It’s no secret that stress and anxiety amongst teachers in the UK is a prominent and growing issue – as highlighted in Education Support’s recent Teacher Wellbeing Index.
And whilst there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are several ways in which teachers can lessen the pressure on themselves – from remembering the difference you’re making, to scheduling in time to switch off, we’ve compiled a list of top tips for teachers looking to manage stress levels.
1. Remember the difference you are making.
You are doing a great job and having an impact on the children you teach. This is invaluable.
2. Talk to those around you – and not just about school.
Discuss your interests and things that make you happy.
3. Schedule time to switch off.
Although much easier said than done, take time for you! Read, sleep, draw or anything that you enjoy.
4. Breathe (properly).
Use deep breaths to re-centre yourself. Use the 4×4 technique to regulate your heart rate and resettle your mind. Breathe in and hold for 4 seconds, and do the same breathing out.
5. Say goodbye to perfectionism.
Teachers are master ‘jugglers’ but you cannot give your all to everything. List your priorities and focus on those that really need your time and attention.
6. Accept what you cannot change.
Try to learn from your experiences and don’t waste your emotional energy on things outside of your control. Forgive yourself for things that have happened in the past.
7. Stay energized.
Make time to eat a healthy balanced diet, this will keep you going throughout the day. And biscuits don’t count!
8. Banish negative thoughts.
If you catch yourself thinking negatively or talking unkindly to yourself – re-phrase and force yourself to think of something to make you smile instead.
9. Practice gratitude.
Find a positive in each and every work day – no matter how small. Visualise things that have gone well and harness that positive feeling to help you cope in trickier times.
10. Finally… Ask for help.
You do not have to do this alone. If things are too much or you feel overwhelmed, talk to your colleagues and school leaders. Something can always be done to help.
Whilst we know that being a teacher in the current climate can often feel overwhelming, it is important to remember the huge difference you are making to the lives of the children you teach.
You can find more useful resources and browse our Mental Health and Wellbeing courses here.
About the Author
Lucie Welch – Adviser, Services For Education
Lucie Welch taught in primary schools for over 13 years, holding the roles of Assistant Head of School, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, Attendance Lead as well as many subject lead roles.
Through the role of DSL, Lucie has garnered huge experience and knowledge of safeguarding which she is passionate about sharing with schools both across Birmingham and nationwide. With a strong understanding of policies and procedures, as well as safeguarding in schools at a day-to-day operational level, Lucie can provide bespoke consultancy and training on a host of safeguarding related topics.
Lucie also leads on PSHE and RSE and has a focused interest in children's emotional health and wellbeing, understanding how trauma and adverse childhood experiences can impact children, as well as educating staff and pupils on Sexual Violence, Sexual Harassment and Harmful Sexual Behaviour in schools.
Lucie is also a part of our Health for Life team and helps deliver the Early Career Framework on behalf of the Best Practice Network.
Mental Health Support For Schools
Our expert advisers can provide in-school visits to deliver sessions on both staff and pupil mental health and wellbeing. We can provide bespoke training and consultancy and will work with you to understand your exact requirements.
Get in touch with us today if you’d like to discuss bespoke training for your school.Contact us