From To Do – To Done: 5 Strategies to Manage Teacher Overwhelm

It’s an overwhelming time of the year. Well, there really are many overwhelming times in the life of a teacher; The beginning of a new school yearReorganization… right before any school holiday… report card season… the end of the school year… that random Tuesday that also happens to be a full moon…

I myself have been searching for strategies to help me manage the overwhelming feelings I get around this time of year.

For me, I never realize that I am being impacted until it hits me.

I was driving home the other week from the garden center and I couldn’t catch my breath. It was only shallow breaths that were occurring.

When I told my husband what happened, his guess was that I had had a panic attack. I don’t remember this happening before and don’t know for sure if this is what happened but it was enough for me to slow down and really get myself organized and together.

While I am fortunate that I do not suffer from debilitating anxiety, as more gets added to my plate, managing my mental health has become more of a concern.

When I feel overwhelmed I find there are a few strategies I use to help me manage this anxiety and stress so that I can get done what needs to get done.

I wanted to share this because teacher mental health is important and we need to acknowledge that behind every perfectly posed Instagram or Pinterest post is a teacher that is just as stressed out and overwhelmed as you might feel.

Make a List

When you feel overwhelmed make a list of all of the things you need to do. Brain dump everything you can think of.

Look at your list and number them one to five. One being things most important that you need to do now and five being something not-so-pressing, or that can be done last. To help prioritize this think about the consequences of what will happen if you don’t do something. This will help you to put things into perspective those are the things that.

From the things that you rate a 1 or 2 decide which one is your frog. Eat your frog first so it’s done and over with.

  • Grab a notebook to make your list
  • Ask for help
  • Rate and colour code your list
  • Eat your frog

Jump In

Stop procrastinating and get started on that list.

Many of us myself included will do just about anything to avoid the thing causing us stress.

Sometimes we just need to get started.

Set a timer for a manageable amount of time and work just for that length of time.

Amy Porterfield calls this Tiger Time. Find a time in your schedule that you can dedicate to to checking things off your to do list.

  • Make a Schedule
  • Stay Focused
  • Avoid distractions
  • Set limits
  • Reduce Disruptions

Work Out

Take some time and burn some energy.

Getting physical will burn some much needed energy resources.

This helps me to break my stress loop. I stop thinking about my to do list and can only focus on lifting those 25 pound weights above my head without them crashing into my face.

  • Schedule a date at the gym
  • Take a walk or run
  • Download a video
  • Close your rings

Change Thinking

They say stress is manufactured.

I hate that it is, but this means that we are in control of how we see the events in our life.

There are definitely stressors. Those are real but how we perceive them will shape how we react to them.

Listen to your voice telling you how you feel and actively change the story and time of your stressed out voice

Think of the size of the problem. Often the problem is not what we can control and we just need to think practically and not make our small problems big problems.

  • Gratitude Journal
  • Positive affirmations
  • Surround your self with positivity

Have Fun / Be Happy

Who or what makes you happy?

Don’t loose sight of this.

Do something everyday that makes you happy. Spend five minutes doing nothing. Meditate, do yoga, hide in your closet, go for a walk or take a bath.

Play with your kids or hang out with your friends and don’t feel guilty for this. Schedule this time for yourself.

  • Don’t feel guilty – taking care of you is important
  • Do what fills you up
  • Use it as a reward


Find Patti on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook!

You might also like...