I learned over time that the best way to offset burnout is with self-care.
Let’s just jump straight to it and say, teachers are tired and drained. As a former special education teacher that worked with students on the autism spectrum as well and various disabilities (ED, ID, Down syndrome ADHD, ODD), I can empathize all too well with the frustration and hopelessness that teachers feel these days. Everything isn’t all bad, but can I be honest and say that everything isn’t all red pretty roses either. Being an educator has never been easy regardless of what area you grew up in. But it’s never been as challenging and scary as it is now. Teachers just don’t deal with unruly parents, they also deal with deadly viruses sweeping their entire classroom, and shooters coming in to harm them and their students. Oh yeah, let’s not forget about social injustice issues that are an ongoing problem across the country. The list can go on for hours if we really sit back and think. But after the frustration has settled the question for me has always been, “What’s missing?” Personally, I became tired of being tired. I became tired of coming home and venting to Britney for hours about the same things that I had no control over. Yes, on one hand it helped getting it out but on the other hand, it stole a lot of my time. Time that I will never get back. Burnout happens in various career fields and roles. I learned over time that the best way to offset burnout is with self-care. Now, it might start off as just coping with the daily situation, which I did most days. Nevertheless, something to help you stay grounded during the day must take place. Once I moved past the phase of just making it, then I was able to start enjoying taking care of me again. I started working out and feeling enjoyment instead of aggravation. I started reading my daily devotional in the morning instead of worrying about the day before it even got started. What we do for mental and physical stability is important. What we do for spiritual clarity is just as important as well. This blog isn’t about you quitting your job, if you’re reading this it’s most likely because you really love what you do. You just don’t love the way it makes you feel all the time. Trust me, Britney and I have both been there and sometimes find ourselves venting still. In 2022 there is a lot happening all around us and it feels like it’s all the time. I challenge you to not give up on what you love yet, and make sure you spend more time loving you a bit more. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. And trust me, we need you so don’t leave without asking yourself, “What’s missing?”