Stress on students and parents is often the focus, but not enough is given to teachers. Lesson planning, accommodating different learning styles, unpredictable attitude from pupils, grading, staying on top of the newest technology, not to mention the adjustments to online learning and thinking of ways to keep students engaged are just some of the many stressors educators endure.
Stress is a common problem for teachers. Whether you’re new or experienced, it can be hard to balance your personal life with the ever-changing demands of the classroom. Here are some tips for coping and alleviating stress as a teacher:
There are numerous benefits of exercising, including reducing stress and improving your overall well-being. As long as you aren’t pushing yourself too hard (or hurting yourself), try to get some exercise at least three times a week for 20 minutes or more. You can also make time for exercise during lunch or after school if that works better for your schedule.
Laugh and have fun with colleagues
Laughing is a great way to manage stress. It’s also good for your health, making you feel happier and more relaxed. When you laugh, it helps you connect with others and can even help you feel better about yourself.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Eat regularly.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Don’t go hungry.
Learn to say no
Learning to say no is an important part of managing your stress levels. We all have a limited amount of time and energy, so it’s important to prioritize what you spend that time and energy doing.
Ask yourself if the request is something that’s really worth doing. Is it something you really want to do? Is it something that will add value to your life and others around you? If not, then don’t feel bad about saying no! Don’t let guilt or other people’s opinions get in the way of what works best for YOU!
Communicate with your colleagues and administrators
You should be able to ask for help when you need it without fear of being seen as weak or incompetent. If you need more time off, ask for it! If there’s something specific that will make the day go better for you (like having an extra classroom aide), don’t be afraid to ask! If there are problems within the school that are causing stressors at home, don’t hesitate to bring these up in a meeting or conference with administrators or other educators who can help address them.
Practice relaxation exercises when you feel tense or overwhelmed
In addition to meditation, there are many other ways to soothe your nerves and calm your mind. Try the following:
- Breathing exercises: Deep breathing can help ease anxiety and stress, which can help you think more clearly.
- Yoga poses: There are many yoga poses that promote physical health while helping manage stress levels as well.
Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself
- Do not spend time with negative people. If they are constantly complaining or talking negatively, they will drag down your mood and energy levels and make it harder to concentrate on the task at hand.
- Be aware of any friends or family members who do not support your goals in life—they may unconsciously be trying to sabotage them!
Don’t be a martyr; ask for help from friends and family members when you need it
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. You are not a martyr, and you don’t have to pretend that you can do everything on your own, or that asking for help is a sign of weakness. If the stress of teaching has become too much, ask someone to walk with you through all those piles of homework (or at least some of them).
Don’t let stress “snowball,” by letting one problem lead to many more problems, which can easily occur if you don’t take care of yourself today
If you don’t take care of yourself today, your stress can easily snowball into a series of events that leave you feeling overwhelmed and alone. This is what happens when we neglect our emotional needs: We start looking for solutions in the wrong places, which only adds to our anxiety level.
You can manage your stress as a teacher by focusing on having a balanced life in school and at home
Balance your life. It might be tempting to focus entirely on your work or education, but it’s important to make time for yourself and others. Make sure you do things that make you happy, like going for long walks or reading the latest best-selling novel. Don’t let stress build up over time—you don’t want to eventually develop anxiety or depression from too much pressure.
When teachers succeed, we all succeed!
Teachers are regular people. They have families, health problems, obligations, and other life upheavals like anyone else. That combined with workplace stressors is a recipe for teacher burn out that can put their wellbeing at an even greater risk. Although most believe that pay is the main factor, teachers tend to leave their jobs based on things that cause them stress including lack of support, job dissatisfaction, poor working conditions, and more. Teacher mental health matters. When addressing their concerns and stressors, it’s important to make their needs a priority so that they are able to do their job while boosting student outcomes.
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