The last couple days have been sitting on top of my stomach like a stress bomb. Stress boulder, actually, might be more accurate. Apparently, just because I know lots of ticks for relaxing the body and releasing the tension – both physical and mental and beyond – does not mean I immune to the stuff. Of course I’m not. I’m human! And I am also a teacher, and this year back-to-school means stress boulder.
Here’s the thing about my professional life. I don’t write about it much because there isn’t nearly as much to share as with my momming or my yogaing. But this semester I am taking on more teaching than I have since I was full-time and clearly I am feeling it. And by it I mean STRESS, and in part, unfortunately, that stems from being an adjunct/part-time instructor.
You see, when you take on the role of part-time teacher, you don’t really do less for your courses. You still have all the prep work and then all the executing of the material and the grading and responding and whatnot. It’s an involved profession no matter how many hours you teach in a given semester or at what time of day your classes land. But, as an adjunct, my classes are often the last ones on the roster to fill because they are being offered to extend the reach of the full-time instructors, and my time slots are always evenings (because, for me, they must be – otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it when you figure in childcare costs – I’d be paying to go to work!).
As for not finding out about whether or not one of my classes this fall (I am teaching two) would “make” well, it took right up until Tuesday of this week to know for certain and the semester begins Monday of next week. That is not a lot of time to prep when you also “work” from home while raising your four children and now have to incorporate school drop off/pick up into your daily routines and you’re still subbing yoga classes to boot.
Enter stress boulder. Big. Heavy. Stress boulder.
And it’s ironic because one of my classes this fall is about Stress Management.
So how will I manage?
Extremely mindfully because I cannot continue feeling for the next four months like I have for the last two days. Although there have been bright spots, thank goodness, in general it has not been pretty. From here I have to, as Ben said tonight, “eat my elephant (ew) one spoonful at a time” and really dedicate time each day to finding balance.
Breathwork and meditation are at the top of the list.
Yoga and reading are up there, too.
So are moments to hug and laugh with my family, and some time to move my body.
I also made a motivation board (think vision board with the goal being: tell yourself these things so you survive) and wow, do I plan on using it. Calming the Monkey Mind? Yes please!
Crying might also be on the list. Because, hi. Human. And no matter how well you learn to manage it (yes, stress), you can’t ever make it go away. You simply keep on managing.