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Taking Care of Your Mental Health

I remember when I was first starting out as a teacher and I was just having the hardest time adjusting. I had never been in a classroom and I had started a month into that school year. The worst of it was that I just did not have any support in the classroom. So that first year I had taken so many mental health days because I was so drained and I just could not seem to get a grasp on feeling okay. I ended up taking more days off than I was given for time off so the district started taking money out of my pay.

Thankfully, that year ended and I decided to get a better start in another district where I ended up having a better year and felt like I could actually continue to be a teacher. I also picked up what made it easier on my own mental health to allow me to be present for my students.

Below I have a few tips for you to help with your mental health that have worked for me.

1. Take that day off

It is a long school year and there are times where you can go a long time without having an extra day off that is not the weekend.I was always skeptical about taking a day off just because I always want to be there for my students and to be able to help them when I can. However, there were days where I was not feeling it that day and little did I know that it was my body letting me know I needed a day to recharge after working so much. The signs were I was very short tempered with my students or that I was not in the mood to go and help them. So take a “you” day. There are sick days and personal days for you to use, not just keep them stashed away.

2. Listen to some of your favorite music.

I love music and I feel like it is the gateway to my soul. My taste in music always varies based on how I feel that day. So on days where I feel not like myself I put on my most favorite artists or albums. A majority of the time it is the band the Dirty Heads (any album) so some Electronic Dance Music (EDM) just to get myself moving, dancing and singing. This always brings up my mood and makes me ready to take on the day.

3. Do one of your favorite hobbies.

I am not one with a lot of hobbies but my go to hobby is busting out one of the many different video game systems and playing for a little bit of time. Currently my go to is my Nintendo Switch and the game of choice has been playing Mario Odyssey. My favorite of all time is either Super Mario World or The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. If you haven’t noticed, I am a big Nintendo guy.

4. Get in Some Exercise

I try to do my best to make time to exercise but it often gets difficult to make time to do so without losing sleep. One of my favorites I used to do was going for a swim. It gave me that space to relax and clear my mind as I moved through the water, however, it is fairly difficult to swim in a pool when it is not a lap pool. On the other hand, there are several different activities that can be done between yoga, weight lifting or cardio. I am not one of those who actually go to a gym to work out, I just go the cheap route of working out at home. For those of us who do not have a lot of time there is an app in the app store called FitOn, which I use, that has all kinds of different workouts that can be done. You can even pick one that would fit the amount of time you have to fit in a workout. More often than not, I am going out for a run with my wife, Veronica, who also happens to enjoy running as well.

5. Get Some Sleep

Getting a good night worth of sleep is more beneficial than you know. It is what recharges you and if you do not get enough sleep, it gets harder to operate at your best. For me, I get about 6.5 to 8 hours of sleep a night so that I feel charged up to take on the day. Over the years, I have found that if I get less than 6 hours I feel like a zombie just going through the motions to get through the day and if I get more than 8 hours I end up feeling like my brain is in a fog. So make sure you hit that sweet spot of sleep.

6. Eat Well

Today, it is super easy to order takeout or delivery. With the advancement of technology all you need to do is tap your phone a few times and bam in approximately 30 minutes you have food delivered to your door. However, that is not always best for you because what you eat can affect your health. So I often do my best to make dinner, even if it is time consuming. I love to bbq my food as it gives the food a great flavor and, for myself, it is relaxing. I also like to find new recipes to make and Pintrest is a great place to look for ideas.

7. Talk to Someone

Lastly, talk to someone. This can be just about anyone such as your significant other, a friend or even your family. There are many different ways you can go about this like meeting up somewhere, giving them a call or even sending a text message. If you are struggling, let them know what is going on and I am sure that they will be willing to listen to you or even give you advice. For myself, I often talk to my wife or one of my friends, and we send each other funny Instagram Reels or just have a conversation. Most of the time the conversations have a laughing component which never fails to pick up my mood.

Hopefully, at least one of these tips are helpful to you or maybe you found the next thing to try out. Until next time.

Scott Jordan


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