Stress management is important for everyone. For teachers, it can be a vital part of everyday life and can sometimes mean the difference between a good day and a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Stress Management for Teachers
Educators face a host of stressors. For one, even in the best of circumstances with well-funded classrooms and supportive administrators, teachers face stressful situations with students. And many teachers do not work in the best of circumstances.
What’s a teacher to do? Taking professional development courses can help them feel less anxious by increasing their knowledge on hundreds of different topics. There also are simple stress management tips that will help teachers face each day with a more calm, relaxed attitude.
The most obvious stress management tip comes first. Just 20 to 30 minutes of light exercise—a brisk walk, for example—can make you feel healthier, improve your attitude and help you sleep better.
What Makes Teaching Fun?
There’s little doubt you got into teaching because, for you, many aspects of it are fun and enjoyable. Think about those reasons frequently and put those enjoyable aspects into play in your classroom whenever you can.
One stressor for teachers is, unfortunately, other teachers. If you have an issue with another teacher, address it immediately before the situation festers and causes you more anxiety. Also, work at not taking comments from other teachers personally—some complainers are simply going to complain no matter what.
Accept The Worst
This stress management tip works for everyone but might be especially appropriate in teaching. It’s basically playing a “trick” on your mind. In a situation that is truly causing you stress and anxiety but over which you have little control, take the time to write down the worst possible outcome. Once you accept the worst and come to terms with it, you can then begin to build upon improving that worst possible outcome.
Avoid Toxic Influences
You need to recognize the people and situations in your life that are toxic and then avoid them. Allowing yourself to repeatedly get into those situations is a recipe for stress, anxiety and even depression. Avoid the people, places and situations that have a toxic influence.
Rather than waiting until the summer to indulge in a hobby, take the time to mix some hobby time into your schedule during the school year. Any time spent doing something you enjoy is going to lead to a more relaxed you, and that’s a good thing for stress management.
Sleep remains underrated. Some people seem to take pleasure in not sleeping that much. That’s counterproductive. Even baseball players have changed their routine after studies showed lack of sleep affected performance. The same can be said for teachers. You’ll face the day in a better mental state after a solid night of sleep. Sleep is so important that some argue it has more impact on happiness than making thousands of more dollars a year.
All these factors can affect stress. Creating your own repertoire of stress management techniques is important, especially for teachers. The job is inherently stressful. But that doesn’t mean you have to be stressed out.