My stress levels are really high and I dont know what to do?

Ive suffered with stress for many years and I have always tried to keep it under control. Im on medication and had counselling and done a cbt course. I have strategies to help me cope with life but nothing seems to be working at the moment. Im getting very short tempered and feel I cant cope. I work in a primary school as a teaching assistant which I changed to about 12 months ago as my previous job was making me depressed but now I feel that this job is getting me really stressed, The children cant help the way they are but I get so short tempered with them. I dont like this and other adults have asked me if Im alright. Ive had to tell a couple of staff about my medical history.

I dont want to leave the job but I cant see any alternative at the moment. Its making me so stressed. I dont want to end up hitting a child as that will get me in so much trouble. I feel like hitting some at times! I hate being out of control.


9 Replies

  • David, really sorry to hear that it is all getting to you so much - must be terrifying to feel that you might hit a child in your care but you need to remind yourself that there is a huge difference between being a little snappy and actually lashing out at someone.

    Have you ever done any meditation? Sometimes all you need is to be aware so when you start to feel things getting away from you you take just a few seconds to reground yourself - come back to reality rather than the thoughts that are trying to take over.

    I work in an office so it's easier for me to get away for a few minutes and go to the loo when things get really bad ... but most people also know about my mental health/lack of it. Have you made people aware at work of your challenges ... know that it can be really difficult to be honest and open about it because of how people might react but my experience is that people are generally really supportive and 'coming out' helps them to be more honest about challenges they might be facing.

    I think this is also a pretty grotty time of year and it's almost impossible not to get totally stressed out - and today has been so horrible and grey.

    Hope you manage to relax over the weekend.

  • Thanks Gambit, You always have wise words. I will try to relax this weekend. Im listening to music now which is one way I have to relax. I will try meditation. I have told some people at work about my condition and they are very supportive.

    Thanks - have a good weekend. David

  • Hi David sorry your feeling so stressed, it's unfortunate to be in a job

    Dealing with children when your feeling you might just snap. I really

    Think you should try and take some time out before things get out of hand,

    Because if you did lash out at one of the children it would be terrible for you

    And the children.

    Maybe this is not the job for you, you have to think about the children, as

    If you are getting totally stressed out it's not good. You sound in a state,

    Please look after yourself as no job is worth getting that stressed about.

    Try and relax and think about time off


  • Thanks for your reply. I will try and get some more counselling.


  • Hi,

    There is something you have gone through that makes you feel low or afraid of may be.

    You need to close your eyes in a fresh place, sit calm and quiet for 30 minutes in the morning and start saying yourself that you love yourself and everything is going to be fine. I tried this for 2 years while I went through some times in my life. It's difficult to do but later you will start enjoying what you do and start to show your positive side to people very easily.

    Best of luck!

  • Thanks, good advice. I agree I need to like myself more.

  • A CBT course alone will not end your stress. CBT in my opinion is a daily job. .

    Combined with good food, 30 minutes sport, 7 - 8 hours sleep meeting nice people , doing nice things and switch every 60 minutes 3 minute your off button.

  • Thanks, I agree as Im off to the gym to destress now and plan something relaxing for rest of day. I try to take a breather at work by going to the loo. Not always easy as I work in a classroom. What do I do to control my actions on the spot.


  • David,

    hope you managed to relax a bit over the weekend.

    I know it's not quite the same but I have been thinking about me and my cats. There's stuff they do that would have had me going ape a number of years ago but these days I think I just breathe out and laugh at myself for wanting to change something that I know I just can't change and enjoy the chaos for a while. Not sure how that change happened but think it was a mixture of mindfulness meditation, a few months on fluoxetine, and probably just getting older.

    At college I used to find myself getting really uptight when a friend came round to visit - I am quite a neat and tidy person and was probably a bit obsessive about things in those days. The friend was a fidgetter and was forever picking up ornaments playing with them for a while and then putting them back in the wrong place. I think that is when I probably first started laughing at myself for getting so uptight about something that was totally out of my control and in reality was quite easily resolved because when she went it only took a couple of seconds to put everything back.

    I know neither of these examples is on the scale of the chaos caused by a group of trainee adults ... and with the weather we have been having recently I guess the trainee adults are probably veering more and more towards the hyperactive and it's probably not going to improve until the better weather comes and they can expend more of that energy running around the classroom.

    Things you might try - and please forgive me if some of these are completely off base - did some teaching practice about 30 years ago but that was with older kids and things are going to have changed so much -

    a) Stand up straight, take a breath and whilst doing so remind yourself that trainee adults see the world from a totally different perspective and if you are going to lead them away from where they are to where you want them to be you are going to have to live in their world for a moment. Its chaos but a little chaos is good. Try to enjoy it - sure there are times when you can and something amazing comes out of it all and those will be the moments when you really feel that this is where you want to be.

    b) It is going to be really hard but actually if you want to calm someone down you have to do it from their energy level. You need to be loud and slowly bring it down to where you want it to be. If they are laughing over something stupid - laugh a little but then start bringing it down and explain to them why they shouldn't really be laughing.

    c) If you are trying to end an activity and move on to something else then try to use their energy rather than struggling to put breaks on and then having to rev up engines afterwards. Match the energy levels and introduce the idea of the new activity as something that would be even more exiting that what they are doing at the moment. Or if it's time to pack up and you need them to help then make the packing up something really exiting ... after all they need to be enthusiastic about order if they are going to make transition from trainee adult to full adult.

    Hope this helps - know it doesn't address the underlying tensions directly and matching energy levels can be really difficult ... and at times it leaves you feeling a bit as if you are being untrue to yourself but it isn't really. For some of us its relatively easy to accept that we have our moods but they will pass but a lot more difficult to accept that other people have their moods and we have to respond to the moods they have at the moment and work with them.

    I like water analogies so I often think of it as being in a river. You can either totally exhaust yourself by working against the river or you can actually go with the flow - because this is a really old river with lots of bends and meanders and although you might have missed the bit of the bank that is nearest to the place you want to go, the meanders mean that you'll soon be passing another bit of bank that is almost as close.