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Tabs' Blog

One of those Days

Tabitha Helms

Teaching is hard.Going at this pace is running me ragged. My new haircut may look young and perky, but inside there's strain, worry, stress, tension.

I have a sore throat right now. Being heard over 19 kindergartners with a sore throat is not the most effective thing in the world. I ache all over. My stomach is constantly "on edge," and I never know when I'm going to feel nauseous or not. Today it was during rest time and again while the kids were at art class and I was prepping for centers and for packing up. Times when I don't even have to maintain control in my classroom, I wear myself out and can't slow down.

The headaches are never-ending. They're always worse when I'm sick, but even when I'm well, the dull throb is constant. Somedays I don't notice it much; it's become another thing I just have to live with. Time to cope--gotta get through, I tell myself.

Today I lost my voice. My parent helper called in sick. And no matter how many times I repeated the rule "Follow directions quickly" one student refused to obey.

I had a staff meeting right after school where I was told our Christmas staff party/secret santa reveal will be a breakfast...before 6:45am...the same time that I wake up in the morning because it's the earliest I can do it without anxiety. I was also reminded of more things I have to do--teach both kindergarten classes "Away in a Manger" in sign language, share what I learned at convention in devotionals Thursday, and somehow remember to text the office ladies of my status during lockdowns. I then raced around my room for 20 minutes to pack up my cart, clean off tables from center-time, and write tomorrow's schedule on the board before running out the door chewing a piece of beef jerky to give me enough energy to go to my hair appointment.

Oh, and my "service engine soon" light went on this morning before work. Of course that would happen at Christmastime.

I can't sleep through the night with this sickness. I'm sure it hasn't helped my difficulty getting through the day with vibrant energy.

Tonight I looked up "tension headache" on mayoclinic. I learned some things: "Pain medications don't cure headaches; they just relieve the symptoms temporarily. Over time, painkillers and other medications may lose their effectiveness or they might even cause headaches. To avoid the development of medication overuse headaches, don't use over-the-counter pain relievers for more than nine days a month." Whoops, think it's too late for that.

"Rest, ice packs or a long, hot shower may be all you need to relieve a tension headache." I have tried all three. I rest in front of the TV every night cuz I have no energy to do anything else. I'm in bed before 10pm. I take a hot shower every night. And I wear a chilled eye mask to bed every night.

"Try some of the following suggestions to see which work best for you.

Manage your stress level. Stress is a commonly reported trigger for tension headache. One way to help reduce stress is by planning ahead and organizing your day. Another way is to allow more time to relax. And if you're caught in a stressful situation, consider stepping back and allowing emotions to settle."


"Go hot or cold. Applying heat or ice to sore muscles may ease a tension headache. Which treatment to apply is a matter of personal preference. Some people find heat more effective, while others prefer cold. If heat is your choice, you may use a heating pad set on low, a hot-water bottle, a warm compress or a hot towel. A hot bath or shower also may help. If cold is your choice, wrap an ice pack in a cloth before use to protect your skin."

Been there, done that.

"Perfect your posture. Good posture can help keep your muscles from tensing up. It places minimal strain on your muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. Good posture supports and protects all parts of your body and allows you to move efficiently. When standing, hold your shoulders back and your head high. Pull in your abdomen and buttocks and tuck in your chin. When sitting, make sure your thighs are parallel to the ground and your head isn't slumped forward."

Here's something I haven't tried. That probably would help. My back and neck are always tight. (She says as she's slumped over the keyboard of her laptop because there's too much stuff on her desk chair to sit in it properly.)

*Sigh. Here's the ironic part. My devotions have been about thankfulness all week. I've tried. I lie in bed every night, trying to fall asleep and ignore the pain in my throat, and thank God for things. I'm thankful the medicine kicked in and I don't feel my throat right now. I'm thankful for the verse I read tonight. I'm thankful I got to see my family at Thanksgiving. I'm thankful my sis-in-law is possibly coming into my class tomorrow.

I just need to keep my focus on what's important. Jesus is important. Jesus' calling on my life is important. In this life I will have struggles, but I will take heart for He has overcome the world.