unplug
  32. Organize something
  33. Listen to a new podcast
  34. Go to the Farmer’s market
  35. Write affirmations on a mirror or sticky note
  36. Look up inspirational quotes
  37. Set goals
  38. Play a board game
  39. Marie Kondo something
  40. Watch a documentary
  41. Watch a comedy special
  42. Cuddle
  43. Try a DIY
  44. Grounding
  45. Have a picnic
  46. Swim
  47. Learn a TikTok dance
  48. Volunteer
  49. Brain dump a to-do list
  50. Look through old photos

 

I can’t wait to see you make a routine out of prioritizing you:)

Need support/accountability along the way? Check out the Recharge Hub!