That’s the face I’m making on the inside right now, because I’m a giant ball of stress lately. If I were wound any tighter, I might just explode. My heart rhythm is all out of whack, I’m grouchy, I’m not sleeping well, and really I’m just an all around good-time girl these days. Not. If I ask you to lunch you might want to have an excuse ready.
Why am I such a stress ball, you ask? The kids just started a new school year. And I just started a new job. Which I am sure will be wonderful and I will love. Eventually. Once I get used to it and stop freaking out. Which could really happen anytime now, thank you very much. I subbed last year, and I loved every day of it. But now I’m not a sub. I’m it. And I want to do right by these kids.
I’m teaching preschool, you see. Two-year-olds. 30 of them. And they are wickedly cute. But they also poop and scream at me because I’m some weird lady that their moms have dumped them off with for reasons unbeknownst to them. Here’s the sentence that I’ve said more than any other over the past 3 days, “Mommy will come back for you, I promise, but right now, let’s look at this Mickey Mouse toy!” Then they look at me like I’ve got three heads until they see that I’m not lying – I really have a Mickey Mouse toy and they can really play with it if they can stop crying for 3 minutes.
New job stress. I know that’s what this is. But somehow it’s not making my ability to deal with the stress any easier. And to be fair, two of my initial classes were like a dream – nobody cried, and everyone seemed very happy. I’m hoping that, as time passes and I get to know the kids and they get to know me, everything will even out and be all right again. Because what’s more important than making a positive difference in the life of a child?
And here’s that stress list I promised you. According the non-profit organization HCCUA, these are the top 10 sources of stress for humans. Right now I’m rocking number 5 and number 8 (although Corey is doing remarkably well, the fear of what the future holds never really leaves me):
1. Death of a Loved One- Even if a death is anticipated, such as with a prolonged illness, those people who loved the individual can experience extreme stress.
2. Childhood Trauma- People who are sexually, psychologically, and/or physically abused, or who have been abandoned while young, may carry these stresses into adulthood.
3. Divorce- All the aspects of a divorce, from personal to financial to loss of family and friends, contribute to these forms of stress.
4. Finances- Although this is easily understood as a stress factor, bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosures seem to increase the human stress levels even more.
5. Employment- Those who are employed may find their work, hours or co-workers cause stress, while those who are not employed find their circumstances without income and the job searching process also cause stress.
6. Poor Health- The medical crisis or being ill, escalating medical costs, terminal illness, becoming incapacitated, not having medical insurance, and not having access to medical services all contribute to causing stress.
7. Personal Relationships- If there are troubling issues with family, extended family, partnerships, friends, children, or lovers, these are all large contributors to stress levels.
8. Chronically Ill Child- The parents, family, and friends of chronically ill children all experience stresses caused from circumstances surrounding the child’s illness, and the personal and financial obligations derived from the chronic illness.
9. Pregnancy- Infertility, lack of a relationship when wanting children, adoption, premature births, unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancies, complications during pregnancy, and pregnancies caused from sexual abuse and rape are high human stressors.
10. Danger and Fear- People who live in war zones, crime infested areas, and in isolated communities can experience daily stressors that accumulate over time, while others who are victims of personally invasive crimes, such as cyber bullying and identity theft, are also at risk for high stress levels.