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Fortify Yourself to Deal with and Avoid Burnout

March 3, 2023

Fortify Yourself to Deal with and Avoid Burnout

The AFT provides staff with monthly health and wellness tips, and now they are sharing them with the Share My Lesson community too! March's issue offers tips to help you look away from screens and get up and move, guidance for nourishing your body, and ways to fortify yourself to deal with and avoid burnout.


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Good Old Fashioned FUN

Before the advent of screens, it was easy to go out and play actively. Video games are exciting, but not a replacement for classic indoor and outdoor games that have the added benefits of endorphins for the brain, exercise for the body and fun for the soul! Some no-tech games can be played by one’s self, with just one other or with a group. A few ideas to have a blast without leaving your property and to work up a sweat include:

Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.
Jackie Joyner-Kerse

Badminton - Set up net, grab a set of rackets, light birdies and get active together in the backyard.

Hopscotch - Requires nothing more than chalk and a small object like a rock or bean bag for hopping good fun.

Four Square - Gather a rubber ball and four players, then draw four squares, one for each player to stand in. Bounce the ball between players in squares until a player makes an error and is eliminated.

Jump rope - Enjoy practicing basic jumping skills. Add rhymes to increase fun and variety to the game.

Hula hooping - Master the challenge of spinning the hoop around your waist and see who can keep it going the longest.

Freeze Dance - All that is needed is some form of music and some willing bodies. Everyone dances as the music plays. When the music stops, each player must freeze immediately and hold that position until the music begins again.

Google the traditional rules or use your imagination to make up your own. The trick is to make spending time doing these exercises/ games as fun as possible. Whether it’s a work out at home or outdoors, games can always be a fun way to spend time with your family, kids and friends


Royalty demands the best and so should you. The best, doesn’t mean the most expensive or the richest foods, it means food that is fresh, seasonal and local. Simple, yet healthful dishes with lots of vegetables, are the highest quality foods to nourish yourself and your family.

You are the king or queen of your body, so plan a menu that is fit for a magnificent future.

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food
Paul Prudhomme
Here are a few tips to elevate the status of your menu by focusing on quality foods that are appealing to the senses:

Appearance. We eat with our eyes first, so presentation does matter. Choose fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors.

Aroma. The smell of food can enhance the flavor. Freshly cooked food that smells delicious can appetize the palate. Texture. Since the texture of food is mostly determined by moisture and fat contents, the sensory experience is influenced by how the food structure breaks down in the mouth.

Taste. Foods with less salt, sugar and fat may not be perceived to be as tasty, but adding in the sensory cues of appearance, aroma and texture can enhance the enjoyment of healthier foods with reduced fat, sugar and salt.

Recipe of the Month

sala shooters

Salad Shooters

Romaine lettuce leaves
Chive and onion cream cheese, softened
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. white vinegar
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh basil

Place the lettuce leaves on a large platter. Add cream cheese into a resealable
food-storage plastic bag, cut off one corner and squeeze out onto large end of each leaf. In a small bowl, mix tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and pepper until well combined. Divide and add among lettuce leaves. Top with basil.

The Domino Effect of BURN-OUT

Social isolation, general worries about the global situation, our loved ones, our health and the economic situation all play a role in affecting mental health. Pressure has been increasing for many at work and at home leading to emotional, mental and often physical exhaustion, which is also called burnout. Building and sustaining a strong boundary between our work life and personal life can help to refresh our moods and rejuvenate ourselves to avoid burnout from prolonged stress.

Causes of burnout can include juggling too many tasks and long hours, but the depressing characteristics of burnout most often occur when we feel out of control. If we are completing tasks that are in conflict with our sense of self, lack support or adequate breaks, we edge into burnout. Signs of burnout can bubble up as a sense of dread about work, frequent feelings of anger or irritability and feelings of extreme fatigue.

There are ways to arm yourself to deal with and avoid burnout including:

Avoid pressure to overperform. We all want to be recognized for our contributions, but the motivation to “prove your value” can fuel burnout.

Draw better boundaries between work and home life. Schedule regular breaks, start and stop work at set times and minimize multi-tasking.

Practice self-care. Common strategies include mindfulness, meditation, getting enough sleep, eating nourishing foods and exercise.

Take care of your own health and ask for help. If overwhelmed by personal responsibilities, discuss openly with a spouse, family member, friend or therapist.

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The AFT was formed by teachers more than 100 years ago and is now a 1.7 million-member union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities.


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