A Change Will Do You Good

Last week I wrote about some habits that are working against my physical and mental health, and I decided some things needed to change. So I started going to bed earlier. Like two hours earlier. And I started waking up earlier and going for walks. And even though it’s only been a few days, I’m feeling a difference.

But some other major changes are helping as well, and these are tougher changes to implement. First, I’m forcing myself to be more focused at school. I have pockets of time in my day to grade papers and plan lessons, so I’m doing just that. I’m also rationing the number of papers I grade each day, and I stop working at 7 PM, which means I’m forcing myself to not feel guilty.

And here’s how I feel:

Less tired.
Less frazzled.
Less overwhelmed (even though I’m limiting the daily grading and if I think about the sum of what I have sitting on my desk I start to panic just a little).

I’m trying to not feel like I’m making concessions or becoming a less-dedicated teacher by imposing limits on my daily tasks. It’s a major paradigm shift for me. But I’m afraid that if I don’t make this shift, I’ll burn out too soon.

This article made its way to me on Facebook yesterday, and it’s exactly how I’m feeling this year. So maybe this draw-down will be temporary, until the tide shifts again and teachers are no longer Public Enemy #1.

I hope that happens sooner than later.

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