Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stressed Over the Moon

Let's say that there's a stress meter.  At the lower end the tag reads, "Productivity lacking due to no stress."  At the higher end it reads, "Forgot how to breathe, over the moon with stress."  Everything else falls in between.

Currently, many of my friends are at the "Over the moon, but somehow still breathing" level.  Last week, we had this fair called "Options."  If you're any good at guessing, you might just guess that it was all about exploring our options as teachers.  (Who knew, right?).  A number of Ontario school boards came along with northern Ontario organizations, Ontario private schools, a board from Calgary, and then a few international teaching opportunities including some UK and Australian teaching agencies and schools in Sweden, China, Korea and Honduras.  I'm probably missing a few categories, but I imagine you can get the gist from the list:  There were a lot of options.

I always thought choices were supposed to be a good thing, but I learned in psychology that too many options actually produce more stress and can cause damage.  

People were nervous before Options even started because we were told that the international opportunities would be accepting cover letters/resumes and possibly doing interviews.  (The school boards weren't accepting resumes but merely there to answer questions we had about their boards and the application process).

The day of it was like all of the animals at the Toronto zoo had been squished into the same pavilion.  The chaos started at 10:30.  The different organizations had booths lining the main hallway in the Faculty of Ed, ready and eager to talk about who they are, what they offer, and why you should apply to work for them (well, mostly.  Not everyone who came was helpful, but I won't name names).  Some of the organizations also had presentations throughout the day.  So, seemingly helpful, yes?

Apparently not.  Many of my friends found that Options only exacerbated their stress and as the day progressed, they only felt worse.  I wish I knew the magical words that could help them step back and calm down.  While stress in moderation is helpful and even good, too much stress can hurt you physically as well as mentally.  (Psych Major.  That's me).

While I'm not over the moon like some of my friends, I am feeling the mounting stress.  Especially as job interviews are quickly approaching.  I'd classify myself just over the halfway point at "Steady stream of Steam" (try saying that 10x fast!).  At this point, I think what is most stressful is the fact that I know that in an interview, I can only do my best and then it is out of my hands.  Not having the power over the final decision is nervous-making.

At the same time, this thought is also what helps alleviate a lot of the stress for me.  I can only do the best that I can do.  Worrying and over-stressing will not help me do my best and can instead trip me up.  Worrying won't make a job fall into my lap or make me feel any better, so why should I waste hours of my life worrying over something that I can't directly change?

While it's not always easy to do, I know that I need to find my source of calm and ride through this season, come what may.  To any of you in similar boats, I wish you the best.  Keep your wits and hold steady!

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his pan of life?  
Matthew 6:27
and
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  
Matthew 6:34

1 comment:

Sarrah said...

I didn't know there were verses about stress and anxiety. I hope it all gets a little less stressful for you and your friends soon! It'll all work out :)