This blog post offers five New Year's resolutions that educators can commit to in order to avoid the career exhaustion known as teacher burnout. Check them out below.
Icing the Burnout
Teacher burnout is common. It's real. And it can be a serious problem. That's why it's important to take steps to prevent it from happening so that you can enjoy a long, healthy teaching career and your students the benefits of your experience and knowledge. Thankfully, New Year's is coming up, which is a perfect opportunity to make a few resolutions that will help you prevent burnout (and heal any that already exists) as the school year continues. Here are a few we recommend.
Burnout Prevention Resolution 1: I Will Go Home By 5
All teachers have the potential to experience burnout, but those who work long hours and neglect their personal lives are much more at risk. If you stay at school for 12 or more hours every day, of course you're going to get sick of it! To help restore your work-life balance, resolve to leave school every day by no later than 5 pm. That way, you'll have a full evening ahead of you to get your mind out of the classroom.
Burnout Prevention Resolution 2: I Will Say ''No''
Another way to quickly become overworked as a teacher is to say ''yes'' every time somebody asks for your help with something. Soon enough you'll find yourself burdened by chaperoning, detention duty, extra conferences, and who knows what else. So stop piling up your plate by resolving to say ''no.'' It's an effective skill that will help you in your personal life, too.
And don't feel the need to make excuses. Just set your boundaries and stick to them - they won't harm anyone.
Burnout Prevention Resolution 3: I Will Practice Self-Care
Teaching is a profession in which you focus so much on others that you may tend to forget about your own needs. That's how your stress levels end up rising so high that you eventually burn out. Stop that from happening by resolving to take care of yourself on a regular basis. Think of it as upkeep of the soul, and do what you have to do to de-stress.
For example, you could meditate. Do yoga. Drink tea and curl up with a trashy novel. Whatever it takes to soothe yourself.
Burnout Prevention Resolution 4: I Will Disconnect
Remember the ''leave school by 5 pm'' resolution? That one won't work unless you also resolve to disconnect when you do so. That means no checking work emails or taking work calls after you leave for the day. All of those things can wait.
And remember, one of the advantages of the teaching profession is that there's no such thing as a teaching emergency. You don't have to be on call; when you leave for the day, really leave.
Burnout Prevention Resolution 5: I Will Get Help
Finally, it's important to recognize the possibility that you may not be able to climb out of the teacher burnout hole on your own. Reaching out to the people in your life for help can be a literal lifesaver. Whether it means asking your partner to watch the kids for a night so you can get some time to yourself or seeing a therapist for some weekly TLC, don't hesitate to seek some outside assistance. The benefits and results may surprise you.
Happy New Year! May the next one be burnout-free.
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