Your Second Job, Besides Eczema
Not to be facetious, but it's true - eczema, in itself, is a full-time job. Everything takes a back seat to your skin, especially when you're flaring.
Working with eczema is challenging
However, money has to be made and rent must be paid. But, holding down a job, you know the one after your eczema duties, can be complicated. For me, it's been particularly rough this year.
I am a teacher. I instruct around 175 middle-high school-aged students. I, too, deal with administration. And, I honestly believe that your job can make or break your first job: eczema.
Stress is such a fearful, contributing factor to skin issues. When you aren't feeling your best, anxiety through the rough, your skin doesn't manage to hide it as well as others. I know, at a school, the stress is never-ending. There is always someone who needs your attention and/or attention must always be on someone.
Working in a stressful environment
There's also the added issues of safety. Schools have become tighter and tighter on rules surrounding school shootings. Now, we must monitor every computer handed out. We must hold book bags during lunch and not allow them out during bathroom breaks. We must have cellphones placed in little pocket caddies on the door. Sounds simple, right? I can tell you, my blood pressure will absolutely be higher by the end of the year, and grays will poke out of the side of my head if it continues like this at work. Constant monitoring.
It's not just teaching anymore
It is called survival mode. Every move you make is under scrutiny if you are a teacher or in this profession. You can't even use the restroom without having to find security (if they are even available for you). There is no rest. It's not just teaching anymore.
It can be damaging to my skin
So, this lovely flare that I've been having certainly isn't being helped by my atmosphere. Any high-stress, fast-paced, take-no-prisoners career will definitely be a factor on your skin. Both of your jobs (eczema and your money-maker) will be in cahoots to destroy you from the inside out.
I think it is imperative to surround yourself with stable, loving coworkers. Easier said than done, but if you find yourself always coming home and ranting about "Karen" or "Mike," your body will always be in a negative energy cycle.
Keeping work-related stress at work
It's something I am trying to be more aware of - venting about work after work is done. I take up so much time dredging up conversations that happened in my classroom, students arguing with me about phone use, etc. It's not good for the nervous system.
If you find yourself surrounded by these types of people and can't just quit your job at the moment, try and find the positives and focus on those.
A supportive group of people
My coworkers are super kind when it comes to my TSW (topical steroid withdrawal). My skin is falling apart at the moment and we had our annual holiday party. I wasn't going to attend, but I am glad I did. They circled around me. One of my male coworkers looked me in the eyes and told me that I am doing a phenomenal job, that I look great, and that if they could vote me as teacher of the month a second time, they would. The others chimed in, hugging me and making sure I knew I was loved.
We all deserve THIS type of environment.
What am I going to do?
- Switch Careers - I will be quitting my job at the end of the school year. Make moves for yourself that will help better your future.
- Switch Offices - Maybe you love your career, but hate the work environment due to the people. Search around and find a better fit for yourself. People can make or break your peace.
- Keep a Journal - Write your heart out. Don't let it fester.
- Practice Gratitude - I know I need this, big time, right now. Instead of focusing on all of the things that are bogging you down, focus on what you do have that is working for you.
Finding the sweet spot
These are not quick fixes. My skin had me quit the career I loved, landing me here into teaching. It isn't working out for me, either. So, on to the next! It may take time for you to find your sweet spot, but it's imperative for your peace of mind and health.
It's Eczema Awareness Month! Have you shared your eczema story on AtopicDermatitis.net?