10 Ways to Reduce Teacher Stress

  1. Take time for yourself! Do something that doesn’t involve teaching or work, like watching your favorite TV show, talking to a friend on the phone, reading a book for fun, taking a bubble bath, or listening to music.
  2. Find a colleague who you feel you can talk to. Having the sympathetic ear of a co-worker can help ease your frustrations.
  3. Do deep breathing. While inhaling, think “I am inhaling, 1.” While you exhale, think, “I am exhaling, 1.” Continue until you reach 10, and then return to 1. Do this while sitting down and remember to breathe from the stomach.
  4. Share laughter with your students. Find small ways to not take yourself so seriously. For instance, have a joke of the day, sing silly songs, have a laughing contest, and celebrate birthdays.
  5. Write down a list of accomplishments that you have had as an individual and as an educator. If you are having a bad day read the list to yourself and reflect on all the positive things you have done.
  6. Close your eyes and visualize a relaxing scene. This could be beach, the forest, a warm bed, etc. While imagining, use all of your senses. For instance, think about the texture of the sand under your feet, the warmth of the sun, the smell of the ocean, and the sound of the lapping waves.
  7. Engage your senses. Find something beautiful in your classroom that you can look at whenever you feel stressed, such as pictures on the wall, a plant that you can watch grow, or a piece of art that you’ve hung in the window. Keep lotion on your desk. Applying lotion to your hands can reduce stress, and scents such as peppermint can help lift your mood.
  8. Stress tightens your muscles so engage in activities to loosen them throughout the day. Take a quick walk around the school during breaks, or get the class involved in stretching or yoga. This will make you and your students feel calmer!
  9. Remember why you teach. Sometimes it is easy to feel annoyed by everyday hassles, or to feel hopeless about your job. Whenever you start feeling overwhelmed, recall why you started teaching in the first place, such as wanting to make a difference in the lives of children.
  10. Learn to recognize your moods so you know when to use the above 9 tips. Notice different physical signs of stress, such as muscle tension, fatigue, and headaches. Also be aware of the thoughts that can go with stress, such as lingering frustration and anger towards parents, students, and school staff.

Here are some websites for more information on how to reduce teacher stress:
To participate in a study on teacher stress, go to: www.surveymonkey.com/s/teacherstress
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