Going back in January is always jolting for me. We run around like crazy in December, hit Christmas break, try desperately to get it done before the holiday. By the time you get through family Christmases, my birthday, New Years and trying to relax, I get to the last day of break without anything done, and in a total panic. I’m hoping to get a little better at controlling some things…of course while realizing the illusion of control is just that. An illusion.
Get rid of the toxic: Don’t spend time with the coworker who only complains, engage in teacher’s lounge negativity, let your critics get to you and leave the Facebook group that gives you anxiety. If you surround yourself with negative, you will become negative. Still be kind to your coworkers, but don’t engage in the negative. Seek out the people who make you better. And if it’s that bad don’t just hang on. Get out. Is anything that important that it is worth your mental health? Make a push to make your life better.
Pack an emergency bag for school. I have a desk drawer that is just for this sort of stuff. A brush, static guard, dry shampoo, deodorant, cough drops, ibuprofen, lotion, makeup wipes, some Tylenol sinus, Benadryl (cause I’m allergic to everything) an extra contact case, a mirror, crest wisps, a toothbrush, toothpaste, body spray, chocolate, feminine hygiene products, and a nail file. Drop in a few hair ties, a pair of socks, a tide pen and safety pins. It’s come in handy a LOT, and I’m always happy to have some of it there when it’s concert day! Sometimes those minor annoyances will make your day go less smoothly, so it’s nice to eliminate them when they come up. You will thank yourself when you realize how often you go to your emergency stash.
Stop taking it all home by staying a little later, or go in a little early. A few years ago when I really started working on my TpT store, I committed to not taking it home. I allow myself a few days to stay late and get stuff done, and I go in about 2 hours before I start teaching every day to have my coffee, clean my room, prep materials, etc. It’s made such a difference because I’m not sitting at home giving myself infinite time to work on things. The longer I have to work on something, the more I procrastinate. When I’m home I can work on TpT or do whatever else I have planned for the evening without feeling guilty. Besides, who are we kidding, most of the time, all that school stuff either sat in my car, or my bookbag without being touched. If you do #4, you won’t need to add in the extra weightlifting.
Set a workout schedule. I know you hear this all the time, but I’m not talking about 3 hours at the gym every day. If your workout schedule is a lap around the building 3 times a week, that’s still better than not doing it. I’m super guilty of putting it on the back burner so I’m telling you mine is to go to the gym 3 days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. Or ask your teacher BFF to work out with you. If you commit to some 30 minute workout after school 3 days a week, you might actually get it done, AND you’ll get to chat with them! It’s a double win!
Just get rid of the pile already. You know which one I mean. The bottomless one on your desk. Get some file folders and put it in there by category. Put them in a desktop file box so that you can see the top of your desk. I have one for field trips, festival, the musical, cantata, stuff to check, and random school papers. I also have one urgent file that I allow myself to leave on the desk. And it has to be put away every Friday when I leave. Set a deadline for things. Put things you reference often on a clip board and hang it. Don’t put the catalogs from West Music and JWPepper in the pile. Put them somewhere you will look at them, or put them in the recycling bin.
Use a tool you already have but haven’t used. Is there a book you haven’t used yet? An app? Soemthing you bought on TpT? A classroom instrument you don’t pull out often? New year, new you. Find something you have and don’t use and it will breathe a new life into your room. I’m planning to bust out my new-to-me copy of 120 Singing Games and Dances. I know! I haven’t ued it yet…! #FAIL. I picked up the copy as a resale online before the big reveal of my school and didn’t have time to sort throught it before we went back. I’m so excited to use it!