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Old 05-04-2013, 05:16 PM
 
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I know I am burned out but should not be. What can I do to combat burnout?

Here's a short list of the signs that I am exhausted and burned out:
1. sick pretty much 90% of the time. From sinus infections to GI problems, to chest pains-went to the ER for and it was due to stress.
2. Can tell that I am not as happy as I used to be and not on my "A game" in the classroom
3. I am angry and frustrated most of the time. In part because I am sick so often, and in part because I DO like to teach, but so much of what us teachers have to do is NOT teaching. I feel like all I do is jump through hoops to raise kids test scores.
4. I have become a Debbie downer of sorts. No matter what I try I have become untrusting, jaded, and bitter from dealing with crazy parents and kids. Just the thought of having a life-a boyfriend and kids exhausts me. I do want a family but I could not do that while teaching, so I think-kids yeah, husband yeah, that would be nice but I can hardly manage now without all of that added responsibility. This is NOT a normal way of thinking.
5. I am only in my 20s but am so so tired and may have developed a disease (probably stress related).
6. I am stressed already about this upcoming week and everything I have to get ready for summer school and next year.

Sigh. I need out or a break or something.


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Old 05-04-2013, 05:31 PM
 
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Call your primary care doctor and get an appointment asap. You need the dr to figure out if it is stress, stress related, or an actual medical complaint made worse by your stress level. Please make the timeto do this. When I first started teaching I didn't make the time to take care of myself. Later I was in the hospital with severe aniema and needed a transfusion. Your body is telling you something.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:38 PM
 
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When I feel this way, I begin to pull back on my responsibilities and increase my pleasurable activities.

You also sound overwhelmed. Lists help me prioritize all I need to do. Somehow just writing it down eases my mind.

Increase your physical activity to combat your health problems and help repair your mental state. Also be vigilant with your diet. Whole, healthy foods really do make a difference in one's outlook both physically and mentally.

Are you also teaching summer school? If so, why? You need a break. Sometimes one's health is more important than the extra couple thousand dollars of teaching summer school (our district pays $2000 for summer school teachers).

Provide yourself a reward throughout the day. Something to look forward to as you move through the muck of your day. A book...a treat...a walk...a time to enjoy nature...whatever helps you relax and release endorphins.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:23 PM
 
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Having recently spent 2 weeks in a clinic and now continuing with my therapy, I recommend seeing a counselor before something more serious happens. Seeing your family doctor is also a good idea since there may be some physical problems that can be found in blood tests. Whatever you decide take care of yourself.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:29 PM
 
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Very normal feelings and hopefully not related to any medical issues!

Find some good vitamins that work for you! I have found the ones that work best for me are a vitamin pack from Arbonne. It's helped me & my wife, we started them after seeing a huge energy improvement in my sister & BIL. (If you don't have a rep in your area, I did start selling in order to gain discounts on my stuff and I could help you out, just PM me). You could also try a multivitamin for GNC or other place to see if works for you.

Start walking routine (or running if you can). I can't believe how much stress I have reduced by just walking! I have music I listen to on my walks and let my mind wander. Sometimes I run my day through my head other days I fantasize about winning lottery. My doctor suggested I walk alone so I'm not having to talk with the wife or kids, it's my time to take for myself.

Change eating habits. Again, I used Arbonne fit products, but you can also just increase fruit and veggie intake and eliminate fast foods/junk foods.

By doing the above I've changed greatly. I know it's the impact as I've fallen off the wagon and feeling the stress pressures, so making sure I get back on track.


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Old 05-04-2013, 11:41 PM
 
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Holy cow I pretty much could have written your post! I'm in my late 30's and here are some suggestions that might help:

1) see an ENT for sinuses, this is a very common problem for teachers I've noticed...

both the sinus & GI issues could be allergies too (when I Have dairy, especially if I have a lot both those things get really bad...). Try keeping a food journal or if you can do an elimination diet. I was in denial prob. 25 years before I finally accepted I was allergic to dairy....

2) find a counselor or psychologist you like and can trust, just having someone that you can say anything you want to helps sometimes.

Unfortunately your #3 is probably the norm for most of us now. You're not alone...one thing that keeps me going this year especially is there are 1-2 students that no matter how grouchy or angry I am will make me laugh or a former student will come up & give me a hug. It's not much but at least it's something...

I hope you find some answers /help soon. If you ever want to, you can pm me....
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:53 AM
 
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I totally sympathize. Not fun at all when this happens. I am very close to this burn out too. I have the medical issues too, which I believe is a manifestation of the emotional ones.

Here's what I do to keep myself sane:
1. Read fun, silly, no brainer books to take me away from reality.
2. Take sick/personal necessity days as needed.
3. Have swim, walk, run, hot tub, sauna and steam room days.
4. medication if need be. Ask the doctor for helpful, non addictive ones.
5. Talk to people outside the profession about things other than work.
6. Talk to people outside my school about school stresses.

Hang in there though. Remember the school year is almost over.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:54 PM
 
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have written your post, too! I have been teaching for almost 22 years, and this is the absolute worst year of my career. I had a bad parent complaint (the first in my career) and the new admin decided to back the parent and put me on an intensive support plan. (Long story about what that's all about). Anyway I am jumping through hoops just to complete the crazy plan and can barely keep up with the regular stuff. I have no life, have lost 22 pounds (a good thing, but not the way it is happening), rarely sleep, don't see or spend time with my children who are growing up before my eyes, and I am just nervous beyond measure throughout the day. The only time I get reprieve is Friday night and Saturday morning, and then the work and the worry starts over again. Want to throw up. Would love to quit, but need the $$$ and insurance and hate to throw a 22 year career away with one bad year...So no advice, just commiserating...
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:50 PM
 
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Quote:
When I feel this way, I begin to pull back on my responsibilities and increase my pleasurable activities.
Exactly.

What you need is balance. B A L A N C E.

You need to balance your work life with your home life. At this point, the scale is heavily tipped toward work life--which isn't good. (At the same time, having the scales tipped heavily toward home life wouldn't be good either *unless* you no longer wanted to be a teacher in schools and wanted to be a homemaker.) You said you're in your 20s. Which end? If it's the early end, maybe you're just still a new teacher and need to figure out how to balance things...?

What I'm saying really applies to ANY career. No matter what career you have, you need BALANCE. I'm pointing this out to let you know that if you carry on dumping 90% of your energy into work as a teacher, it isn't going to get any better even if you quit teaching to become, say, a nurse. Without learning how to balance things, you'll just be a nurse who puts 90% of her energy into nursing...or an interior designer who puts 90% of her energy into designing...

In other words: leaving the field of teaching isn't going to solve your problems unless you learn how to balance things in your life.

You should also see a Dr., just to rule out some other more serious condition that is simply worsened by stress but that is still there nonetheless. Once you've ruled out some other issue, focus on BALANCE.
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