- Eat right - research has proven that a diet filled with fast food and carbonated beverages causes our bodies to destroy the ability to effectively deal with stress. Instead, revise your shopping list to include whole grains, plenty of fruits and veggies, lean meats, and unprocessed foods. In other words, shop mostly in the perimeter of your grocery store. But, you say you don't have time to make all that fresh food? Consider using the almighty slow cooker! Make a big pot in the morning by tossing in all the meat and fresh veggies. By dinner time when you're exhausted, you'll have wholesome food waiting for your return home.
- Meditate - Call it prayer, meditation, or downtime, but it is still an escape from everyday reality. Ten minutes - that's all it takes to recondition your mind and body to cope with everyday stresses. Consider finding a picture of your favorite vacation or a picture on the Internet of your fantasy vacation. Focus on that while you slip away from reality for a while. You'll emerge from the experience refreshed and renewed.
- Exercise - Ah, those endorphins! Those feel-good chemicals that block pain, and are also responsible for our feelings of pleasure. They are released with exercise. So before you go home, run a lap around the track or head to your gym. You'll be better able to cope with the pressures at home after a stressed day at work.
- Sleep - You don't think you have enough time to sleep because you have too much to do? Think again! You should be getting seven hours of sleep each night. Get too little sleep, and your work becomes sluggish, taking longer to complete the task. Get enough sleep and you become an efficient grading machine!
- Plan - If you have those bazillion essays to grade and you have two weeks in which to get them done, then set aside time to several each day. That makes the task more manageable and less odious. Also plan time to spend with your support group - family and friends who care about you. Be in the moment - don't spend time with them while you worry about clearing the clutter in your room by the end of the school year. Enjoy your time with others - laugh, play, sing, or simply sip tea and talk (but not about work!)
- Overlap - Try to find things you can do together, like straightening your room while you exercise (bend over five times before you pick up that piece of paper on the floor!) And when you plan your elementary book list for next year, add EnteleTrons™ titles because our books combine STEM topics with character education in the literacy curriculum! www.entelechyed.com/entelestore
When you put this plan in place, you'll have a less stressed end of the school year. Enjoy your summer and return in September ready to educate the next class of students who are eager for your words of wisdom on intellectual, social, and moral topics!