You've probably hopped over here today because you cannot imagine how ANYONE could RELAX in a classroom. My own classroom is a chaotic, messy place where mystery tissues are currently running amuck.
Most days, despite the chaos, I feel absolutely in control. But other days, I feel like I am spiraling into a black hole with no way out. I'm sure you understand what I mean.
What I usually do when this happens is work even harder, which stresses me out even more.
So, I've developed some coping strategies to help me avoid being sucked into this "black hole." I use these tactics during my planning or lunch time to help me refocus.
The Comfy Chair:
This is the comfiest chair in my classroom. Some days I set my timer and sit in this chair for 5 minutes. During this time I am NOT allowed to think about school at all. Instead I think about the new shoes I want to buy or how I would organize my dream kitchen. It is really difficult to sit the entire 5 minutes, but it really helps me refocus.
Call me childish, but I LOVE to color. One of the many perks of being a classroom teacher is the virtually endless supply of crayons. Some days during lunch I will take a few minutes to color a picture out of my favorite Dinosaur coloring book. I keep a stash of the best crayons in the class in my desk for this purpose. I usually feel SO much more relaxed and ready to pick up my students.
Lights Out, Pandora On:
During my planning and lunch times I always work with the lights out. Sometimes I turn on Pandora on my computer. Depending on my mood I have a few favorite channels: Easy Listening Radio, Classical for Studying, and Jack Johnson Kids. These are all channels that are safe for kids or adults who may happen to walk into your room during this time.
We only get a few precious moments to ourselves each day. (And some days NONE at all) Sometimes we get so caught up in the magnitude of our responsibilities and we get overwhelmed. Taking this time to reflect each day has really helped me to prioritize and keep my cool.
Do you have any other suggestions for ways to refocus throughout the day? I would love to hear about them in the comments! :)