With the support of my family, friends and colleagues and professional association I have made it!
Despite being a special school the nature of my illness is a taboo subject. The irony of being asked for money for flowers for a fellow member of SLT who had had a fall whilst for 17 weeks nobody enquired about my wellbeing.
Initially a phased return in which during the early days I felt like a character from an old star trek episode who had landed on a familiar but strangely different planet.
Eventually back to full time.
It’s not been easy.
But I did it!
Into my tenth week of recuperation.
Some days have been better than others. Find me on a good day and you would question why I am not in work.
Physically I am well. Occupational Health have confirmed this. I walk daily in the hills around where I live. It is true I am in great physically condition. But that is not the issue.
So I feel like I am in a limbo state. Emotionally the scars are not yet healed, but physically I look so well.
Occupational health have made suggestions but meetings have not yet happened where issues can be addressed and a potential return negotiated. These delays play on my anxieties and contribute to my on-going stressful state.
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.
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.