Stress management for a teacher can be a difficult task, sometimes seemingly impossible. Whether you are in your first years of teaching or have many years of experience, stress and teaching can often go hand-in-hand. Learning management strategies for dealing with anxiety and a significant workload is important not only for your mental health, but for your overall well-being both in and out of the classroom.
74% say they don’t have enough guidance about mental health at work. — Education Support Partnership
Consider the following tips to have a little more peace of mind, remembering that the first person you should take care of is yourself.
- Practice mindfulness
Being present in every situation is difficult; but once learned, it helps to reduce anxiety and worry over any sources of stress you may have. Mindfulness doesn’t have to come in the form of meditation (although it is a very good way)- focusing on the moment you are in without judgment is a practical way to incorporate it into your everyday life.
- Make a list of priorities
Come up with an organised list of priorities and write it down on paper, your phone, or whatever is most convenient and accessible. Organise what is really important and what can wait. This list should include things outside of work that have to do with your personal life, such as relationships, family, etc.
- Take your time and plan ahead
Sometimes a major root of anxiety stems simply from a lack of preparation. Establish a plan for each day prior to the morning so that you can best serve your students and yourself.
- “Break it down” strategy
Thinking about all you have to do in one day or week will just make you feel overwhelmed. By “breaking down” all that needs to be done and setting realistic goals, tasks will be easier managed. As you finish each task, mark it as completed.
- Stay in touch with nature
As a teacher with a busy schedule, this can seem unrealistic. But, incorporating nature into your daily life can be as little as opening the windows in your classroom or going on a walk during your lunch break. Finding these small ways to be involve nature in your day can make a big difference.
- Just say no
It’s easy to feel guilty saying no to extracurricular duties or taking on a project, especially when asked by a deputy or headteacher, but it is okay to admit that you don’t have the time. Maintaining a work-life balance is important to yourself and your students, as the quality of teaching is likely to lessen if the teacher is overworked.
By incorporating a few or all of these suggestions into your teaching life, stress can be more easily alleviated.
Interested in more tips? Read 5 Ways to Look After Your Wellbeing for Supply Teachers.