Category Archives: mental health

The Trauma I Never Knew I Had…

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Covid has wreaked havoc on education. Sub shortages, teachers leaving the profession, kids with anxiety and on medication…now even the leaders are retiring. So the big question is “Why?”

The short answer is apathy. In order to keep schools afloat and not ruin an academic future, schools required as little as possible. We took one grade per week, made most assignments optional, gave a choice to show up in person…we made learning easy and students got comfortable. However, what we were doing was hardly education. We were surviving.

When schools reopened, we again made many things optional and the virtual experience became a joke. Students got a year of very minimal learning as most teachers were forced to do a hybrid learning model. So now even though school was back in session, the learning struggled as teachers were overwhelmed balancing both. Later, Texas tested all of our kids while saying it did not count…was a baseline for the future. Wrong!

HB4545 is attempting to bridge the gaps of the horrific scores that “did not count” while frustrating teachers and making them feel defeated. Students have seen how minimal effort can bring a grade and failing is still nearly impossible so why put in more than the minimal? Then we got the sub issue.

Certain districts pay more than others so subs are really community members that love their community.

Watching the Amazing Race episode 3 when they shut down due to Covid, reminded me I have trauma. Trauma from life shutting down and my job closing. Trauma from sending kids home with one hug and a good bye. Trauma from virtual teaching. Trauma from homeschooling as a teacher. Trauma from learning new things and putting them to use quickly. Trauma from wanting to teach but realizing we are just giving a grade…most kids did as little as possible.

The teacher trauma is real!

Now we have schools with anxious students and teachers and leaders in very stressful situations. Balancing everyone’s mental health and not wanting anyone to break.

So here we are…brave educators digging in deep to ride this out. Kids are fragile so we all must walk carefully. No other job impacts children like teaching and I am here to stay…but things are challenging as you have to choose between scores and sanity.

It is what is, but the more support the better! Parents show you care. Teachers check on each other. Leaders show grace and compassion and serve your staff. Students come to school to learn. We can conquer this together. God is with us and suffering produces perseverance. The answers are complicated, but hope and love are strong and I believe in our business and system.

Just Cycle!

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I love Camp Gladiator, but sometimes you need to mix it up. So happy to share I found cycling! A new gym opened up in Kaufman called Arise. It is more elite with top notch equipment and technology. I have not tried everything, but I am hooked on their cycling!

Hear me now…it is expensive. 20 dollars a class…makes CG look cheap, but it hurts so good! I love you can track your performance, set goals, compete as a team and it is inside! Hot, cold, rainy…you are good!

Recently I found the love of theme classes! Praise and worship class to feed my soul. Lil Wayne to feed my inner hip hop. Lizzo to feed my diva. The music gets me going as I push myself to new records or just release my stress.

Of course, I still love my CG. Recently I found Camp Gladiator on demand workouts and Quick hitters have hit the spot! 30 minutes- you can do anything. No need to carve 2 hours out of your day…just get it done and check it off!

The live part makes it interactive but sometimes you need people so going in person is nice too. Whatever you choose to do to focus on your health…just move!!

You will not regret it!

Which Flare? What does a Lupus flare feel like?

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Today I go to two doctors to check on symptoms of inflammation. One is an eye doctor…my eyes have been on fire lately and the second is my regular check up to see if the Methextrate is working or we need to try something new. Many Lupus drugs have serious side effects, so I need to be careful and check blood work often.

Going to the doctor today got me thinking about all my flares the past ten years. I often get asked “What does a flare feel like?” My response is “Which one?”

My first flare was my worst…achy joints, high fever always, weight loss, fatigue, cold all the time. We started Plaquenil and within three months I was feel good again…a new norm of anemia, infertility and fatigue always, but not hurting.

My second big flare was achy joints, fatigue and hair loss. Patches of bald spots and an itchy scalp that kinda surprised me since I did not know my hair was connected to auto immune issues

My third big flare was my scariest. Lung inflammation. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I could not catch my breath and my chest hurt. Again, no clue my lungs could be connected to my Lupus.

This one has lasted the longest…mirrored more Rheumatoid arthritis than Lupus. It caused me to change my meds to focus on joint pain rather than fatigue. It caused my hands to go crooked and surprisingly has impacted my eyes. No clue if it is inflammation or allergy or random coincidence but my eyes have been burning. This flare also impacted my weight and fatigue and now thinning hair. A big surprise is the new inflammation in my stomach…food does not process which makes me feel malnourished.

