Teaching and Seasonal Depression


I’m a person. And as a person, I’m prone to weirdness, instability and dips in motivation. However, I find that oftentimes, my work environment and its myriad demands do not recognise my personhood. How do I cope? Well, last night I slept for 12-hours. But that was after a good long cry.

Crying and sleeping might not be the best coping mechanism, given the fact that I have hundreds of assessments to mark in the next two weeks.

My fundamental problem is that I’ve tried all the typical SAD remedies and I found them wanting. The light thing was rubbish. I just sat there the whole time resenting the fact that it wasn’t the sun. I know it’s supposed to be accumulative but that didn’t work either.

The problem is that there is absolutely NO substitution for being outside, at least for me. Yet, I’m stuck in my school building from sunrise (when it’s dark) to sunset (when it’s dark).

I also find that people who don’t suffer from depression don’t get depression at all. In a work environment, you’re mostly a function and not a person. Functions don’t get depressed. That doesn’t happen in the known universe. In that case, this is mostly what comes from very well-meaning people:

That just doesn’t help. So here’s what I do. PLEASE comment and add to this.

SAD Coping Mechanisms for Teachers:

  1. Take a walk. Even if nothing inside of you wants to. Often, I’ll announce the following to the English office: ‘I’m taking a walk so that I don’t sink into the depths of the purple lake of desolation. I’m just sayin.’ The announcement then forces me to go take a walk.
  2. Listen to music and read funny things: I personally love ‘The Oatmeal’ and, currently, First Aid Kit is a band that does wonderful things to my insides.
  3. Avoid being sucked into the Alternative Dimension of Teaching and Pedagogy. Do other things. Be a person. You’ll be much more fresh and creative for the students when you draw upon this big and fabulously interesting planet we live on.
  4. Use different to-do lists for each day of the week. I know this sounds out-of-place with the rest but I find that my Christmas term to-do lists can get me sinking hard-core into the purple lake of desolation.Manageable lists, however, are empowering.

This is a re-blog post originally posted by Nicole Schmidt and published with kind permission.

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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