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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

April A-Z: Health and Happiness

Since I'm posting from my phone (again! Virgin Media to blame), this post will be a fairly simple account of what helps me retain my health and happiness - for the most part at least.

I did hesitate about posting on this topic, since I do have a bit of a stress thing going at the moment. However, since I'm managing that largely successfully and I do (like everyone else currently in UK Education) have an increased load in terms of stress at present, maybe my experience is worth sharing.

For me, walking the dog has been a great help. Exercise has long been known to improve health in many ways, but it can be very difficult to fit into the day when you're already feeling tired or low. Ironically, it's a key thing to improve mood and raise energy levels.

I suppose creative work of any kind will work - you just need to find your version of this. Personally, it's been crucial for me to include fiction writing into my routine. I was already doing a considerable amount of 'teacherly' writing and had shelved my kid lit ideas 'until I have time'. This was a mistake, and I've been doing a lot better since I realised this.

It's hard - but essential - to step back from work regularly. Took me a loooong time to learn this and I am now much better at it. I would argue I'm more effective at work too, rather than less, since I'm not a stresshead all the time these days.


  1. And I find walking the dog really helps me to think deeply about what I'm writing - there's something about not being static, stuck in a room in front of a computer, which really helps! So yes, I'd quite agree the work/life/health balance is important and can be mutually beneficial...

  2. I do the other two, but switching off is very difficult: I keep feeling time is running out unless I'm doing something worthwhile...I have to make myself relax, I know. Great to meet you via A-Z.


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