Sep 18, 2017

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety in Teaching

Happy Monday, y'all! Today's post is a little different than normal. If you've followed me for awhile on Instagram, you may have noticed that here lately I have been posting a lot more pictures that actually have me in them. There's a reason for this and it deals with stress and anxiety. Since I have gotten a few questions about this through my teaching page, I decided to write a blog post about it here because the two go hand in hand.

I have been a teacher for 9 years now (wow!) and while there have been mannnny days where I go home and reflect on the day with a smile on my face and a feeling of accomplishment, there have also been SO MANY DAYS where I just go home so tired, defeated, frustrated, and confused. 

Teaching is so hard. I know every profession has it tough times, but I can safely say I didn't understand what stress was until my first year of teaching. Even nine years later, I sometimes feel like I have no clue what I'm doing. Every year is different. Every class is different. Every kid is different. And because every year is different, I feel like I need to change and adapt my teaching to best fit my current group of kids. What works for one group might not work for another. And yes, eventually we find our groove and a routine is developed for the year, but those first couple of months of every new school year are rough. (Teacher friends, please tell me I'm not alone in thinking this! Or maybe I just make everything ten times more complicated than it has to be!)  I have been so blessed  to teach the most amazing kids and I want to present them with the best opportunity to learn. That's a huge responsibility! Teacher friends, doesn't that just overwhelm you sometimes?!

Plain and simple. Teaching is hard. It is often times fun and rewarding and I love it, but that doesn't change the fact that it's hard. 

And somewhere in my 9 years of teaching, I let it get to me. 

I started having issues with stress and anxiety. I used to hate the word "stress" because I didn't think it was a real thing, but boy was I wrong. I used to be pretty laid back, but somewhere between my first year of teaching and now, I became the direct opposite of laid back. And I know that everyone deals with this in their job, but I didn't realize how awful I was dealing with it and how much I had let it get to me. I would work all day and then come home to start working on my teaching blog and creating teacher resources. I started worrying about not being able to get everything done that needed to be done and if I had to let something go because there wasn't enough time, I just couldn't let it go in my mind. I would constantly have to say to myself: it's okay that the tubs aren't labeled with a matching label or it's okay that I didn't finish a resource that I really needed to upload by tonight or it's okay that the books aren't labeled by genre and then organized by author." And I could tell myself all day long that these little things didn't matter and it wouldn't affect my teaching, but it still stressed me out. 

Okay, so what does all this have to do with the sudden increase in "me pictures" on my Instagram? Throughout this realization that I was letting my job get to me, I started to notice that it was affecting my appearance/health. I am stress eater, so I was gaining weight, something I have worried about my entire life. I was focusing so much on teaching and maintaining my teaching blog that I wasn't putting forth any effort in my appearance. And because of this, I developed a MAJOR issue with my self confidence. I hated the way I looked. I hated the way I dressed. I didn't want to think about it. 

So I didn't. When I look back at pictures on my computer, there is a noticeable gap in pictures that I'm actually in from 2015 to the beginning of this year. Almost all of the pictures from this two year span are of my classroom, my house, my dog, and my teaching resources that I create. I'm in almost nothing. I had three closets full of clothes that I would buy that were too small because I didn't want to buy what size I really needed. I would just tell myself that I would buy it as motivation to get into it. And then it would sit in my closet with the tags on forever. I bought three pairs of the same black stretch pants from Old Navy and I wore those almost every day with a variety of oversized v-neck sweaters that didn't cling to me at all so I could basically hide in them. My cousin had her sweet 16 birthday party at my house and there is not one picture of the two of us. I have no pictures of myself and my grandparents at this time. I have no pictures of myself and friends at this time. Every year I take a first day of school picture with my class. There is not one picture of myself and my kids from this two year span. I simply hid. 

When I realized this, I could not believe it. Don't get me wrong,  I love taking "object pictures". I absolutely love looking back at pictures, but for the last two years, there's so many pictures of objects that I can look at and think: I remember feeling so bad about how I looked when I took that.

So, I decided to change.

At the beginning of February I decided to start trying to watch what I ate and become a little more active in my daily life. I will never be one of those people who enjoys working out, but I try to take a walk everyday. Or every other day. Or once a week. It's a work in progress. :)

I decided that I might not be what size I wanted to be, but I could dress for the size I was. So I went shopping and bought clothes that actually fit. This part was SO HARD. I absolutely hated the sizes I had to buy, but I knew if I kept wearing the same pair of black stretch pants and the same v-neck sweater, I would never stay motivated. 

I started documenting what I wore each day so I would be motivated to not hide in clothing anymore. I didn't realize at the time, but this helped me get so much more out of my closet. Because I wanted to put together a new outfit to take a picture of, I was finding more stuff in my closet that I could pair with other stuff. I know this is just a silly little thing, but I cannot tell you how much this helped. I have always LOVED fashion and that was the very thing I lost when I let stress and anxiety get to me.

I still struggle with self confidence, but I have found taking pictures with me actually in them helps. I try my best not to find every little thing that is wrong with them (my legs look big in this one, my face is so puffy in that one, my hair looks awful here, etc.), but I know I don't want to be in the same place I was two years ago. I want to remember what is going on in my life right now and I don't want to look back on a picture and think about how awful I felt in it. I want to experience life and document it.

Stress and work anxiety is a part of life that almost everyone struggles with, but I'm making a conscious effort to not let it get the best of me. Some days are harder than others, but sharing with y'all on Instagram helps! We teachers (and fashion friends!)  must stick together, right?! :)

If you're interested in my past teacher fashion posts, click here to find links to all of them. 

