As teachers, we are really good at lying to ourselves. Here are 10 things it is time to start being honest about.
I Will Only Stay Late Today
Come on now, this is the lie that we all tell ourselves as we sit in our classrooms after the sun has faded cutting lamination and making lesson plans for the next day.
I understand that late days happen, but why not keep them to a minimum. Your life does exist outside of school, and if it doesn’t, it is time to create one. Instead of staying late all the time learn to say when enough is enough and go home.
I Will Go to Bed Early Tonight
I tell myself every day that I will go to bed early. Early may mean different things to different people, but for me it is anytime before about 11 pm. On the rare occasion that this does happen I then tend to stay up, even though I am in bed, reading or playing on my tablet. Bad move.
When you have the opportunity to bank some extra sleep hours take it! Lock in that extra rest and take full advantage of it.
I Will Cook Every Night This Week
It used to be I would start the week with the best of intentions when it comes to cooking. I go to the grocery store and get everything I need to cook healthy meals for myself and my family all week long. By Tuesday there I am in the What-a-Burger drive through picking up a quick meal with absolutely zero shame.
Instead, now I plan to make three meals a week. The meals that I choose make a ton so that there are leftovers for the other two days as well as lunches. I wish I could say this cut out drive-throughs altogether, but it does at least minimize my ventures there to when I am craving fries instead of when I just can’t pull myself together to make dinner.
To those of you who dedicate an afternoon or evening to meal prep for the week I salute you, but it is not something I have ever successfully completed.
I Will Make Time for Myself
First thing in the morning each day I wake up and say, if I get everything on the to-do list done today then I will spend some time on me. Fast forward to pouring myself into bed at midnight. I neither completed everything on my to-do list nor did I do anything for myself.
Instead, put yourself on your to-do list. Start small by treating yourself to an extra long hot shower at the end of the day. From there you can take advantage of putting you on the list. My favorite ways of making time for myself are taking time to read for pleasure, taking time for exercise, or taking a bath.
I Will Workout Every Day
If you look at my calendar you would think that I workout every day, and during the summer this is mostly true, but even my best intentions fall apart when I get busy. Why is it the activity which works best for my health, sanity, and stress levels is the first thing to go?
Instead build in an exercise routine that you can stick to, and furthermore enjoy. There is no reason to dread working out when there are so many options for getting exercise. The most important thing is that you enjoy it and get in a good sweat.
I have found that one of the best ways to ensure that I exercise is through group classes. Whether I go with a friend or make friends once I am there peer pressure goes a long way to making sure I continue going.
My Family Is Fine While I Work
It took me way too long to realize my family cannot be placed on the back burner constantly. They are my number one priority these days. This may mean that not everything for work gets done. It may even mean that nothing gets done some days.
Here’s the thing though, at the end of the day it is really our families that matter, especially if you have young kids.
A special note: I do not personally have kids, and it was always a personal pet peeve of mine when some teachers with kids automatically assumed those without kids would take care of the “extras” that tend to come up in the evenings at school. Just because my family does not include kids does not make my time with them any less valuable.
I Will Only Eat Ten Skittles
I have a huge sweet tooth, so having any sort of candy around is dangerous for me. There was a time in my career when I kept a bag of Skittles in my desk and would grab a handful at random intervals. Of course, I did this only when I wasn’t being watched by students. This led to bad, bad things.
Now when I choose to have a sweet snack I am very conscious to make a choice that limits my consumption. Can we say fun sized? This keeps my sweet tooth in check.
One thing that I have started doing is when I crave something sweet I drink a glass of water first. If the craving is still there I go for it. Often though the water takes care of it and keeps me on track.
I Will Not Hit Snooze
I am NOT a morning person, and even that is putting it mildly. If left to my own devices I would easily sleep until noon every day. Even if that meant pressing snooze seventy times. It is just how I am.
Instead of hitting snooze nine gazillion times I try to set realistic expectations for myself. I mean, does the snooze button really help any of us? I would love to be the person that gets up nice and early to take a leisurely run with time sip my cup of coffee. This just isn’t me. Instead, I fall out of bed at the last possible moment. My only morning cardio is running to the car with my breakfast in hand to then sit in traffic.
These days I set a reasonable alarm that will give me plenty of time to get up and get ready. Hopefully without having to do a hundred yard dash in record time. The trick seems to be not allowing myself to press snooze.
I Am Fine
This is a lie that I have told myself on way too many occasions when I was anything but fine. Fine is what we tell ourselves when the ship is on fire and sinking rapidly. It is what we say when we don’t want to tell someone how we are actually feeling. Fine is a lie.
Stop the fine lie in its tracks. Do something for yourself that will change the answer from fine to great, or better yet amazing. By taking the time to ensure your own “fineness” you are doing everyone around you a favor too.
I Can Do It All
This one is the lie of all lies. No one on Earth can do it all. Not one of us. If you look around and see someone who appears to be getting it all done I can guarantee you there is some area of their life that is failing.
At a certain point, you have to know when enough is enough and stop. This will make you a happier teacher, a better person, and all around more awesome!
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