How not to drain the soul
Working in a kindergarten is a strain on the psyche. So, take care of your mental health. That’s the only way to be the kind and patient teachers that children need.
You give your kids your best all school year long. The emotional strain is gradually taking its toll on you. By June, you’re exhausted. It’s high time for you to rest and recuperate during the holidays. Otherwise, you’re in danger of burning out.
You can read about the consequences of permanent stress from work overload in the article
The risk of working in a nursery: burnout syndrome.
Psycho hygiene as prevention
To avoid this happening again and again every year, learn mental hygiene techniques during your summer break. They will help you cope better with stress, find a work-life balance and boost your mental health. Try and find what suits you best. Then incorporate the techniques you choose into your daily routine and make them a habit. In tense situations, they will be your anchor to help calm your emotions and your racing heart.
Breathe it in
Breath is something you carry with you at all times. Learn to use it as a calming tool. Close your eyes and relax. Relax tight facial muscles or clenched hands. Breathe in through your nose into your belly, hold your breath briefly, and exhale through your mouth. Concentrate on your breathing. If your thoughts run in all directions, try to come back to your breath again.
One breathing exercise can also be found in the interview
How to have a calmer classroom through mindfulness.
Happiness isn’t just the big events that happen a few times a year. Focus your attention on the everyday little things and make them a source of joy. By cultivating gratitude for ordinary things, you will steer yourself towards contentment and inner peace. You won’t feel deprived of anything and you will finally experience a sense of abundance.
When you wake up, you’ll have time for a short morning meditation. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and relax. Breathe deeply, making sure the exhale is longer than the inhale. Think of people and things to be grateful for that bring you joy and make your life easier.
Before going to bed, you can spend twenty minutes in the evening balancing. Reflect on your day with detachment. Remember what made you happy. Try to write it down and be as specific as possible.
- Gratitude Journal: write in a classic journal.
- Gratitude jar: write on papers and put them in a nice jar.
- Gratitude Chain: Write on strips of paper and gradually form a paper chain
Notice the present moment
When your thoughts are always ahead, the present moment slips through your fingers. At least try sometimes to give full, conscious attention to what you are doing. If you are interrupted by thoughts of work and various responsibilities, try to return to the present without regret.
- Conscious coffee: concentrate with all your senses on the steps of preparing and consuming coffee.
- Mindful Walk: Take your time and pay attention to your feelings, body signals and details along the route as you walk.
- All five together: Stop and name 5 things you see right now, 4 things you touch, 3 sounds you hear, 2 smells you pick up with your nose, and 1 taste you feel in your mouth.
Find a work-life balance. Make sure that all your free time is not swallowed up by home preparation for kindergarten. Set aside enough space for mental rest. Get back to old hobbies, start moving, learn something new.
And don’t forget to get some physical rest with plenty of sleep. Establish evening rituals before falling asleep. Put down the phone and turn off the TV, which distract you with blue light and a barrage of information. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, at an optimal temperature and with fresh air.
Take care of yourself
Indulging in a full bath now and then is not enough. Take at least three twenty-minute sessions for yourself every day. That’s the bare minimum to maintain your well-being and replenish your energy even on the busiest of days. Devote one twenty-minute period to yourself, another to what you love, and the third to relaxing in the evening.
How to make it through the carousel of responsibilities, you ask, and where to find a moment for yourself? The day won’t get any longer, so manage your time efficiently and set priorities. And also give yourself permission to say no and cross something off your list.
Learn how to work with stress over the summer
so you can welcome your children into the new school year more balanced and resilient.
26. 6. 2023 | Martina Zatloukalová