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How to Physically Express Anger about Teaching

 
I often reflect on what resources would be the most helpful for you, and today's tool came from one of those times of reflection on my own burnout recovery journey.

When I would experience a burnout event (something that made me feel even more deeply ready to quit), I would feel so much anger. I would feel angry about budgets, emails, administrators, curriculum, policies, data collection, committees, drama...you name it, I was angry. 

Anger exists to signal us that there's been an injustice that needs to be righted.

Unfortunately, sometimes we can't right all the injustices. We have to process the anger through expressing it, and that's hard. 

As I studied the science behind why we feel anger and how it can be resolved, I realized I needed to be able to physically express the anger I was experiencing. 

Just throwing or hitting isn't enough though. You need to verbally express what you're angry about and why it's unjust. It helps us express our anger at the same time that we release physical energy.

I thought about all the things I could do: hit a pillow, hit a punching bag, etc, but what I really wanted was to destroy something. After experimenting with a lot of different materials, I found one food that did the trick for me. 

Eggs. 

Lucky for us, they're relatively inexpensive. 

Here's how it works:

1. Go buy a dozen eggs. 
2. Get out a sharpie.
3. Write a word that represents what you're angry about on the egg.
4. Find a place where you can throw an egg without getting arrested for vandalism. (I throw them against my fence in my backyard and then rinse it off with the water hose.)
5. Before you throw them, say out loud what you're angry about, and as you throw it, say the word you wrote on the egg.
6. Be amazed at how much energy this releases and how good it feels.

Here's an Instagram Reel to show you what it looks like or you can view the video that appears with this blog: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CUYUkVpBkv1/?utm_medium=copy_link  

If you haven't practiced physically expressing anger before, it might feel a bit strange. Lean into the strange feeling. Let down your inhibitions. Crush the anger!

 

If you try this egg-smashing anger release, I'd love to see a picture and/or hear about it! You can email me at [email protected] (I read every single one), or post it in the Teacher Care Network Support Community

Hold on teacher friends! The weekend is coming. I'm so proud of you for investing in your recovery. 

-Dr. Jen Johnson

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