This morning I sat outside school and cried

This morning I had that sinking feeling at the bottom of my stomach. I sat in the car outside school for half an hour, staring at the looming building, tears falling down my cheeks.

I love my job, so why the tears?

I felt swamped.
All too often we feel swamped by our workload. This has become such a common feeling, that our very own Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, suggested we should be clocking off at 5pm and leaving the marking and e-mails for the next working day. Trust me I have tried this, simply to try and destress, but not using my evenings for school work doesn’t reduce the amount of work I have to do, it simply puts it off. Working after 5pm isn’t much of a solution either as I’m a lot slower after a hectic day in school.

I forgot why I was there.
It’s easy to do. The paperwork piles up, the requests from colleagues keep coming and you quickly forget why you do your job. This morning I needed a reality check. My priority always has and always will be my children. I never forget this, but sometimes it gets lost amongst everything. They are the reason I turn up each day and I had to remind myself of this. Whilst a piece of paper hadn’t been filled in, that could wait, I needed to focus on what I’m good at, TEACHING!

I needed breakfast.
Sometimes it really is that simple; skipping a meal allows our energy levels to plummet and suddenly emotions can be everywhere. Once I had eaten, I was already starting to process my thoughts a lot more logically.

I can’t be the only one who has experienced this and I’m sure I won’t be the last. Below are a few things that really made a difference to me this morning, allowing me to walk into school with dry eyes, and leave school smiling this evening!

5 tips for turning your morning back around

  • Chat to someone – I love talking, but when something goes wrong I fall silent. It’s so important to talk to others about how you are feeling as they can help find solutions. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t a fellow teacher, sometimes these are the best people to talk to initially. Remember to speak to colleagues though, they may be feeling the same or they may have been in a similar situation to you.
  • Write a list – Write down everything you need to do, schools tasks, household chores etc. Then number your list in order of importance so you can easily see which task you need to complete first.
  • Create a timetable – Using your list, make a plan for the next week, plotting in time for each task. Think: Do you really need to do that this week, or you would it be better to complete next week?
  • Reward yourself – make time for yourself this evening, even if it’s just half an hour! Read another chapter of your book, watch TV, have a bath or bake, the possibilities are endless. As long as you do something you enjoy, you can’t get this one wrong.
  • Tell yourself you’re brilliant, because you are. Right now everything is a bit much, but I promise in a few weeks you’ll look back at this and see how far you’ve come.
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