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8 Ways to reduce stress

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Teaching can be challenging, with difficult behaviour and heavy workloads potential contributors to stress.

Stress takes its toll mentally and physically, making you vulnerable to poor health. It can also impact your ability to remain calm and in control in the classroom.

1. Make time for hobbies and exercise

Exercise is a known stress-reliever as it releases endorphins which make you feel better. Body and mind are connected so good physical health will contribute to good mental health.

Even going for a gentle stroll has health benefits. Yoga is a gentle exercise and can be great for stress, depression and anxiety.

Hobbies require concentration so are a great way of distracting you from troubling thoughts.

2. Prioritise your workload

Approaching tasks without a plan can lead to chaos and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Prioritise important work and recognise which tasks are non-urgent.

Tackle tasks you are putting off, it will relieve considerable burden.

3. It’s okay to say no

Don’t feel you have to say yes to every request from your leadership team or colleagues. It’s far better to be realistic about your current workload and do what’s already required well. It may also provide the opportunity to discuss your current heavy workload.

4. Don’t rely on alcohol and other stimulants

Alcohol at the end of a tough day can feel like a great stress reliever but if you rely on this too much the opposite is likely to be true. Too much alcohol can be depressive, leading to more stress. It can also make you more likely to rely on other stimulants such as caffeine. This is a vicious cycle likely to exacerbate problems.

5. Go outside

Nature is a known mood booster, and along with fresh air (and better yet, exercise) it can really lift the mood and ease tensions.

6. Discuss your issues

Bottling feelings of upset and frustration will only make you feel more stressed. If possible, share problems with an understanding colleague or talk to supportive family members or friends if you want to keep it separate from work.

Talking through problems with someone means getting a different viewpoint, helping to put things in perspective.

7. Don’t take rebuttals too personally

All teachers come in to contact with disruptive or even upsetting behaviour, but don’t take it personally. If children are acting out they are doing so for their own reasons and not because they have a personal vendetta against you. If you are struggling to control unruly behaviour discuss strategies with your line manager.

8. Spend time with those who aren’t teachers

While talking through problems can be a help, immersing yourself with work problems can exacerbate work-related stress. Connect with friends and family who can provide an escape from work.

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