Dealing with difficulties in our personal lives | Education Support Partnership

Dealing with difficulties in our personal lives

Dealing with difficulties in our personal lives can take its toll on our physical and emotional wellbeing as well as having an impact on us at school, college or university. It can be hard to separate what happens inside and outside of work as we are one person, with a mind and body that is with us constantly. In particular, working in schools can make this harder as there is no hiding behind a desk when you are teaching or caring for students.

We can find it hard to speak to work about these difficulties due to a number of reasons:

  • There is still much stigma about mental health and so people remain silent
  • People worry that if they mention personal issues work will question their capability
  • They do not want to share personal information
  • They feel it should not impact on how they are at work

We are not robots and when personal issues come up like divorce, bereavement, illness, caring for others, difficulties with children and many others it will have an impact on our performance.  Also, it is better to be upfront about what is going on and how it is affecting us rather than leaving people guessing. It can be invaluable to talk to managers or colleagues so they can understand what is going on for us, they may be able to help and support and sometimes make changes e.g. take over some responsibilities or reduce hours.

Remember that on occasion you may need to have a break or take time off to ensure you can keep on going in the longer term. This can often feel fraught in schools and colleges as you may have to prioritise your own health for the needs of your class or students.

It is also important at these times, to look after your emotional health (see Emotional wellbeing) to reduce the impact of these events on your work and increase your ability to cope.

We go into further detail about what you can do when experiencing: