We are half way through the summer and many teachers are beginning to find it difficult to fend off anxious thoughts and feelings about school starting. This can interfere with our enjoyment of the second half of the summer. So, how can we enjoy our whole summer and not let anxiety steal it?
- Recognize anxious thoughts, especially the ones that are on repeat.
- Replace the anxious thought with a helpful thought. For example, each time your realize you are thinking, “I wonder if I will have students with difficult behaviours this year?”, replace it with the thought, “I will have a great class this year”, or “The students and I will work together to overcome any difficulties.”
- Recognize anxious feelings and their validity. The future is uncertain.
- Replace anxious feelings with a plan. For example, if students are exhibiting difficult behaviour, have a “quiet corner” in the room with books and music where they can go to calm down.
- After reviewing your plan, think your helpful thought.
In this way, we are working to retrain our mind to move away from anxious thoughts. There are many ways to deal with anxiety and this is just one way that helps me. Try it for a week and see if you are able to enjoy the rest of your summer more than before.