If you’re an educator returning to school for the first time since the pandemic began, you may be somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of facing the new normal. Much is being asked of you — not only to teach your students as well as you always have but also to keep them safe and healthy.
Teachers were already particularly susceptible to the “occupational phenomenon,” known as burnout. Burnout syndrome is a result of chronic stress and happens when a person reaches their mental, emotional, and physical limitations. With increased expectations going into this school year, educators will likely burn out at a faster rate than ever before.
Here are some ways you can avoid burning out as an educator in the new normal.
- Take it one day at a time.
If thinking about the upcoming year is overwhelming, focus on taking each day as it comes. There’s no need to worry about more than what is in front of you each day. No one knows what these next few months will look like, and we do ourselves a disservice when we try to guess. Do the best you can with what you have today.
- Practice self-awareness.
To avoid burning out, you need to be aware of your limitations. We all have limits to the amount of stress we can endure. If you find yourself nearing the end of your rope, find some ways to release some of that stress. Take some personal time off if you need to.
- Keep yourself healthy.
While your focus this year might be on your students’ health, you can’t forget the importance of your own wellbeing. Keep yourself as healthy as you can by eating nutritious food, getting plenty of sleeping, and exercising regularly. The better you take care of yourself, the more equipped you will be to face the challenges of this school year.
- Talk to colleagues.
Your colleagues are among the only people who will truly understand what you are going through this school year. Talk to them about your frustrations and listen to theirs. Try to maintain a positive outlook, though. Find out what’s working for others and share what’s been most helpful in your classroom. Supporting one another in this new normal will help all of you to cope and avoid burning out.