Today I´m going to share with you 12 things you can start doing today to reduce your stress as a teacher. Let´s face the reality. Teaching can be one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. I know this because I've been teaching for over 15 years. The struggle is real friends, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are many simple things we can do to reduce stress.
Keys to Effective Stress Management
The keys to effective stress management are simplicity and consistency. That's why it's so important to use simple stress relieving techniques on a daily basis. Not only will this help you get through your work day, but it will help you to avoid teacher burnout before the end of the school year. This doesn't necessarily mean adding more to our already full plates. It just means that we need to make some small changes while rethinking our priorities.
12 Ways for Teachers to Reduce Stress
At first glance this list may seem long, but if you look closer you will notice that most of these ideas are quite simple. There may be things on this list that you’re already good at, and others that you could use to do more often. So if this list still seems overwhelming, try focusing on one new thing that you feel would be helpful to add to your lifestyle each week. Then work on each thing until they become a habit.
1. Slow Down: This one is important especially in the mornings. Make sure you set aside plenty of time to get ready each morning as this really sets the tone for the day. Take time to fuel up for the day by eating a well-balanced breakfast.
2. Keep Calm: It´s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done each day as a teacher. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a situation, do your best to stay calm about it and tackle it little by little.
3. Be Positive: Although teachers are known to have super powers, remember that we're still human. Don’t dwell on your mistakes in the past, or things you can’t change, instead focus on what you can do to make things better.
4. Take it Easy: No matter how busy your day is, make sure to find time to take it easy, even it it's only for 15 minutes. Everyone needs a little down time each day. Take time to watch your favorite show or curl up with your favorite book.
5. Unplug: Living in a digitalized era, this can be a hard one for many, but next time you leave the house, consider leaving that cell phone at home and enjoying whatever it is you’ve set out to do without any interruptions.
6. Enjoy Life: As a teacher it's easy to let work take over your life, but remember that life is short. Don’t forget to make time for your family, friends and hobbies. It's important to take time to enjoy your life and what matters most to you.
7. Have Fun: Fun is not just for kids, in fact it can be quite therapeutic for adults. When’s the last time you played a card game, or a board game? If you have kids or pets you can play with them too. Release your inner child and have fun.
8. Breathe: Deep breathing is a technique used by many therapists to help their patients calm down. Taking a deep breathe when you’re starting to feel rushed or stressed can really help relax your mind and body.
9. Relax: Even if it’s for 5-10 minutes a day, it’s important to take a few minutes each day to do absolutely nothing but relax. I recommend doing this one right after the long school day.
10. Go Outside: f you live and teach in the city you probably spend most of your time indoors. A few minutes on the patio or in the garden can really help you connect with nature and lower stress levels.
11. Smile: It’s a proven fact that people who smile and laugh daily are more happy and less stressed. In fact, even better than smiling is laughing. So don’t be afraid to laugh at your mistakes and funny things that happen throughout the day.
12. Meditate: This can be as simple as taking time to reflect on your day. Think about what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what changes you want to make for tomorrow. This will help you focus on the positives and work on the challenges.
If you've read all the way to the bottom I wanted to share one more bonus tip with you. If you look carefully at the items on the list, you'll notice that many of them could easily be combined. For example, you might find that you like to unplug (#5) and go outside (#10) to relax (#9). The point is that you don't have to do each of these things in isolation. In fact, sometimes the more you can combine the better. Cheers to a less-stressed teacher life!