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Can't work at home

  • 30-10-2020 5:24pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    I dealt pretty well with the first lockdown.
    But even though this second one isn't as bad I'm really struggling, I feel awful, lonely and anxious.
    I'm a secondary teacher and I love my job. The last few months were crazy stressful. I'm also studying a course that euphamistcally calls itself part time but is certainly more work than my undergrad.
    I completely crashed over this half term. I had planned to write at least two of the four essays I have due at the end of November but I've only got about half of one outlined. I have so much work to do for school that I haven't touched either. I stayed in Dublin over half term as my friends would be around and we could meet up for walks/coffees but I've only seen them once because unlike me they are busy with partners and familys.
    People keep talking about schools closing or going on strike and the thought of either makes me feel sick. Closing schools will double my workload and I can't handle the thought of sitting in my room all day.
    I have no motivation for anything. I've stopped sleeping. It's literally only been one week. I et out for a walk everyday. Chat to my housemate in the evening, then retreat to my cave of a room and get back into a panic spiral over how little work I'm doing.
    I was so looking forward to a rest over half-term and now I feel more exhausted than I did this day last week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 443 ✭✭TP_CM

    It's so important to go easy on yourself for the next few weeks. They will be difficult, and even more difficult if you demand so much of yourself. I think you need to accept that the perfect job just can't be done right now. Absolutely none of this is your fault and we are all going through this crappy chapter of our lives together. It really is hell for so many people. I recommend halfing the pressure you're putting on yourself, particularly in teaching. You don't have to be the best. Just aim to get a pass grade at everything at the moment and to be honest a few fails here and there won't change anything material.

    With regard to the essays and the part time course, I would recommend trying a different approach. There are dozens of approaches to essay writing and I think you'll get further if you try something different. YouTube can help you with this. Mind mapping, starting with a similar essay written by someone else and using it for inspiration (without plagiarism obviously), bullet points down a page. There are loads. Focus more on prepping for the essay than the essay itself.

    Take a look at all the free services available to help you through this time. It's not a big deal phoning them you know. Look at it like a learning objective. People turn these services into a bigger deal than they really are, which is just a helpline for people to discuss options and positive ideas. And they're completely free.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 5,366 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    Would you consider a chat with your GP, or a counsellor, or both?
    It sounds like you are in a vicious circle of anxiety, which is very understandable in the circumstances.
    Try to focus, as much as possible, on what you can control, rather than what you cannot.

    There are some helpful resources online in relation to wellbeing, especially in the current difficult climate.

    Could you defer the course, even if it costs more to do so? It would relieve some of the pressure you are feeling.

    See the attached link, which may help if you choose to attend counselling. Most are doing sessions via Zoom / Skype at present. Your employer may have an Employee Assistance Programme which would be worth checking out.

    Look after your health, that is your number one priority.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 348 ✭✭Trouser Snake

    You've got to get your sleeping pattern into some shape or form, I'd second Hildas advice. Ring your GP, explain your predicament and I'm sure they'll (your doctor) would prescribe something.
    Once you've that in shape witb good eating routines can you begin to tackle the heavier stuff.
    Best of luck, you've taken a huge first step, keep going!!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,885 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko

    If the additional course is just too much in the current environment, then drop it or defer it. This will give you some breathing space.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Thanks for the replies all.
    I took some anti-histamine I had for hayfever before I went to bed the other night and found them shockingly effective. Really helped me feel much better. I'm still mildly panicked but I forget about school and college for a bit and did some errands/jobs around the house and it made me feel so much better. Also opened up to someone about how I was feeling - just over text but it was still helpful.

    I had a really rough mental health episdoe in my third year of college and struggling with my essays really brought it all back. Lockdown and isolation really didn't help. I will look into seeing a councellor for a few sessions over the next week or so.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought

    I’d also do some online keep fit of some
    sort - Joe Wicks has a lode of videos that are lighthearted and fun and free. I found they really helped to start the day. Just one walk isn’t really enough when you are indoors all day!!

    I also use podcasts - pick any subject away from a serious one or crime - there are lots of lists of ‘best’ podcasts if you google them - they will take your mind out of your head and give you a distraction break from yourself and your thoughts.

    If you find the course is too much or you are overwhelmed you could always consider giving it up or deferring it, - life can be too short for competing against yourself. Or you could timeline your afternoon/ evening and be strict re setting targets for the essays.
    Part of this is accepting that not perfect is acceptable, and not procrastinating because you have all day left to do it. I set blocks of time in 20
    minute deliverables & say by x time I will have typed X sextion, by Y time I will have put bullets down for Y section, etc and have a finish time. If I have not finished by the time set, I
    move on. That way you put an end to the misery and can see progress. Even if you have to go back later and finesse it you can structure this into a timeline too.

    There is always the thought that study and traditional multiple essay deadline courses mihht not suit you. If I had had terrible trouble all the way through college & this level of stress I’d seriously be asking of it was worth it and whether they pay off would be enough to justify the mental anguish. There are also self paced online courses that might be a substitute? Or not doing a course and relaxing and enjoying life....