There is plenty of summer left. Lots of day trips to take, books to read, and sun to soak up. But back-to-school season is creeping closer every day.
If the notion of going back is causing any undue stress/anxiety/angst, you might appreciate these quick stress busters created specifically for the back-to-school tasks you’re about to dive into.
Clearing space on our desks, in our homes, on our laptops, and in our email helps us declutter our minds. Before lesson-planning or browsing the school supply aisle, perhaps the first step is to clear space - mentally and physically - for school tasks to occupy.
Doesn't this desk look super organized? I feel calmer already....
Suggestions for some satisfying de-cluttering? Attack your personal filing system and consider splurging on new organization goodies (folders! files! boxes!). Or take a few moments to organize your personal computer, renaming files and making room for another year’s worth of assignments and grading.
For tech-savvy organizers, there are a few apps ideal for de-cluttering and simplifying. At Chalkup, lots of teammates enjoy using Evernote, Inbox, and Slack to manage to-dos, reminders, and correspondence. Key Ring is fun for wallet organization, storing all the info from your rewards cards, allowing you to scan your phone at the checkout.
Pick your poision and make some space before we start sharpening the pencils and pulling out the textbooks. And breathe. It’s going to be an amazing year.
Visualize Your Year
Feeling a burst of an anxiety when you start to think about prepping for new classes? Stop it in its tracks with a quick exercise to emphasize the positive.
Visualize your year ahead - the year you want to have. You can think it through in a quiet moment to yourself or bust out a journal and write about what you’re looking forward to. Extract these positive thoughts instead of giving into nerves about a new year.
Easier said than done, yes. For an extra anti-stress boost, keep a copy of your goals and/or things you’re excited about for the upcoming school year nearby - perhaps in a wallet or on your phone. Whenever you begin to feel the stress creep in, take a quick peek at all the good stuff that’s on the horizon and remember why you’ve chosen to be such an amazing educator in the first place. You’ve got this.
Find a Mentor/Be a Mentor
Strength in numbers. Navigating the classroom can be helped by a mentor who has been there before. Or even a cadre of colleagues you can lean on for support, encouragement, and advice.
If you haven’t already, try busting back-to-school stress by planning something with your mentor or colleagues before it’s time to go back to the grind. Even a quick coffee with a familiar face from school will get you talking and thinking about what’s coming up while reminding you that you’re not alone. You’ve got good people, lots to learn, and lots of knowledge to share. Might also be a great opportunity to swap back-to-school strategy before the big push for fall 2015. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Hopefully you’ve already taken steps to rest up and rebuild this summer. If you haven’t done as much of that as you’d like, do it now. Before it’s time to take a deeper dive into curriculum, class tech, decor, and scheduling, invest in being your healthiest and happiest.
Similarly, this could also be a time to invest in making future you happy and healthy.
If you found yourself missing meals last year - or eating unhealthfully on school days - perhaps you spend some time researching fast, healthy meals for the year. Or meals you can make and freeze now that will hit the spot in a month or two when it’s time for parent-teacher conferences and grading papers.
Knowing that you’re proactively taking steps to take care of yourself down the road is one approach to tackling back-to-school stresses before they get the best of you.