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Presented by: Jen Johnson, PhD

Getting to the Bottom of Burnout

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed something: I haven’t written a new blog since the beginning of November.

Here’s what you may not know: even back then, I was struggling. 

In fact, my second-to-last blog was actually about how I was struggling to write the blog. 

It was about that time that I met with my social media manager and mentioned I felt “burned out” in terms of writing the blog. She suggested I take some time off through the end of the year. 

That sounded wonderful, so that’s what I did. 

January came around and I still thought to myself, “I don’t want to blog. I’m burned out.” I had to roll my eyes because I hadn’t written one in months! 

As I sat and reflected, I remembered the part in my book where I talk about how breaks or vacations don’t cure burnout. (Guess that applies to taking breaks from writing blogs, too.) 

I decided to pick up my book and read...

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Coping with Emotional Triggers During An Election Cycle

I never knew education was a controversial topic until I became a teacher. I didn't realize there were people who believed that I was trying to sway students to believe a certain way or accept certain beliefs. It was completely out of my awareness. 

Then when I became a teacher, I started to listen and focus in on those conversations I saw happening on social media and in the mainstream media related to education, and it was really upsetting for me. 

I felt confused and offended and betrayed and angry. And there were times that I would ruminate about it for hours on end. I just couldn't understand how people could believe that me and my colleagues were doing anything other than teaching the curriculum we were mandated to teach and using best practices to do it. 

It hurt me emotionally because I didn't have the skills to know how to disconnect myself from that kind of negativity, and sometimes I felt like I couldn't look away! I just kept watching and reading comments...

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Creating an Emotional Intervention Plan: Because You Need Support Too!

In education, we talk a lot about Behavior Intervention Plans for students, and we talk about how to teach children coping skills for emotional regulation. We recognize that even students who don't have a need for special education services might have emotional needs, and that's why we employ counselors in schools and provide Tier 1 supports for all students in the area of social and emotional learning. We even recognize that some students might need additional help learning emotional coping skills through Tier 2 services, never needing services from special education, but needing interventions nonetheless. 

However, we rarely think about how teachers and staff cope in moments of emotional dysregulation. There seems to be an assumption that we all have the skills necessary to emotionally regulate, even after assisting students in crisis, or that we know where to go to learn those skills if we need them. 

I don't know about you, but when I was in the...

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6 Questions To Help Your Focus on Tending To Yourself

This week in the Teacher Care Network Support Community we're talking about the first pillar in the THRIV™ model, Tend to Yourself.

As you either return to work this week for training or gear up to return, in what ways do you WANT to tend to yourself?

Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

1) How will you tend to your physical needs this week? You need food, rest, water, and comfort. Don't forget the comfort! It's an easy one to pass on by.

2) How will you tend to your emotional needs this week? How are you feeling about returning to work? Check out this app, Mood Meter, to help you keep track of your emotions. My favorite part is if you don't like what you're feeling after identifying the emotion, it gives you ideas to change what you're experiencing! It's $0.99 and based in research out of Yale's Center for Emotional Intelligence.

3) How will you tend to your social needs this week? If you're an extrovert, you might be totally...

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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, 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.


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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How Little Issues Become Catastrophic When We're Burned Out

I got married to my husband in 2015. I was still working full-time in the classroom at that time, and was also working on my PhD. I honestly don't even know how I had time to date anyone, much less decide to get married!! I swear half our dates were like "hey come over and help me cut out all this stuff I laminated" or "wanna go to the PTA carnival with me (and get put to work haha). He was definitely my teacher side-kick.


Everything went awesome until our honeymoon. By the fifth day, I was in tears, had gone out for solo coffee, and was on the phone with my best friend Carri, who also happens to be an expert in counseling.  


After the conversation, I took a picture because I wanted to remember the moment. Noteworthy as I look back is the wait staff at the hotel assuming my husband was coming with me and setting two places.


 The conversation went something like this:

Me: Carri, I can't do this! Like...I think I've made a mistake. I had no idea...

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