It’s 11:00 PM on a Thursday night and you’ve finally got a moment or two to yourself. You’ve uploaded tomorrow’s lesson for 79 of your students to their virtual classroom, including that YouTube video that you had to figure out how to convert to post. You’ve answered 23 emails from parents, 17 emails from students, 2 from the assistant principal for your grade, 10 text messages and, 1 message from a parent on a social media site (and how did they find your private profile, anyway?). You’ve finished grading Monday’s tests, Tuesday’s quizzes, and started on the writing assignments from Wednesday. You’ve been in contact with the guidance counselors about a few students who are exhibiting concerning behavior, and you’re trying to contact a student who has not been to class in a week and half. They’re a good student, and you just want to make sure they’re okay. You’ve gone through your daily mental checklist and ticked off all the boxes. For now, everyone and everything is taken care of for the evening. So why can’t you relax? You’re exhausted, but you can’t seem to get your mind to slow down. And that nagging headache you’ve had all day – what’s with that? And – hang on, why does it feel like you’re forgetting to do something important?
Well, it’s entirely possible that what you are experiencing are hidden symptoms of stress. Chronic fatigue, tension headaches, and memory loss can be ways that stress is making itself known (Cedars Sinai, 2019). That headache? Stress releases chemicals that can cause changes to nerves and blood vessels in the brain – which can cause a headache. Additionally, clenched, tense muscles can also trigger a headache. That fatigue and forgetfulness? Those feelings of restlessness? They could all be stress-related.
So now that you’ve identified some hidden stress symptoms, what do you do? Well, that’s where a little mindfulness can help, by learning how to make self-care a habit. Inner Strength has a free Self-Care Toolkit that can help you do exactly that. Here are a few tips and strategies from the toolkit to help get you started.
Prepare Your Workspace
Even though many of us are still working from home and a workspace can mean anything from a couch to a formal home office, there are still things that can be done to help with stress levels.
Remember the moment or two that you finally got to yourself at 11pm? Why not put that to good use?
Journaling & Creative Arts
Physical Relaxation & Rejuvenation
These are just a few of the useful ideas that you can find in the Inner Strength Self-Care Toolkit; there are many more! If you have some of your own that you’d like to share, feel free to let us know in the comments!