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THRIV Blog

Your Compassionate Source for
Evidence-Based Recovery Strategies

Presented by: Jen Johnson, PhD

The Heroin Bathroom

This past summer I moved from Dallas to a small North Texas town called Wichita Falls. My mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and since both my husband and I do most of our work remotely, we decided we wanted to be near her so we could enjoy her last days together as a family.

We finally found a house and hired a moving company to get us from point A to point B. Yay!

Moving day came and the movers arrived (late) and the problems started piling up. One of the three workers was constantly on his phone and in the bathroom. He and the foreman were constantly yelling at each other because of this. The foreman didn't think everything was going to fit in the truck. The owner didn't care and didn't plan on resolving the problem, among other things, like telling me I didn't understand math. If you know me, you know that insulting my intelligence didn't go over well.

Y'all. I wish that was the end of it. 

They arrived in Wichita Falls and among other drama (like asking...

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When It Feels Like Nothing is Going Right

I don't know about you, but I've personally had a really difficult Spring. My mom was hospitalized at the end of February, and by March she had passed away. She had terminal cancer and while it was somewhat expected, there's just nothing that can prepare you for it.

I was feeling really down this past week, and I decided to invest some time in a strategy that works really well for me and lots of my clients: mental time travel.

 

I just sensed eyerolls from all over the country as you all read "time travel." 

Stick with me. It sounds stupid. I know, and in fact, that's how I initially felt when I read about this practice in an evidence-based journal. You can read more here if you're into science.

But turns out, it works.

Let me share how it works:

1) Take 10 minutes to completely set aside all the awful junk going down at home and work. All the overwhelmed and overworked feelings.

2) Sit down with a notebook or open a note on...

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An exercise to reduce your anxiety today

I'm excited to share a new strategy with you today. This strategy is proven to decrease anxiety and take us out of our fight or flight mode and into our rest and digest mode. 

It's simple. It's quick. And when used daily over a period of time, it becomes more and more effective. 

Also, it's free!

Ready for the anti-climactic announcement?

It's focused, intentional breathing, also referred to as breathwork. It's using our breath to support our body. 

Stick with me. I know it can seem silly, but there's a large amount of research to back up the practice, so give it a try, and see if it's a practice you'd like to add to your daily self-care and detachment practices. 

Let me share how it works:

1) Open a YouTube video. 

2) Follow the prompts for one minute. 

That's it! Pretty easy eh?

Let's try one. You just breathe in as the shape builds, and exhale as the shape goes away. Sit up straight. Focus on the shapes. Let everything else pass in and...

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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...

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Guided Meditation for Stressed Teachers

 
 
Today I want to give you an easy win by providing you with a guided meditation for emotional self-care.

The guided meditation is provided in video format so that hearing folks can close their eyes and listen, and Deaf and hard of hearing folks can read it.

You could listen or watch during your lunch break, during your kid's baseball practice, or cozied up on the couch. My favorite things to do is lay in bed to listen. It's soooo relaxing.

via GIPHY

If you haven't done guided meditation before, you're in for a treat. It's a mindfulness practice that can help you learn to listen to your thoughts and body more intentionally. You'll relax and listen or read as I guide you through thinking about giving yourself compassion for the stress you're experiencing. 

Guided meditations are one of my favorite emotional care practices, so I'm excited to share with you.

Guided meditations are one tool that is available each month through the THRIV...

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