So, last week got a little crazy. My husband got a concussion playing soccer, my in-laws were in town for a 10-day visit, and my caseload at the high school where I work reached 99 kids. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I woke up Friday morning with a runny nose, a scratchy throat and a mild sense of dread about climbing out of bed.
I will admit, I kind of want the caseload at my high school to hit 100 just for bragging rights. But it’s probably not best for my mental health to worry about post-concussive procedures, hosting house guests, and serving 99 students according to their IEPs.
Today, I am reminding myself of the importance of self-care. Maintaining work-life balance (which also happens to be one of our core values at Hello) is so, so important. Mental Health America has some great tips to try at work and home. Their post is full of so many good ideas, but here are my favorites and how I’m trying to make them happen for me.
Self-Care At Work
- Set manageable goals each day. When I get overwhelmed, it is usually because I feel like I can’t control what is required of me and there is no way I’m going to get everything done. My goal for this week is to prioritize what needs to happen right away, and put off until next week what can wait.
- Take five. Taking breaks at work feels like slacking, but it’s important for my overall productivity and well-being. In the next week, when I’m not seeing students, I’m going to take a lap around the school before checking email and doing paperwork.
- Communicate effectively. This was hard, but I was honest with my boss about what I could and could not do with a caseload of 99 students. Instead of complaining, I focused on suggesting practical alternatives. Looking at the situation from my boss’s viewpoint also reduced my stress.
Self-Care At Home
- Stay active. Um, who has time to exercise unless you get up at 5 am? But I do notice that I feel better when I sneak in some cardio, and it will help keep me from getting sick as well. Fitness tracker, you are no longer a clunky plastic band on my wrist – you are my reminder to stay active.
- Unplug. Wow, this is harder than it used to be. It seems that I’ll put down my laptop, then pick up my phone 2 seconds later. The same technology that makes our jobs easier can also burn us out if we use them 24/7. This week, I’m going to recognize the need for personal time, too.
- Don’t over commit. Again, this is not easy. Between sports activities, playdates, and nights out with friends, sometimes I feel stressed when I just glance at my calendar. Time to shed FOMO and just say “no” every now and then.
So there you have it – my 6 resolutions for work-life balance self-care! I feel better just knowing I have a plan. And that maybe I have justification for a snazzier wristband for my fitness tracker… 😉