About Paula Kay Glass

Paula has a Masters degree in education with an emphasis on child development and child behavior. She has been an educator for 22 years. She founded a private elementary school in 2003 and is now working through the Moore Public School District in Moore, Oklahoma as a special education teacher. Paula is also a contributing writer to The Huffington Post and has a children's book published. Paula has three grown children and resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. You can contact her at glass foundations@sbcglobal.net or paulaglass@moorepublicschools.com.

Stress is absolutely killing me, emotionally and physically. As my semester draws to a close I can’t help but think about the roller coaster this year has already been.

I love the feeling of starting a new school year. The fresh set of students, the eager eyes, the fun lesson plans. As the year progresses the kids seem to remain the same, yet the dynamic shifts: parents become wrapped up in their own stressors, homework is incomplete because “there wasn’t enough time”, bedtime routines are disturbed. The busyness of life has taken over households and the year is only halfway finished.

The same goes for me.

I'm overwhelmed in grading, other school personnel I am responsible for are experiencing their own challenges and I can't stay on top of my own personal life. Click To Tweet

Totally stressed.

After toying with my emotional state, these stressors then began to play with my physical well-being; my blood pressure runs incredibly high, headaches become more severe than normal, my sleep patterns are off and I don’t eat right. I recently spent time in the hospital because of these issues.

When you’re in the hospital one has a ton of time to reflect. So I did a bit of research on the stresses of teaching. There are several lists on the internet that list child care and teaching as one of the most stress-ridden jobs. Other lists say that teachers have one of the highest chances of developing depression, ranking six out of the ten top careers. Bi-polar disorder, though usually hereditary, affects ‘creative and artistic’ people more than others. I feel like the cards are stacked against me even more than normal.

I was experiencing stroke-high blood pressure and it was taking a bit to adjust my meds. During several visits with my nurse I asked about natural ways to lower my blood pressure. She contacted a life coach to come and talk with me. According to research and the life coach these are the top five habits that will improve well-being:

Eating three meals a day. I am definitely not one to eat well. We all know that eating well is important and this life coach couldn’t stress enough how important meals are to metabolism and energy. Even something as simple as yogurt or oatmeal was better than not eating. Protein bars are also a good choice, though eating well-balanced meals give the best results.

Self-care. Yeah, right. I didn’t even know what this was exactly. I am never able to unwind. Though I have gotten better about leaving school at school I still hit the door running when I get home. I don’t take time for myself and rarely do I have quality alone time. The book “The Art of Extreme Self-Care” was recommended to me and you better believe I ordered it right off. Being still and quiet is important to master in order for mental and emotional well-being. And we must take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.

Regular exercise. I have been going to the gym a couple of times a week and I can definitely tell a difference. I asked about all the walking I do at school and surprisingly that doesn’t truly count as exercise. This life coach told me that true exercise must have a mental component along with the physical component in order for it to work correctly. If I’m hurriedly walking in order to get from my room to the copier to any additional duty I may have, I am usually stressed and tense and my mind is thinking only about school instead of relaxing into a workout routine.

Eight to nine hours of REST. There is a huge difference between sleeping and resting. Resting is where you are relaxed and releasing stress and tension. It allows the REM sleep cycle to come easily and it allows one to stay in the REM cycle longer, which is the best stage of sleep for our bodies. In this stage our bodies are truly resting and we are able to rebuild damaged cells, which enables us to stay healthy physically as well as mentally.

Drinking plenty of water. Our bodies are 70% water. When we become dehydrated our sodium levels increase which isn’t good for our cells, especially the cells of major organs. Since our bodies are constantly trying to reach a state of equilibrium getting dehydrated throws everything off. I’m definitely not a water drinker so I know this is a huge reason why my blood pressure is heightened. It’s also an underlying cause of my headaches and a weakened immune system.

I’m hoping to be able to implement the items I know are missing from my daily routine in order to improve my overall health.

What do you do to protect your emotional well-bring?

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