James Hilton, author of Leading from the Edge: A School Leader’s Guide to Recognising and Overcoming Stress, reminds us that it’s important to switch off from work over the school holidays:
In the run up to Sports Relief, I have been following the trials of a number of celebrities, including ‘The One Show’s Alex Jones and Formula One’s Suzie Perry taking part in BBC’s ‘Hell on the High Seas’.
Tasked with sailing a 65- foot yacht around some of the trickiest waters in the UK, they had a clear route and plan in mind. However, forces beyond their control came into play, in the shape of predicted gale force winds. This, combined with sleep deprivation, severely affected the celebs, but they finally emerged victorious raising around a million pounds for some very worthy causes.
Working in education, external forces frequently knock us off, what we know to be the best course. The ability to deal with stress often lies in a sense of feeling in control. The difficulty is that, so many of our targets in our professional lives are dictated to us. The solution? To try and regain some control by setting our own personal targets – regaining some mastery of our own destiny.
So with Easter nearly upon us, two important things for one of the most dedicated and hard-working professions in the world.
Firstly, the ability to switch off from work is crucial to staying resilient. Some of us find it easier to relax than others. If you find it hard, then work on distracting your mind instead.
Secondly, set yourself a personal target that you are in control of. Read that book that you have been meaning to get round to, see that film, join an evening class.
Teaching is one of a few professions where you can always do more but this Easter – try and relax and set your own targets and you will feel so much better – I promise you.
Ride the storm – never let it engulf you!