The crazy thing is insurance causes me to need referrals and it is hard to know what can be treated with a GP versus a specialist. So much is determined by Lupus and is just confusing. So my goal today is to get answers and maybe a better plan. I feel good mentally, but Lupus can cause depression too and I have had that this time as well. Pray that God leads me to answers and wisdom today!

I am blessed with all the advancements in this tricky disease. I am learning to accept myself at my lowest weight, infertile, bruised from blood thinners, thin hair that does not grow out and feeling tired all the time. Learning I am who I am with this disease. No one can truly understand it through my eyes and what I go through each day to make it to the next as a mom and teacher and wife…but God is using this for His glory! Adoption and more has been a gift in this and I am not dead. I have felt like dying is near at times or even frustrated that my quality of life at 42 is so different …if this is 42 what will 62 feel like…will I live to see 72? Does my child get the mother he deserves?

In it all, I will take this life and live it awake. I will appreciate what I do have through a support system and medical team. God is good!

Today I am focusing on Psalm 136:1. I am giving thanks to God. Thankful for my body. Thankful for my medical team. Thankful for prescription drugs. Thankful for a supportive husband. Thankful for prayer. Thankful for days to take off for the doctor. Thankful for the beauty in the ashes. Thankful on purpose.

Mental Health and Teaching

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Summer time is here! As a teacher, these two months (calendars keep changing) are the reason the other 8 months are worth it. Time for family. Time for rest. Time for recharging and reflecting. Time for ALL the appointments.

The temptation may be to do more. More studying. More planning. More getting ready for next year. I say, “Stop!”

Use this time for self care and strengthening your personal wellness and health. Focus on the you that gets forgotten 10 months of the year as you focus on the duties and unwritten contract hours that you never get paid to do. Do not feel guilty for just being.

Teachers are dropping this profession daily so celebrate you are still here, still teaching and commit to the summer “off” before returning. Of course we do our professional development and other areas to grow…but let it be okay to not do that every day as well!

You are worthy to take time for you.

New Habits

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2020 was the year our trauma was exposed. The year we had a moment to step back and see what God was seeing. Busyness. Greed. Selfishness. Chasing after the wind to gain power, success, money…but losing family, health and righteousness.

2021 can be the year to repair what the trauma exposed. Relationships with family, clarity in our mission, a new way of doing things. A greater focus on what matters and what you really “need” to thrive. God’s way is simple, but costs us everything. God’s way brings life.

2021 is the year of new habits. New mindsets that 2020 revealed are needed. Mindsets of humility, grace, health, knowledge of God’s word, seeing trials as a process for change.

This year starts some new healthy habits that will be game changers.

1. Reading the entire Bible. God gives us direct access to Him and I am taking advantage of it.

2. Changing what I put into my body. More water specifically.

3. Discipline through CG workouts. Build muscle, grow lung strength, push yourself mentally and encourage others around you. Take an hour for yourself to take care of your body and grow your mental toughness.

4. Choosing family and quality relationships while putting down the things that keep us from it. My FB friends do not fulfill me more than family.

5. Financial freedom. Stop using things to buy happiness. Get out of debt .

I struggle being generous because I fear not paying bills, but the truth is I am spending all my money on things for myself to make me happier. Time to stop.

This year is the year to make changes needed now that God has my attention.

Healthy Body…Healthy Mind with Camp Gladiator!

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This is my sweet dog on most days while I work out. She just hangs out beside me while I sweat. I have tried multiple gyms and nothing seemed to keep me going except when I started Camp Gladiator. You get two options in person or virtual. Virtual fits my life right now, but I can always upgrade later. The best part of virtual…you stay at home while seeing a trainer LIVE! Yes! No videos…full accountability while they train you. Ask questions, make comments….they will respond!

The challenges reward me with free gear or points and keep me motivated to stay involved. Some days (like today) I was not feeling it, but I logged in and just faked it til I felt it. The glory of them seeing you pop in…no escape! 2500+ options to work out virtually which means you choose your time!

The best bonus is a busy mama like myself can be with my kid. No childcare, no picking him up then dropping him off again…he can be home and I still get my workout in. Plus the virtual option is affordable on my teacher budget!

I feel better, I look better and on rough days it keeps me mentally better. I needed this.

I have referral codes for a free week. Join me in trying out something that has helped me…some trainers even pray at the end (optional) but keeps your spirit right too! If you want to experience a virtual breakthrough then reach out with your email and we can get you started!