I was looking for healthy ways to cope with anxiety and stress. I knew I needed help to manage my feelings. I talked to Dr. Joan Wyatt at the St. Johns County School District Wellness Center at O’Connell, and she recommended talking to behavioral health counselor Kristen Orlando.
Through our virtual sessions, Kristen showed me how to make wise and mindful decisions. She also showed me how powerful breathing can be to help you get through the daily stressors as a teacher.
Understanding the difference between facts and feelings has also helped me reflect more rationally about internal and external conflicts I was facing, and utilizing the S.T.O.P. mindfulness method has really improved my interpersonal relationships. Honestly, just having someone to talk through these issues has been a major help.
After scheduling regular sessions, I’ve been able to commit to goals that help me to create a better work-life balance. These small changes have carved out time for activities like walking that not only help with my mental health, but my physical health as well.
I’ve learned that taking time for me isn’t selfish, it’s a necessary part of living a healthy, well-balanced life. Before, I was working more hours, but never recharging enough. Today, I’m living a much healthier, happier life now thanks to Kristen. I no longer feel like I have a weight on my chest. I have the energy I need to be the best teacher for my students.
Teaching is such a stressful job, but it is also an important one. It is often difficult to draw boundaries because we all care so much about our students. Learning how to prioritize your own mental and physical health is a real game changer. — Megan Young, Marathon Health Member