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Reasons You May Be Too Tired To Teach (And What You Can Do About It!)

Feeling tired every morning is not normal. Neither is needing a cup of coffee before you are able to think clearly. If you constantly struggle to get out of bed in the mornings, feel lethargic until the evenings, or are just fatigued all of the time, your body is trying to send you a message. "Something is off." Healthy individuals should feel good and well rested each morning. If you don't and feel tired all the time, here are some reasons you may be feeling this way and a few interventions that may help.

  1. The most obvious, sleep, are you getting 8-9 hours of quality sleep each night? Probably not. If you are like most educators, you do too much. You clean, cook, plan, grade, teach, take care of kids... Hey, listen up. Hire a maid to come in once a week, get some healthy, easy to cook meals or a crockpot. Give chores to your kids (and make them do it). Or, let the dishes sit there for a day. Stop trying to do it all. Stop trying to be superman/superwoman.

  2. Get a physical. You may just be low on iron. If so, a whole food iron supplement can help. Make sure it is from a whole food source so that it is easily absorbed by your body.

  3. Check to see if you have adrenal fatigue. This is a simple blood test your doctor can perform during a routine physical. Signs and symptoms of adrenal stress may include fatigue, body aches, unexplained weight loss, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, loss of body hair, or skin discoloration. Acute stress causes the release of "fight or flight" hormones by the adrenal glands. This is perfectly normal however, daily caffeine and constant low level stress over a prolonged period of time can overwork the adrenal glands. As a result, they develop a reduced ability to regulate hormones that energize the body. The result is fatigue. Quality sleep, reduced caffeine intake, and elimination of excess stress can help the adrenal glands recover.

  4. Exercise. A simple walking program or other aerobic exercise mode you enjoy can help the body regulate hormones, increase energy, and reduce stress. Higher intensity exercises can even cause your body to increase the number of mitochondria (cellular energy producers). As we age, the number of mitochondria our body has decreases. This is due to an increase in sedentary behaviors. Exercise can cause mitochondria to multiply at any age.

  5. Eat better. Get proper nutrients! Your body cannot function well without fruits, vegetables, fiber, vitamins, and minerals! If you can't make time to cook healthy meals, at least make sure you are taking a good whole food multivitamin each day.

  6. Drink more water. Most people walk around each day in a state of mild dehydration. Coke, tea, and coffee all tend to dehydrate the body. A gallon of water a day is recommended. It is the easiest thing you can do to improve your overall health and increase energy levels.

  7. Make teaching easier. Take days off, go a little slower, use a video... whatever it takes. You have to go slow and steady and at a sustainable pace if you want to make it until retirement.

  8. Have something to look forward to. The work week is difficult. We all look forward to the weekends. Especially when there is something special waiting. Plan a trip out of town, dinner out with friends, or a romantic evening. Just set aside time each week to have fun! That is essential! Otherwise, you risk falling into the school is your life rut! That is a terrible way to live. You will burn out for sure!

  9. Use Teachers Pay Teachers when you are out of time! There are some great products there. Why reinvent the wheel!

  10. Make sure you are in the correct profession. Unhappiness an can manifest itself as fatigue. Anyone who has suffered from depression can testify to this. Sadness, feeling under appreciated, or just not enjoying life or your job can suck the life out of you. If you are not happy doing what you do, change it. Life is too short to be tired, sick, or unhappy! Our student's lives matter so much. But, so does yours! You won't get a single day to live over again. Make each one good!


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