Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's 1:20pm and I'm Losing My Mind: Mid-Day De-Stressing

Here's a question from a reader of my Facebook page... "What do you do to de-stress during your day when you feel like you are going crazy?"

Great question! A lot of times, we feel like we're stuck at the desk or in our office, dealing with crises/ issues or chained to a computer typing reports. Once we leave for the day, we can redirect ourselves, hit the gym, go home to our families... but what do you do when you can't escape during the day? I think we all need an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with "refocusing and redirection" on it!

Personally, I rarely leave the building, because my workload is such that I can't take much time away, plus there's no place to go near my school since we're not in a great neighborhood. If I do leave, I drive to a better part of the city to get Starbucks (nom nom Skinny Caramel Macchiato, Cinnamon Dolce Latte, and the new Hazelnut Macchiato). Very very occasionally, a co-worker and I will pick up lunch to bring back to the office. That being said, I have to at least get out of my office during the day if I'm starting to crack!

Sometimes, I just need a quiet place for a bit where there's no phone ringing, no kids in the office, and no co-workers, so I'll go to our meeting/group counseling room by myself to focus. Usually, I take a walk. If a stop to check my mailbox and chat with the main office clerk isn't enough, I climb the stairs and do a few laps around the building, tactically avoiding a trip past certain classrooms so I don't get dragged into something (goodness knows I can't show my face outside my door some days without something happening!). On my way, I'll check in with a few kids that I work with or chat with a teacher. If I'm still plotting to rip out my hair, I stop by the cafeteria or one of my favorite classrooms to hang out with the kids and hand out Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) tickets to boost all our moods. It's impossible to be grumpy after spending time with the little ones. I like to observe as they learn, have them show me the literacy computer games they're doing, or sit down and work alongside them with manipulatives or a hands-on activity. My classroom of choice this year is our first grade 6:1+1 Special Class, who I did a counseling group with this fall. They are utterly precious... except for the times when they're having a massive freak-out and kicking me in the chest (that's another story).

If I can't get away from the desk or don't want to venture outside (and possibly getting dumped on :) ), I chit chat with co-workers. I share an office with three other people on a regular basis (with a few other part-timers), so there's always someone around and we typically get along well. Our favorite light-hearted, possibly inappropriate, past-times include: reading our daily "FML" calendar, making "That's What She Said" jokes (and hitting the TWSS button in my desk drawer), and dancing to "Friday" by Rebecca Black (but only on the appropriate day). Laughter is an absolute must to de-stress! I also will talk to Husband on Gmail Chat throughout the day to break up the monotony, or check Facebook, Pinterest, or play a quick game on my iPhone (anything in the "... With Friends" series does me good, or this Jetpack Joyride game that Husband downloaded).

How do you de-stress and re-boot during the day?

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