Like most teachers, especially new teachers, I’ve had my fair share of stress in my life. Although, reading through some of the things that other teachers, especially those in New York and other States have to deal with in their professional lives, makes me realize that in some ways I have it pretty good. At least my job isn’t hinging on how my students do in provincial testing and no one is sending the test results of my class out to the media without backing it up with information about class composition. Yes, in some ways I am extremely lucky.
But even so, stress is a part of my day. Even on very good days, something is bound to go not the way I planned it. Someone is going to share a home story with me that breaks my heart or I’ll feel the pressure of getting things done in the small amount of time that I have so I can get home at a decent time.
Last year and this year I’ve been trying to deal with this stress in different ways. My body doesn’t deal well with stress, my stomach in particular gets very upset. Last year it got to a point where I was sick to my stomach a lot of the time. I tried cutting out dairy. That helped a great deal though I do still have small amounts of cheese and the occasional ice cream, I don’t drink milk any more or even eat yogurt. I make sure to get my calcium through leafy greens and almond milk though.
But still my stomach wasn’t completely happy. Then someone mentioned eating kéfir and how much it helped them. At that point I was willing to try just about anything. Just around Christmas break, I bought some to try it out. I put a few spoonfuls on my granola in the morning along with my almond milk and berries. The effect was not instant but it only took a couple of days and I could see some very tangible results. I wasn’t feeling sick to my stomach, I wasn’t running off to the bathroom, my stomach wasn’t even filling with butterflies when I got nervous. Before I did the change over from French to English, when I was spending most of my time at school, I said to my husband, “It’s amazing. I know I should be stressed because this is a stressful situation, but my stomach isn’t upset so I don’t feel stressed!”
I tried switching from the very strong kéfir to the less strong, more drinkable stuff that Liberté also sells but it didn’t work as well so I switched back to the kind pictured above. I think that the fact that I increased my water consumption and my exercise has also helped but having seen what happens when I don’t eat it daily, even with more water and exercise, I know that it has helped me enormously.
I’m facing a new source of stress soon. Mrs. W. won’t be teaching with me in the mornings for much longer. I’m concerned about how things will go but I’m hopeful that with some daily kéfir and keeping up with my water and exercise I’ll be able to handle the stress without it affecting my health.
Speaking of health, I’ve also noticed that I’m not getting sick as often (knock on wood). A lot of people around me are getting sick and thus far I’ve managed to stay healthy. Here’s hoping that sticks.
In other non-school related news, I’m an aunt again. My nephew Owen was born this morning. Hopefully I’ll get to meet him in April.