May 30, 2019
Episode 58 of The Teaching Space Podcast explores Monday morning anxiety.
Back in March I wrote an email to my TTS Extra subscribers about Monday morning anxiety. I was surprised that so many people responded to it, so I thought it would be a good idea to record a podcast episode on the topic.
I guess for some, it is technically Sunday Night Anxiety.
For me it’s a sinking feeling in my stomach, a mixed sensation of anxiety, anticipation and worry about the week to come. Ahem... I also have physical symptoms, but you need not know about those!
The thing is, I’m happy, I love my job and manage my stress levels extremely well. But Monday morning anxiety is something I have struggled with for over 30 years and it won’t quit. It’s definitely got to the stage where it is far more physical than mental, but even so, it’s there and it is a pain.
That being said, I have developed a few strategies to manage it.
One of the most important strategies I use is switching off from work at the weekend. I don’t check emails and I don’t mark or plan. The closest I get to working at the weekend is professional reading or study (for example, working on my Advanced Teacher Status portfolio). My weekend priorities are recharging my batteries, hanging out with my people, being outdoors and enjoying my creative hobbies. Check out The Productive Teacher book for more on this.
Another strategy I rely on is planning my Monday on Friday. I review my calendar and organise my to-do list. Often it’s The Unknown that increases my anxiety.
Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Goodness, I am so ‘on brand’ for a teacher educator! Your basic needs must be met if you stand a chance of reaching self-actualisation (a.k.a getting through the week!) I meal plan and grocery shop every Sunday. Having meals organised for at least five days removes an element of stress from my life and helps me manage my energy. I am quite convinced meal planning on a Sunday helps reduce my anxiety on a Monday. I even recorded a meal planning podcast episode (check out episode 32).
Planning and organisation is definitely at the heart of my approach to anxiety management.
Many of the strategies I mentioned above have become habits. If you are interested in learning more about establishing positive habits then you should definitely listen to episode 49 of the podcast, Create Positive Habits That Stick and read the book I mention in it.
That’s all from me today, before I go, I have one small ask. Please sign up for my weekly email newsletter, The Teaching Space Extra. It includes access to my free resource library, as well as lots of great reading recommendations and information about productivity, teaching and tech. Hop over to theteachingspace.com/tts-extra to sign up.