How to Manage Stress as a Teacher

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Like any job, teachers face their fair share of stressful challenges. In fact, in 2019 72% of education professionals described themselves as stressed.   

No matter the source of your stress, we’ve collected a variety of different techniques to help you get yourself back on track.    

1. Work out your priorities

Keep a list and make each task possible. If it helps, break down the big jobs into smaller, more achievable tasks. Prioritise them in order of importance and tick them off one by one. Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of things on the list — remind yourself that you have plenty of time to complete them, the list will still be there tomorrow. 

2. Identify your stressors

Make a list of the things that stress you out — whether it’s a person or a place. Then next to each, attach a way of reducing the stress. If it’s a person, talk to them and tell them how their actions affect you. If it’s a place, make it an opportunity to practise your stress-reduction techniques and keep notes on what works for next time.  

3. Before you commit, ask ‘can I do this?’  

While you may want to say yes to everything, remember saying yes will not make you more accepted or liked. Instead, prioritise the things you really want to take part in and practice saying no to requests that are unreasonable or more than you can handle at the time. 

4. The Miracle of Mindfulness

The workday can get exhausting, it is important to remember to prioritise time for yourself. Whether that be some gentle exercise, taking part in some attention focusing hobbies (like colouring) or doing some yoga, it is important to escape from the busy workday. One fantastic way to unwind is practising mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness encourages us to focus on the now and be present in the moment. By using deep breathing techniques and relaxation methods this allows us to stop stressing over the future and the past (so you can let go of stressing about what needs to be done/should’ve been done for now). If you’d like to learn how to practice these techniques or want access to some free sessions, New Directions Education has a series of videos on YouTube, see the first session at: 

5. Be healthy

Most of us like nothing more than to unwind from a stressful day with a nice cold beer or glass of wine and order a takeaway, and whilst this option is very appealing it can become an unhealthy habit if it’s used as a coping mechanism to deal with the stress and happens frequently throughout your working week. So instead of this…get moving. Exercise is a great stress reliever! It doesn’t have to be an hour of hard intensity workout at the gym or a 10mile run. Just going for a walk in your local area and getting some fresh air or try some home workouts on YouTube, there are some great 7min workouts that are easy to follow and don’t take too much time. Exercise is a great way to naturally boost your endorphins which will help to relieve stress, but there are also other natural ways, checkout below: 

  • Eat dark chocolate 
  • Create music or art 
  • Dance 
  • Get acupuncture 
  • Laugh 
  • Get a massage 
  • Take a sauna 
  • Try some aromatherapy 
  • Meditate 

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