There is no denying that teaching is stressful. Learning how to cope with teaching stress is one of the most significant challenges that any teacher faces. So, who better to ask about ways to handle the stress of teaching than other teachers who are in the same boat?
The stress-reduction ideas below are great ways to relax and unwind after a difficult day or school week. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the activities you select should not add pressure or stress. If they do, they are probably not the best ones to try. Find something that relaxes your mind, body, and soul so that you can carry on and be the amazing teacher that you are.
Ways to Manage the Stress of Teaching
It may seem strange that the first suggestion for stress reduction is actually to work, but planning has a somewhat magical ability to take a lot of the stress out of any day. When you prepare and plan ahead a week or two, it takes the pressure off of having to get something done immediately.
This opens up mental space and gives you the ability to be proactive rather than reactive. If you have the option of planning with your team of grade-level teachers, do that! It will help distribute the workload and keep you accountable for planning ahead.
Whether it is a run around the park, a walk with the dog or your partner after dinner, or a yoga routine at bedtime, exercise can nourish your body and soul. The release of endorphins while exercising helps to diminish stress and relax your body. You will also feel healthier and more in control of your life, which is an automatic stress reliever!
There is a lot to be said about taking the time to meditate and practice the self-care techniques that have become so popular. Essential oils can be used to relax the senses. A warm bubble bath can soothe tight muscles. A massage eradicates the tension and calms the nerves.
The trick is to find what works for you without it becoming stressful to do. Even a few minutes of deep breathing or journaling can be a way to relax and ease the day’s stress.
Take It Day By Day
Every year of teaching has times of stress, but some years are particularly challenging. It is especially important in those years to remember to take things day by day. Focus on the day and moment that you are in without projecting worry or frustration about upcoming days. Not only does it help you stay in the moment, but it makes you a better teacher as you are tuned in to what is happening with your students. It also makes you a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend because it allows you to give the people who mean the most to you your full attention.
No matter what type of stress-reduction activity you decide to try, remember to be gentle with yourself. Show yourself grace and compassion. Treat yourself as you would treat your very best friend and do what will comfort you when you need it most. You deserve nothing less than the very best.