As professionals, we know that being a responsible adult or ‘managing your state’ is top priority. What do we mean by ‘managing your state’? We use the word ‘state’ to refer to your mood, current emotion, body language, energy levels and mind set at any given time. As professionals that work with young people, we know that our state (positive or negative) can make a significant different to a situation.

It is the end of the week and you get that #FridayFeeling…but which feeling is it?

1. Excited for the weekend ahead. Plans have been made; friends and family to see. Your best mate is texting you the itinerary for Saturday night and the children are buzzing for Gran’s Sunday roast.

2. The feeling of dread leaving your desk with a tonne of work spiraling out of control. Saturday morning; checks emails. Sunday, still thinking about the incident that happened Wednesday. Monday: roll on another week.

We’ve all been there, right? It might even be a mixture of the two, but how does that have an impact on your professional state? It is great that you are so passionate about work but remember to look after YOURSELF. When working with young people it can be incredibly difficult to play a range of roles in one day (or even one minute). You are their friend, role model, teacher, therapist. They rely on YOU to be your best self every day. How can possibly fulfill that role if you are not 100%?

Studies show that we have an increased emotional response when tired due to our amygdala becoming 60% more active than when our body is in a normal (energized) state. Therefore, when tired our response is more likely to be a result of our personal emotions, rather than professional state. So, we encourage you to stay in bed longer on a Sunday morning. You can not object to that!

Do more of what makes YOU happy! Make plans with your friends and family on the weekend. Dust off your dancing shoes and hit the town. Remember that gym membership you’ve been paying for? Studies by Warwick University have shown that productivity at work increases by 12% when we are happy, so having a good weekend may help you to clear your desk and improve your state management. That sounds like a win-win situation!

Working with young people can be incredibly tiring, physically and mentally! For the whole of our working day, we prioritize their needs over our own which can prove difficult. For those that are new to teaching, ‘managing your state’ when in a challenging situation can come with great difficulty but is something that will get easier with practice. The Releasing Potential Institute have developed courses that focus on our professional practice when working with young people. ‘Managing your state’ is a topic that is covered in all courses available and will teach you techniques that are regularly used in challenging situations and explores the theory behind this.

Recommended read: Paul Bloom – ‘The Case Against Empathy’