Congratulations to our September Member of the Month, Ain Modeira Baderinwa!

I have always been passionate about teaching. It is one of the few professions where the rewards can be seen each day. The rewards are not without challenges and with the challenges come stress. The stress was coming from all directions and from all angles—both on and off the job. Each morning started with the stress of fighting through rush-hour traffic to get to early-morning leadership meetings. The meetings would start first thing each morning and continue—sometimes-throughout the day. Conditions under which each meeting with an administrator, teacher, parent, or student was scheduled, set the stage for a potentially stressful situation. Add to that, the stress of unannounced evaluations, hourly deadlines, state tests preparations, and making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)—and you have a recipe that calls for Stress Rejecters Nation (SRN).

I soon realized that if I were to stay focused and complete tasks in a timely manner, stress rejection had to be the most important factor during the course of a day. If not kept in check, stress could determine the level at which I experienced success. At the beginning of each day, I made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish. I could only accomplish those goals if I were to reject stress and employ relaxing techniques that were suitable for my lifestyle. I then realized that getting the prescribed amount of sleep was important and I no longer took my laptop—my work—to bed; I no longer used the television as a sleep aid; instead, I listened to one of the SRN CDs, “Self Love-Self Care: A Stress Reduction Relaxation and Sleep Aid CD;” and I napped early so that it would not disrupt my sleeping arrangement/plan.

Now I am totally committed to making a concerted effort at stress rejection for my family members, colleagues, and friends. Not only am I making a concerted effort to avoid stressful situations, I am trying very hard not to create stressful conditions for others as well.

A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to participate in a group session for stress rejection sponsored by TAPA. Each participant received a package with an assortment of exercises and a list of ways to relieve stress. I decided to incorporate only those items that addressed my personal concerns. Among the many suggestions outlined by Parker (2011), I can benefit most from stress rejection when I: (1) begin my day with a mindful, positive view of things that I will accomplish for the day; (2) decide if I want to or deserve to be stressed about any of the day’s situations and take the time to think about each meaningful situation that I will face; (3) evaluate my perspective of the situation and look at the pros and cons of any rational alternatives; and (4) choose the best option, act on it, and give myself a pat on the back for taking the opportunity to be self-empowered. Employing these things gave me a sense of being in control of any given situation.

Stress rejection is very important first, to my family, then to my colleagues because when I appear to be stress-free, my calm and “in control” image is reflected onto my immediate surroundings. I become more supportive to my family and more productive in the workplace. In my social groups—which include my religious institution and community—I share the Stress Rejecters Nation’s website with my colleagues and friends and encourage them to become members. SRN can best help my on-going efforts in stress rejection by continuing the support system that we all need. It is comforting to know that I can get invaluable information and answers from the SRN website and I look forward to the newsletter each month. Finally, the recently launched SRN Friend Support Program is already proving to be a priceless resource.

Ain Modeira Baderinwa (B. Annette Daughtry)

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