Sunshine in the dark clouds 

After 7 weeks away from the daily grind I am beginning to feel refreshed and revitalised.

It has been hard work getting this far and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of family and good friends and backup from my professional association.

There is no quick fix but I’ve perservered with daily walks. Some have become quite lengthy. My fitness levels and energy have been boosted.

Rediscovering old hobbies I had curtailed due to the demands of work has helped return joy and pleasure to my days. 

Mindfulness training using an app has helped calm my mind, appreciate the now and stop worrying about the past or future.

My biggest hurdle is getting closer. Returning to the place and people who were instrumental in my breakdown will be difficult. Maintaining the lifestyle changes which have helped my recovery will be a challlenge.

  

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Preventing burnout

After 6 weeks of reflection I have realised we all have a responsibility to look after our colleagues. But knowing what to look for and having the confidence to start that conversation with a colleague is difficult.

5 warning signs something is going terribly wrong:

Wanting to be alone – 

Not talking to colleagues

Not eating

Lacking motivation to do anything

Constant tiredness

Have the difficult conversation with a colleague!

  

Relax- not that easy

When your life has been spent with your mind constantly whizzing- planning, creating enthusing engaging resources for lessons; preparing endless assemblies; analyzing data for reports to governors and many more admin tasks all beyond the busy school day, it has been so hard to learn to relax.

Doctors orders – learn to relax.

My amazing GP advised:

A daily walk – this literally blows away the negative thoughts flowing around my head

Yoga – rejoined a group at the local leisure centre. I’d stopped due to work pressure

Activities I find relaxing – learning to blog!!!

Meditation – I found an app for this

Deep breathing to overcome stress

And no work!

Simple solutions to burn out.

I included Reflexology to the list. Fortunately there is an amazing Alternative Health Clinic nearby.

Finally keeping in touch with my professional association and allowing them to negotiate and support me in the endless meetings keeps away stresses from my workplace.


Journey from the brink

Whilst most teachers are returning to their schools tomorrow I am starting on a slow journey of recovery.

After months of stress building up, a bout of tonsilitis and exhaustion from taking SEMH pupils on an amazing Battlefield tour I ended up one Thursday evening in November at the local A and E.

After numerous precautionary tests the diagnosis – work related stress. Or in old money I had had a nervous breakdown.

The first few weeks were spent to alternating states of shock and anger, panic attacks and anxiety. That phase is over but I have many hurdles to overcome before returning to the school.