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‘Me? Stressed! You bet I am’, bemoans Private English Tutor

January 27, 2014
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Thoughts From The Corner

In my last post, this Private English Tutor wondered if something that Plato had written was true. This time I am sure he is correct:

Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.

I am taking it that this refers to stress.

As one involved in the British education system, I am only too aware of both the stress of the job as an educator and that of students, attempting to jump over the hurdles to attain academic success.

Recently, I was greeted by the following lines, on the front page of a daily newspaper:

*    ‘Children need help with pressures of modern life, says study’.

*   ‘ More than half fear failure amid “continuous onslaught of stress”. ‘

Intrigued, I ventured inside for more detail and was greeted by:

‘Ms Russell attacked the Education Secretary Michael Gove for adding to the pressure on schoolchildren, accusing the Department for Education of being “not interested in well-being”. “it’s all about academic success,” she said.’

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‘It’s all about academic success’, she said.

What’s all the hoohaa about? I could have told them that years ago! However, I wonder how much stress is self-inflicted. I found the following in a recent edition of the The Sunday Times:

‘I’m stressed. Are you stressed? You look stressed. I blame modern life. All those status updates, unwatched box sets and email attachments you forgot to attach. . . When I finally got home, I was up half the night checking Twitter. I don’t know how much longer we can go on like this.’

No – neither do I. But isn’t all that self-inflicted?

So, where does that leave us?

I always have a ‘To Do’ list. It never ends because as soon as I put a line through an accomplished task, I find myself adding a further two items to the bottom of the list. Just how stressful is that?

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Is Your ‘To Do’ List Like Mine?

So that brings us around to Plato’s wise words. Is anything really worthy of ‘great anxiety’?

*    Does it matter if your blog hasn’t attracted new followers recently?

*    Does it matter if you don’t have time to post on your blog this week?

*    Does it matter if three followers ‘Unfollowed’ because of your last contentious post?

*    Then of course there are the emails that need answering, the phone you carry around which demands immediate attention and the Facebook comments that jostle and vie for your time.

Why do we put ourselves under such pressure?

‘Must run, got a lecture to deliver,’ smiles this Private English Tutor as he dashes out the house wearing odd coloured socks. :-)

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7 Comments
  1. Chill out man, chill out! Actually I think you’ve whacked the nail into the coffin. I design and deliver workshops on managing stress (still got a mortgage to pay) and one of the things even the most obtuse individual cannot fail to notice is when talking about the sources of stress how much comes from imposing criteria, deadlines and tasks which will not make the world fall off its axis if they don’t get done onto oneself. Fight back. Shout “So what” and develop one of those huge Gallic shrugs that can says nothing but means everything. Have a stressless week ET.

    • I could simply take up my Buddhist meditation again- Great idea ET, must put that on my ‘To Do’ list.

      Phew! Glad I solved that one. Now, what’s next. . . :-)

  2. I also like the idea of a huge Gaelic (Gallic?) shrug. And then turn off the tablet, and phone, and laptop, and… :-)

  3. Ah, a fellow list-maker. I find that so long as one of my lists always has something crossed off on it I feel better. It’s when I decide to start a-fresh and I can only see what needs to be done that the stress really mounts. So my advice is start with a long piece of paper, and always have more than one version in progress. Then again, perhaps I’m just easily fooled.

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