Combatting SBM loneliness

Do you get lonely in your role sometimes? How do you combat that feeling? It’s a difficult emotion to shed, but having a plan in mind to make yourself feel better is a must during trying times

We all know that the SBM role can feel like you’re on an island, all alone, or trapped in a soundproof room at times. It may be that your main contact is with the headteacher and you don’t get to spend as much time with other staff, or that people only come to you when they want a favour! Back in November an SBM expressed this sensation on Twitter – and was met with a great deal of support and empathy.

@Book_Junction: ‘Does anyone else find the SBM role to be quite a lonely one at times. Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing colleagues who I have known for nearly 10 years but….. Can’t put my finger on it, or maybe it’s just me.’

Other SBMs rallied round to express similar sentiments, with many adding that other people roles in schools often ‘just don’t get it’. So, if you’re feeling lonely at work, here are some things to remember.

1. Leadership is inherently lonely.

The old adage ‘It’s lonely at the top’ has a lot of truth to it, and SBMs are no exception here. Acknowledging this may not be hugely comforting, but it could make doing something about it a little easier.

2. Make the effort to be part of the team.

One Twitter user stated that they always try to get out of their office and into the staff room during lunch time – even if it’s only for 10 minutes – to avoid feeling isolated. Little changes can make a big difference.

3. Turn to Twitter.

Twitter is a hive of supportive activity for SBMs. It boasts a highly-engaged community of like-minded individuals to vent to and bond with, if you need it, even if you’ve never met those people. Twitter friends are still real friends and, if you feel like those around you don’t understand you or what you do, your online friends will.

4. Look after your wellbeing.

The ‘Live It’ section of our website is full of useful advice for generally improving your wellbeing, mental health, physical health and sense of self. This can be anything from taking a few moments out of the day to meditate, taking yoga classes, having therapeutic chats with members of your team or just keeping an emergency chocolate bar at hand for a feel-good boost when needed. Wellbeing takes many forms and, in times of loneliness, it’s all too easy to tumble into despair. Having a contingency plan to avoid this is key.

In the words of @SbmCoventry, ‘There are lots of positive people out there willing to support and offer guidance. Seek them out and you won’t feel isolated’.

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