Sep 15, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Fri-YAY, y'all! I am currently writing this on Thursday night because I know I will be utterly exhausted by tomorrow afternoon because it's Friday and it's a pep rally day. You don't know exhausted until you've experienced a pep rally as a teacher. Oh goodness! 

It's been a fun week that was anything but normal. We were out on Monday and Tuesday because of Hurricane Irma, so we only had three days of work, but it feels like 10. I haven't had a plan that hasn't been taken up with meetings since last Wednesday. But, it's all good! I love the weekends because you can regroup and start over on Monday!

Here's what I loved from this week:

On Saturday, my Mom and I went shopping for fall decor. I shared what all I found in Monday's blog post.

 My favorite thing was this pumpkin candy bowl for Halloween. Halloween is my favorite holiday! I didn't find as much as I had hoped in the way of fall decor, but I found such cute things for Halloween! I am counting down the days until I can put this door mat on my front porch! 

Oh, LUSH! Lush is one of my absolute favorite stores in the world. The nearest store is about two hours away, and it's just not the same when you order online because you can't smell everything. I stocked up on bath bombs and bubble bars that I will be using sparingly LOL! 

I was reeeeeaaaallllly low on candles and it was time to buy fall candles anyways, so I've been watching for Bath and Body Works to have a sale because who can spend $22 on a single candle when they go on sale quite often! 

What are your go to fall candles? These are the ones I came away with...

This candle was an odd purchase for me because I usually don't pick up coffee scents. I wouldn't have even looked at it if another girl hadn't opened the lid to smell it as I was standing next to her. It smelled heavenly and I just had to have it. I lit it and placed it in the kitchen and I absolutely hate it. It has a chocolate scent to it that I just cannot get past. I'm passing it on to my cousin!

Another favorite this week has been the cool weather we had at the beginning of the week. I broke out my $12 cape from Forever 21! I bought this at the end of winter earlier this year and I regret not buying it in every other color (if it did come in multiple colors!). It is the comfiest top and for $12 the quality isn't bad! I'm keeping a check on the site to see if they restock. Crossing my fingers!

I was in Target and I saw their display on fall Glade products and I fell in love with this scent. If you like fruity smells, this is a great one to transition into fall from summer!

Do y'all love the Fitness Marshall as much as I do???? I have been checking and checking his page for a dance to Taylor Swift's new song and he uploaded it Wednesday night. I cannot wait to start learning it this weekend! His dances are so fun and a great way to workout!

Fall is almost officially here and I spent yesterday afternoon get mums for my front porch! I cannot wait to decorate it this weekend. :) 

That was some of my favorites from the week. What are you loving right now! I'd love to hear. 
Happy weekend, y'all! :)

Sep 13, 2017

What I Wore: Teacher Fashion Week 36

Happy Wednesday, friends! I'm recapping what I wore to work last week on the blog today. If any pieces are still available, I will link them. :)

Click here to see past teacher fashion posts.

I don't know what it was about last week, but man was it a tough week! For it to be a four day week, it felt like it lasted for months. I had to be out Thursday, so I only worked 3 days, but I was dragging by Friday. This week doesn't look any more "normal" after being out Monday and Tuesday due to the tropical storm. But really, is there ever a normal week?? *sigh*

top // jeans // shoes (Seven Dial, not available online) // scarf (old, TJ Maxx) // handbag // necklace // sunglasses (Ray Bans, reeeeeallllllly old)

tshirt // pants // shoes // sunglasses (no longer available online or in stores, but you can find them on Ebay!)

turtleneck // jeans // shoes (Seven Dial, not available online) // sunglasses (no longer available online or in stores, but you can find them on Ebay!)

top // pants (Old Navy, old; similar here and currently 40% off!) // shoes  (Seven Dial, not available online) // necklace // necklace // necklace

top // pants // shoes (Toms, old) // necklace // earrings (TJ Maxx) // sunglasses

Sep 11, 2017

Homegoods, Target, and Kirklands Fall Haul

Happy Monday, y'all! This weekend I went shopping in pursuit of fall decor. I like fall, but it isn't my favorite time of year (I know so many of y'all disagree with me!). Fall is just always such a stressful, busy time with school starting back and football and pep rallies. I love the pep rallies and football games, but it's just a busy and exhausting time. Now, Halloween is a different story! Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. I'm ready bypass all these leaves and pumpkins and decorate with black cats and witches LOL! I decided to document all the fall decor I saw at Homegoods, Target, and Kirklands so I could share with y'all. No, I did not get all of this! :) :) 

Warning: this post contains a ton of pictures! 



I am dying over these black cat lights. I put them in the cart as soon as I walked into the store and carried them around the entire time I was in the store....and then I put them back :( I love them, but I don't know if I love them $14.99 worth. $9.99 I could do, but $14.99 is a bit steep..but how cute are they???? Give me all the witches and black cat decor for Halloween!


Okay, this is random and not at all related to fall, but I just had to share because buffalo check is so "in" right now and anything blue buffalo check reminds me of Draper James! My mom picked up this comforter set and I love it! I always navigate to neutral bedding, but I LOVE this look!

Myrtle Janes

Myrtle Jane's is a local store in Fort Payne, Alabama and I am obsessed with it! It has many different booths where people have decor for sale. I love going anytime of year, but I especially love going during the fall and during Christmas. You can follow their Facebook and Instagram. The owner does a fabulous job updating both places and posts tons of pics throughout the day! :) 

If you made it to the end of this post, wow! :) I cannot wait to decorate my house with the stuff I got this past weekend.  Bring on Halloween!