Workplace stress can be hard on employees in all industries, but dealing with increasing class sizes, budget cuts, and the lengthy hours spent planning and grading coursework can leave educators feeling like they’re spread too thin. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays and end of year demands added on top of all that, we need some tips and techniques to bring back our spirit!
According to Huffington Post, nearly half of K-12 teachers who participated in a survey (46%) said they experienced stress the previous day—more than any other industry included in the poll. Teacher stress is leading many educators to feel a lack of engagement in their work, which is causing a negative impact on students. In fact, almost half (45%) of the 600,000 students included in the survey said they felt either not engaged or actively disengaged from school. So how can teachers combat their stress in order to feel more engaged in their work and, in turn, help engage their students in the classroom?
Finding What Works for You
As different methods impact people in different ways, it may take some trial and error to find the best fit. Some people find that exercise helps them relax, unwind, and release stress. Whether it’s running, lifting weights, or yoga, exercising releases endorphins, which generally trigger a positive feeling. Others find their Zen through meditation, using breathing exercises and reflection to become more focused, relaxed, and peaceful.
Hobbies are also a great way to take your mind off the factors in your life that are stressful and put your energy into something you love. If you like to be outdoors, gardening and hiking are great ways to shift your focus from the workplace. Prefer to be indoors? Try getting lost in a good book or take up knitting—the repetitive movement of the needles is considered to be calming. Some people also find journaling to be relaxing, and getting your thoughts onto paper can be very therapeutic.
In our digital age, we also have technology in our corner to help ease the stress on teachers. Here are some great apps designed to help reduce stress:
- Relax: Stress and Anxiety Relief: Created by Saagara, a digital health company offering a variety of apps designed to promote relaxation and improve well-being, this app helps you quickly relieve stress with guided breathing and meditation exercises.
- Happify: Take control of your emotional well-being with Happify’s collection of effective tools, programs, and proven techniques developed by leading scientists and experts.
- Pacifica: This app offers a variety of holistic tools to help you focus on mindfulness, relaxation, and health. A daily mood tracker lets you rate your mood, audio exercises help calm you, and the community allows you to share stories and advice.
- Pocket Yoga: Offering 27 sessions of varying difficulty, Pocket Yoga gives you the freedom to practice yoga at your ideal pace in the comfort of your own home.
- MyMoodTracker: By tracking your mood throughout the day, you’ll gain a better understanding of what causes your shifts in emotion and learn what makes you feel your best.
- HelloMind: Battle your stress with HelloMind, which uses a form of guided hypnosis to help you improve your life in 30-minute sessions.
While it may take some time to find the best method to fit your needs and lifestyle, the end result will be well worth it. Here’s to helping all teachers become happier and healthier!
Do you have a favorite stress-busting technique? Let us know in the comments below!