For yourself, ensure you are getting the rest and support you need. If you don’t have a support system, look to your institutional resources, religious leaders, or family to help search out resources. If you don’t have a dog or pet, maybe one should be in your future. Eighty-four percent of PTSD patients saw stress levels reduced simply by petting a dog, according to a Johns Hopkins study.
A dog is a serious commitment, so here are a few other options:
- Look for positive people. Make prep time or lunch break plans with positive people. Agree to chat about non-controversial work or non-work topics.
- Don’t participate in caustic workplace activities. Walk away from the negative folks. Don’t allow them to set the workplace tone.
- Set time aside for exercise at least a couple of times a week.
- Ensure you are getting enough sleep on a regular sleep schedule.
- Start meetings and classes with positive items. In faculty meetings, take time to celebrate successes and congratulate others on achievements. Create a positive work environment.
- Set time aside for hobbies, reading, or spending time with family. Just as we schedule meetings, it can be essential to schedule down time to recharge our batteries.
- Set clear work boundaries. Close your email program at a certain time each day or don’t respond to emails or return calls on weekends. Portugal recently banned employers from texting workers after hours.
If you feel you need help, remember you are not alone and reach out. Contact your medical doctor, your religious advisor, or the Employee Assistance Program at your school. The National Institute for Mental Health includes links to a number of federal mental health resources. Most states and some large cities and many universities have similar mental health resource pages. Take care of yourself. It will help you and those with whom you work.
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