A Summer Guide to Teacher Wellness and Health
It’s a stressful world. Some studies indicate that the 21st century is even more stressful (so far) than the 20th century. That can be especially true in schools, where teacher wellness and health is not always the priority.
How stressful are these times? In a recent article, the Huff Post broke down how stress, particularly workplace stress, has increased since the end of the 20th century. They call stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century.”
Teachers, of course, are not immune to this trend. They find themselves on the frontlines of many of the issues that confront society. That can have a significant impact on teacher wellness.
Luckily, there are courses that teachers can take to learn ways to reduce stress and promote teacher wellness, especially during the summer break.
Teachers, Wellness and Stress
Stress is something almost every teacher must confront at some point. Now teachers can learn how to manage a stress-free classroom that can lead to better learning outcomes for students and less anxiety for teachers and students alike.
Teachers can learn to understand the nature of stress, pinpoint the sources of stress and learn how to apply techniques and tools to lower stress in the classroom.
But what of the teachers themselves? During the extended summer break, it’s a good time to practice ways to alleviate stress and promote health and wellbeing.
Back on Track Physically
By the end of the school year, it’s easy to have dropped the routines that promote healthy exercise, eating habits and rest. All those stressed-out parents and kids can raise your stress level, too! The summer months provide an excellent opportunity to get back on track with these healthy habits. Choose healthier foods to eat, sleep at least eight hours a night and do cardio exercises at least three times per week.
Meditation and Positivity
No, you don’t have to start meditating. But it certainly might help. Taking the time each day, even a brief time, to meditate and clear your mind can truly provide peace. Reading uplifting and inspirational books and articles can do the same. Walks in nature also provide a reconnection to the world that may have been lacking during the busy school year. This also extends to people - you want to spend time with positive, loving people. It’s amazing how rejuvenating that can be.
Pursue Your Interests
Maybe you always wanted to read one of the complex late-career novels from Henry James. Maybe carpentry is your thing or mountain biking. What your "thing" is, give yourself time to indulge in it. Teachers spend so much time meeting the demands of others, they do not always take time to do things for themselves.
It’s OK To Say "No”
This might be the toughest one on this list. By their very nature, teachers are helpful. They want to support others and help them succeed. However, summertime, for teachers perhaps more than anyone else, should be “me time.” Setting boundaries and maintaining them this summer is a key part of reducing anxiety and promoting your own wellbeing.
Like everyone else, teachers face stress. Promoting teacher wellness should be one of top the priorities for schools who want happy, effective teachers during the school year. During the summer, don't forget to take wellness and health into your own hands too.