Stress – seeking balance

This week I submitted (and received back) my final assignment in my final subject for my Master’s in Teacher Librarianship. YAY!! It did, however get me thinking about balancing stress.

Throughout my Master’s journey, I have received distinctions or high distinctions on every assignment. Yet, with every submission I worried that I would fall below the standards I was aiming for. On the one hand, stress about my assignments was beneficial: stress about meeting deadlines meant that I got them in on time, and stress surrounding fitting all the requirements from the rubric into the word count led to fairly tight, high quality writing. On the other hand, stress led to snapping at my family, losing sleep and making poor exercise and eating choices. There is definitely a balance between the beneficial and detrimental aspects of stress, and I often found myself on the wrong side of that balance.

As the school holidays draw to a close and I start feeling stirrings of stress about the coming school year and the tasks I want to accomplish, I find myself hoping that I can find a better balance. I hope for the control to allow enough stress to spur me on to accomplish things and meet deadlines without falling prey to its detrimental aspects.

Some tips that I have come across (The Leaders Institute, 2002 – 2019; WebMD, 2005-2020) that I will try to implement:

  • Eat a balanced diet – this is something I try to do, but I have started tracking my eating to keep myself accountable to healthier food choices;
  • Exercise – I have signed up for a fitness passport membership to encourage me to do some intentional exercise weekly;
  • Analyse and schedule tasks – I am looking into better ways to manage my task lists and schedule my time so that no facet of my job or life responsibilities gets overlooked;
  • Take breaks – make sure that I take at least one break period in every work day… some time when I am not trying to get jobs done, plus make sure I take at least one day of my non-work days where I do not do ANY school-related work;
  • Relax, stretch, be mindful – when stress rises in ways that start inhibiting performance, I will stop and take time to consciously relax (breathing, stretching or some other mindful stress-managing and releasing activity).

How do you manage and balance stress?


The Leaders Institute. (2002-2019). The key to balancing stress in the workplace. In The Leaders Institute. Retrieved from

WebMD. (2005-2020). Ten tips to manage stress. In WebMD. Retrieved from



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