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What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Teacher’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

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Show Notes:

It’s time to let you in on a secret that you might not know about me yet.

I am a recovering worrier.

I would actually go so far as to say that I have been somewhat addicted to worry in my life.

My worry affected my life in a big way both at home and at work. My husband would always call me out on it and he would say, Do you really think that worrying about [insert unrealistic worry here 😅] is going to make it any better? If you’re a worrier, I’m sure you’ve had someone say the exact same thing to you as well!

I felt like if I didn’t spend my time worrying and really thinking things through, then I wouldn’t be able to come up with a solution to whatever problem was being played out in my head. It took me a really long time to realize that worrying about something is very different than constructively thinking through a problem.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, and if you feel like you might also be addicted to worry, then today’s episode is especially for you, my friend!

No matter what stage of teaching you’re in, this profession comes with a lot of worry. Maybe you’re student teaching and you’re worrying about whether or not you’ll land your dream job at your dream school.

Maybe you’ve already landed your dream job, but now you’re worrying about how you’re going to set up your very first classroom, or whether or not you’ll fit in with your new coworkers.

Maybe you’re worried about the state testing that is quickly approaching, and feeling anxious about how your students will perform. 

Or maybe, you’re worried that you have made a terrible mistake in entering the teaching profession, and you just don’t know where to go from here.

The point is that, if you're a worrier, like me, there is always - and I mean always - going to be something to worry about. We talk ourselves into worry, no matter what the situation is. It’s what we do. 

I used to think that my worry was finite. For example, I would worry myself silly about getting a job, and I felt like if I could just land that teaching job, then my worry would magically go away. But of course it never did.

When we're in our worry, we don't see how addicting  and cyclical it actually is. There's no end to the worry if you choose to be a worrier. You're a worrier in all situations. 

While I still worry today, I’ve gotten much better and I’ve learned strategies to help overcome the worry that I want to share with you now. I feel especially qualified to be having this conversation with you because I’ve been working on this for a very long time, and it’s a practice that I am committed to continuing to work on. 

This conversation was really sparked by a book I came across recently, called What to Do When You Worry Too Much, by Dr. Dawn Huebner. This book is meant to help children overcome worry, but when I began reading it, I quickly realized that the concepts that she teaches are actually wonderful for adults as well.

Dr. Huebner breaks down what a worry actually is. It really comes down to a worry simply being a thought that upsets you and makes you feel bad inside. For teachers, that might show up as a worry that you’ll get a nasty parent email, or a bad evaluation from your administrator. 

The more that we fuel these thoughts, and give them more attention, the bigger they are going to get and the more overpowering they are going to feel. Before you know it, worry can take over your entire life. Even worse, most often, your worries don’t make sense to anyone else.

Just know that if you’re reading this and relating to what I’m describing, you are definitely not alone. I want you to know that it is possible to change and start working on making your worries go away so that you can feel in control of your life again.

You've overcome challenges before in so many different areas of your life, and you can do it again. The strategies I’m going to share aren’t a quick fix. But, if you take this advice, a very interesting thing will happen. You’ll start to realize how much time, energy, and mental space worry has been taking up in your life. Learning how to worry less is going to positively affect your physical and mental health, and be a game changer for you in times of stress.

You can grab a copy of What to Do When You Worry Too Much by clicking the image below:

Finally, I wanted to let you know that if you're considering becoming a new R.E.A.D.Y for School Academy member, I will be opening the doors to that program again in May of 2022.

If you're worrying that maybe you can't afford the academy, I've added something so special to the waitlist page! We now have school and district licenses available. That means that your school can invest in the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy for new teachers like you, so that you don’t don’t have to pay out of pocket!

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • What you can do when you worry too much, and why it’s important to recognize that most of our worries aren’t realistic. 
  • The thing we do that often expands our worries, rather than decreasing them.
  • The physical impact that we feel from our worries, and why it’s so important to pay attention to this for the sake of our health and relationships.
  • How powerful logic can be in helping us to see that we’re much more capable than we think we are. 
  • What a “worry time” is and how it can help you let go of worries that just won’t go away.
  • Ideas on how you can help your students overcome their worries in your classroom.
  • Two ways that we can remove the debilitating power that worry has over us.

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

💛 Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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