Teacher depression and anxiety are quite common, especially around back-to-school time when there is so much more on your plate. You go from soaking up the sun every day in the summer months to dealing with disobedient children and helicopter parents, and staying up late grading papers. Couple that with the everyday stresses of life and you have anxiety. If you or a colleague you know suffers from back-to-school anxiety, then you must know that you’re not alone. Research shows that an estimated 40 million adults ages 18 and older suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder. The great news is that there are ways to help you cope with it. Here are a few tips from experienced teachers who have been in your shoes.
Create a Daily Routine
If you want to beat anxiety, then veteran teachers suggest to create a daily routine. A daily ritual will help you stay on track and not feel overwhelmed because you know what will happen next. By sticking to a regular schedule, you can ease anxiety symptoms, because it helps you feel both mentally and physically prepared for the day. If you know that you’re prone to headaches if you stay up too late, then stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time. The closer you stick to your routine, the less likely you will feel out of control.
Make Your Health a Priority
Your mental and physical health plays an essential role in the way that you feel. When you take the time to prioritize your health, then you are investing in yourself. Exercise is a great way to beat anxiety or the back to school blues. Various studies have shown that being physically active can lower your risk of developing anxiety or depression. Choose an activity or a healthy habit that you love, and get up and go do it.
Invest in Yourself
It’s easy to lose sight of yourself during the beginning of the school year because you have so many things on your plate. However, you must take time to invest in yourself. Find time to do something that you enjoy, even if that means you must schedule it on your calendar like you would a doctor’s appointment. When you schedule time for yourself, you are more likely to do it. Also, do not isolate yourself, get out and be with your friends and family. It can change your mood in an instant.
If all else fails, then seek help. While it can be hard to admit to yourself that you may need help, experienced teachers agree that it can change your perspective and your life.