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Feeling overwhelmed? Me too!

Amy Thompson
IACAC President-elect
York Community High School

Each year, as I return to my full schedule at work, it seems like a daunting and insurmountable task to accomplish everything. Emails flood in, phone calls and voicemail flourish, students are everywhere, and questions abound! As I churn through these first few weeks of chaos, I find a few things keep me from completely freaking out. I hope they help you too!

  1. Take each day as it comes: Try not to think too far ahead. Obviously, we have a lot of planning to do in our work, so I use my “downtime” in summer to get as much planned ahead as possible. Once the return of full time work begins, I’m head-down and plow-ahead so that previous planning can carry me, at least through these first crazy weeks. Once the dust settles, I can catch up with the next stage of events and lessons that need planning.
  2. Find a few minutes, a couple of times a day to re-group: We can’t work ALL THE TIME. We need a little joy. Even if it’s a five minute break, take it. And I don’t mean that break to use the bathroom or refill your water bottle. If you’re an extravert, take a five minute, fully social interaction break. If you’re an introvert and have been interacting with others all day, go take a quiet walk around your building/office or go sit in your car in a quiet place. You deserve it and it will help recharge your energy.
  3. Put off the things that don’t need an immediate action: We can’t do it all at once so, it’s OK to let some things wait a bit. We have to and if we just acknowledge that, it can give us a bit more peace of mind.
  4. Make sure you have a confidant, someone who you can vent with and they can vent right back: Sometimes just talking about your frustrations can help you blow off steam and decide if that stressor really deserves any more of your time or attention. I find it’s harder to do this with my spouse because our jobs are different and we don’t fully understand each other’s work (try as we might). Don’t get me wrong, we definitely need to talk about work and do some venting, but having a confidant who works in the same field can really help because they truly understand the day-in, day-out work you do. An IACAC mentor can be a great confidant!
  5. Reflect and remember why you do what you do: Some evenings, or at least at some point on the weekend, I make a point of thinking back on the past week. I consider all that was accomplished and think about what I might do differently going forward. But, I try to let go of the things I cannot control or change. In the end, we are all trying to strike a balance between helping others but still taking care of ourselves and our loved ones.

You can do it – hope you have a great year!

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