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*Your help needed: "I am a teacher that gives everything and has nothing left for her family when she gets home."

note from PT founder Jackie: Just got this email. And wow, can I relate. We're all overwhelmed, tired and feel like everything is on our shoulders and us alone.

"I feel the opposite of all of those good feelings you are talking about
below. I have no support or help, do not eat on a schedule, or healthy.
I am a teacher that gives everything to her school and has nothing left
for her family when she gets home. I have had two people in two days tell
me how tired and stressed I looked, when I am sleeping each night and
slept most of the weekend away. I do not have any extra money to invest
in a gym, nor do I have anyone to support me and get me exercising more
regularly. It is all up to me and I am not enough."

- Anonymous

Thu. Feb 21, 10:25am

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Saturday, December 23, 2006, 5:35 PM

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Before you focus on incorporating formal exercising into your routine, you may want to consider getting your body closer to its happy place.

Of course you are stressed out, and that takes an even rougher toll on your body (which already sounds pretty ravaged from all the emotional labor toward work and family, plus the physical demands being on your feet all day, constantly engaged)

Firstly, are you eating for optimal energy levels?
Where ever you are now on the healthy eating scale, can you make a few slight improvements this week? Is there something you can do today to move you further along to an even better place? Your body is obviously stressed out, so maybe you can do something to cool and calm it down to get it back home to the happy place. Avoid the sugars and highly refined carbs (baked goods, convience prepackaged foods) which make you crash and don't sustain over the long haul. Emphasize healthy fats and lean protein at every meal (spinach, beans, etc. if you are vegan)

Are you taking a multivitamin? When was the last time you went to the doctor for a check up? Have your doctor runs tests on thyroid, vitamin D, etc. etc. Perhaps you are suffering from a sluggish thyroid, a vitamin deficiency, or some other ailment, and you don't even know it because you think this run down feeling you have is your normal. You don't have to live like this. You can change it. You might need to ask your doctor for help (and don't accept drugs that just mask the symptoms and don't address the root cause) Maybe just some slight tweaks in your diet, taking a multivitamin, and perhaps a natural herb might be all you need. Some herbs I have found useful (maybe one or two may do the trick for you) Rhodiola, Relora, Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero) many others out there for different issues, check out the library over the weekend for natural herbal remedies.

What are you doing daily to decompress? What are you doing daily to recharge your battery pack? It need not be 15 minutes meditation today, but even just TWO MINUTES can be enough to cause you to shift and bring down the chronic stress to allow you a moment to relax. Perhaps visualization or tapping might work for you. Or maybe you have a smart phone and may benefit from an app. Right now I'm using GPS4Soul (GPS For The Soul) by that allows me to check in and read my stress levels (heartbeat) and offers two minute guides to bring you back to a calmer relaxed state. Perhaps just 5 minutes with a motivational or spiritual book, or a gratitude journal every night before bec, something, try them all and see what works for you.

I hope you get some responses that will resonate for you. Hang in there, you are not alone.

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 11:52 AM

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in the meantime with the exercise... just walk

Just the simple act of getting in more walking can give a slight lift to energy levels and mood. Bonus points if you can get outdoors to walk. Maybe set a goal of 10 minutes 3 days this week. Then next week make it 4 days for 15 minutes.

You don't need to run marathons to reap the benefits of movement.

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 11:56 AM

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11:52 - great response!

I'll just add that it stinks that you're doing this all on your own (although, why is that? You mention family -are you a single parent?), but people are capable of amazing things when they want it bad enough. I've read so many inspirational stories about people who got up at 4am to exercise, took their 4 kids out while they trained for a marathon, etc. It may be hard as hell at first, but hard work is almost always rewarded!

Perhaps cutting into that 'sleeping the weekend away' time will afford you some time to get outside for fresh air or plan and prepare healthful meals that you can take to work with you. Start each day with a nutrient packed shake - that will go a LONG way in improving energy and sustain you.

Spend as much time on identifying how you CAN take care of yourself as you do coming up with reasons why you can't. I bet there are others at school who could use a boost just like you. Start something with your coworkers and create your own support.

Bottom line - never underestimate what you are capable of! And if you say you can't, you most definitely won't.

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 2:12 PM

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I am sending prays your way. You are doing a good thing teaching. Try and give yiurself positive self talk. do the best you can. Mistakes happen. Try and get up duruing a commercial or 2 and walk in place. You can suceed and you will suceed! you are past the worse part of the school year. Soon it will be Eater! Then memorial day. Then you can regroup and enjoy the summer. You can and will do this one day at a time!

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 11:18 PM

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change your thinking, change your life

2:12 - thank you for the gems:

"Spend as much time on identifying how you CAN take care of yourself as you do coming up with reasons why you can't."

"Bottom line - never underestimate what you are capable of! And if you say you can't, you most definitely won't."

Friday, February 22, 2013, 9:00 AM

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I've always loved changed your thinking, change your life. I always say change your space change your life. Sometimes even just getting off your couch or leaving your kitchen, going somewhere new can bring a whole new set of thoughts. The bookstore is my favorite. But if you have kids at home and don't have a babysitter, pile them in the car and go for a ride. Blast your favorite music. It's an unbelieveable stress reliever.

Friday, February 22, 2013, 11:36 AM

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Dear Teacher,
Bless you for you commitment to teaching. I was also a teacher for 26 years. During the first five years of teaching, I was on the path to burn out. Fortunately a friend and colleague of mine brought it to my attention that my life was unbalanced. I would come home late after a day of teaching and collapsed on the couch, and not get up until morning. I didn't have time for family and friends. That had to stop.

I found that relieving stress was mostly about organization of my time. I decided to do my weekly planning on one day of the week; usually I'd come back to school on Saturday, or stay late Friday and work for about six hours. I would only stay an hour after school each day correcting papers. The rest of the time was family time or my time. I looked for ways to streamline my plans; most teachers are only too willing to share their tips. You will need to trust that the unfinished work in your mind will take care of itself.

Currently I volunteer at an elementary school. This school has a system that effectively uses the volunteer time which significantly helps teachers in any way that that's possible inside or outside the classroom. All of the volunteers have to go through background checks so that teachers know that no one has a criminal record. Do you have volunteers that are there to support you? Also I'm sure you've found the online sites which have clever ideas for lessons which you and other teachers share.

And finally there's the issue of the teacher's lounge, which is usually overflowing with treats. This is a challenge. I had to eat in my room or find a group of teachers that did not want to submit themselves to that temptation. And then there's the convenient school lunch, which is loaded with carbs. I have to admit that this was a frequent stumbling block for me. Maybe you'll have better success than I did.

Again thank you for your commitment to teaching and your commitment to your students.

Friday, February 22, 2013, 12:18 PM

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Sorry, I shoud have edited this last comment.

Friday, February 22, 2013, 4:00 PM

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 12:59 PM

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