- 4:45 wake up
- 5:30 Arrive at work, plan lessons/make copies
- 7:30 School starts
- 3:00 School ends
- 3:15 Coach volleyball practice
- 5:30 practice ends--->grocery shop/fabric shop for school (home ec teacher)
- 6:30-7 put away groceries
- 7:45 arrive home, grade papers until I fell asleep
And repeat the next day. I didn't grocery shop every day but the days I didn't buy groceries for class I had volleyball games and/or tournaments.
My dad was a former teacher (and a mighty good one) and one day he told me, "Quit your bawlin' and figure out what you need to do to improve your situation." More true words were never spoken. And while it may sound extreme, this father of FIVE daughters (no sons) had been listening to me whine and cry for two solid months, I deserved a stern talking to. There were a few other things my ever-so-wonderful parents did to make sure I was okay but that talk stuck with me forever.
How I Had Been Dealing with Stress:
2- Eat food.
3- Complain to others around me.
4- Isolate myself because "no one understood", I thought.
I did what he said. I sought out every means I could improve my situation. I found three stellar male veteran teachers in their 40's & 50's and adapted to their advice. I had to learn that my way wasn't working and I needed to be willing to try things differently. I learned it was all attitude, that I was in control and I HAD to be in control of myself. I had to learn how I was going to react to situations before they happened.
I learned I need to prioritize my time and be well planned. If I wasn't happy, ain't no one gonna be happy--it meant sacrificing a few things *swallowing my pride* for what I thought was important.
So after a few weeks I was still exhausted and barely hanging on BUT at least I wasn't sobbing my way through; I could feel slight improvements. I had started saying silent prayers when I felt like crying, snacking on grapes instead of chocolate chips, and going for walks with my mom when I got home at night. I made sure to exercise at least every Saturday; throughout the week I would play volleyball with the girls instead of just coach them. By the end of the year I was a whole new woman, and so was my classroom. I began to love what I was doing.
My dad's advice has stuck with me ever since. "Figure out what you need to do to improve your situation". I realized what stresses me most is what I don't have control of, but I do have control over a lot of things. I am no longer a school teacher but I am an Army Wife and I have a new kind of stress. In 2012 we lived in four states, six months we were separated and never felt like we had a home.
How I Reduce Stress Now
1- Take a deep breathe and try to isolate exactly what is stressing me. Take accountability for what YOU can do to change YOUR environment.
2- Go for a walk/run/exercise. I always feel better after endorphin's flow so my problem no longer seems as big. If my husband and I disagree, we go for a walk with our dog and we always feel better when we get home.
3- Play calm or happy music and sing to it, pick out my favorite calming essential oil and just breathe it in--I'm obsessed with lavender right now.
4-Write in my journal. Writing is crucial therapy for me so most days of the week I try to record what I'm doing right and how I feel. If I am feeling bad or frustrated I try to figure out why.
5- Cry. Yes I still allow myself to cry. It is no longer my first reaction but more like a few minutes to release and move on. I've never been an angry person that punches, hits, or throws things so I've learned this is how my physical body releases stress.
1- Life is meant to be enjoyed, not frustrating.
2- Sometimes it takes saying "No" to people. It is okay to not be busy. Busy-ness does not equal success. It is also okay to ask for help!
3- Learning to de-stress is a skill! It must be practiced and it is not easy.
About This Author: Ashley Johanson Farr was raised in small town in Northern Utah. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences Education also known as home economics. She taught foods, nutrition and sewing to inner city junior high students for three years until she married her husband, Tim, and became an Army Wife. Her passion in health and fitness has included three Ragnar Races, two half marathons, three sprint triathlons, crossfit, and most recently an NPC bikini competition. While she has always enjoyed exercise yet she has always loved food and dessert even more! She turned to eating a real, whole foods based life two years ago and has never looked back! Her attitude, spirit, performance, emotions, strength, physical appearance, and energy all improved when she learned to focus on what humans were meant to eat. "The older I get, the younger people think I look and THAT is priceless!" she says. To learn more about Ashley visit her website @ http://farrcleanerlife.blogspot.com/