Education Support Partnership’s 2018 Teacher Wellbeing Index found that 67% of education professionals describe themselves as stressed. A teacher’s primary role is to look after their students, but it is more important to make their mental well-being the number one priority. Teaching unions are warning of an “epidemic of stress” which has lead to 3,750 teachers being signed off on long term sick in one year because of pressure at work, anxiety and mental illness.
It is essential for teachers to maintain good mental health, physical health and wellbeing for a thriving classroom. Here are several tips and tricks you can do to improve your wellbeing and remain positive throughout the working week.
It is a well-known fact that Monday comes around very quickly. After two days of complete freedom, it is time to get back into the working routine. It is important to start your week relaxed, productive and positive.
Play some calming music for 10 minutes before your students arrive in the morning.
For the first 15 minutes of the school day, allow yourself and the students to read independently. Improving their literacy skills and making the students more focused.
Laughing has a wide range of benefits. Have a catch up with a colleague at lunch and laugh until you can’t laugh anymore.
At the end of the school day, make sure the rest of the week is fully organised and planned. This limits stress throughout the week as time becomes sparse.
Tuesday is becoming the least favourite day of the week. There is still a long way to go before you have reached the weekend and it feels like forever since you had a day off, even though it was only a few days ago. It is important to stay productive and focused on Tuesday as there is still a lot of work to do.
Stay positive – if you think positive, you become positive. Developing a positive attitude can truly change your entire life. Have five minutes at lunchtime to truly relax. No devices, no noise and no distractions.Do some exercise after work. That can be walking the dog to a gym session. Exercise releases endorphins and it is scientifically proven to improve mental health.
Humpday. Halfway through the week and the weekend is almost here. While there is light at the end of the tunnel, there are still a few days to go before you can switch off.
Don’t bottle up anger & frustrations. Express and discuss any feelings you have had over the past few days to the appropriate adult. Let go of grudges and remain positive.At lunch, plan for the weekend. Do some research or think of ideas of what you can do in a few days time. This will keep you focused and make you excited, improving your mental health. Eat some fruit. Try eating a banana or an apple at lunchtime. Give your body healthy nutrients to keep your immune system healthy. Try and have an early night. Your body will have started to become tired from the busy week and it still has a few days before it can truly relax. Getting 8 hours sleep improves your coordination, focus and mental health.
The weekend is almost here and the week has gone by so fast you feel like you have not left the classroom. There is still a lot of learning to be done and remaining focused is essential for productivity and your sanity.
Switch your coffee to tea or decaf. Caffeine has been proven to negatively affect an individual’s mood. It causes you to lose sleep, suffer health consequences and feel more stress. This small change can massively improve your mental health.Remember you can not please everyone all the time. As long as you are doing your best, you are being the best teacher for those students. Try not to engage in negative thoughts about yourself. Play an educational game with your students at the end of the day. What about heads down thumbs up? A quiz? Quick fire maths multiplication game? Keep learning fun for yourself and your students.
Friday has arrived. The week has felt long but it has gone so quickly. It is almost time to switch off and wind down from work.
Laugh. Laugh with your students and have fun. Forgive yourself and let go of any negative emotions you have stored from the past week.Make sure you stay hydrated. Drinking water keeps the mind focused and energised.Reflect. Think about your past week and what has been a success. If there have been any challenges, come up with ways to minimise the risks of them happening again next week. Congratulate yourself for your hard work and determination. Teaching is not easy, but you have smashed it. Enjoy your weekend. Fill it with all the activities you enjoy doing and share it with people you love.
Everyone has stressful days, it is normal, but making use of the tips listed above will help you to reduce the stress that you are feeling.