Wonder what stress may be doing to our favorite teachers? Do you know that the stress levels of teachers are tied with nursing? A recent gallop poll finds 46 percent of teachers and nurses are both tied with high levels stress on a daily basis. Many of us owe a great deal to teachers who have impacted our lives and those of our children. We may help teachers cope better by providing more support and ways to help them de-stress.
What Are Major Stresses for Teachers?
Teachers face enormous pressure from developing academic lessons to handling classroom behavior and administrators who demand high academic performance of students. Then, there are children who come from trauma, or with behavior problems, special needs, and the threat of school violence.
Chronic stress impacts a teacher’s mental and physical health—from headaches, to high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and anxiety. Stress also depletes mental stamina. Common symptoms include irritability, mood swings and exhaustion. In the latest research by the University of Pennsylvania, teachers reported these symptoms of high stress.
One teacher told me the majority of teachers she works with are on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds just to cope. More consideration needs to be on how this high stress affects our kids, educators, and learning in the classroom.
Schools Can Provide More Stress Relief
More school districts could help teachers’ stress levels by providing more professional development keeping “Wellbeing” in mind. One of my favorite groups to train with my Empower a Success Mindset programs are educators. I give handouts so that all breathing exercises and mindful activities can be passed on to students and to their families. In the teacher trainings I’ve conducted, educators report they’ve used these helpful mindful breathing in their classrooms, and it’s really helped their students to chill, especially at test time.
Students learning to visualize can also benefit their imagination, self-esteem, and learning. And mindfulness has been shown to help build focus, compassion, and emotional resilience. In my next article, I’ll focus on the benefits of creative visualization with children.
Contact us if you’re interested in scheduling a Professional Development Day, bringing “Inner Power Learning: Empower a Success Mindset” to help educators and students thrive. Let’s chat!
5 Great Ways to Reduce Stress
These stress relieving tips are great for teachers. Let go of perfection and enjoy more peace!
- Take time for you. Make sure to do something that will recharge your soul and your energy. Take a bubble bath, listen to music, or phone a friend
- Do some deep breathing. I teach the Box Breath which is also used by the elite Navy SEALs for calm and focus. Just like the four sides of a box. Breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold for 4 seconds. Breathe out for 4 and hold again for 4 seconds. It’s that pausing in between the breaths that send a signal to the brain and body to relax. Keep repeating this breathing for a few minutes.
- Find a sympathetic ear. Talk to a colleague or friend who you can share your burdens to lighten the load. It helps to vent and release feelings.
- Laughter can help relieve stress. There’s nothing like a good belly laugh to boost endorphins, the feel good chemicals. Share laughter with your students. Schedule joke time once a week. Also, find ways to not take yourself so seriously.
- Take a little breathing space. Close your eyes for a few minutes each day and visualize a relaxing scene by the beach, or by a crackling fire in the mountains, or inside your warm comfy bed–any place where you can feel a sense of getting away from it all. (Listen to one of my guided meditations.)
These tips are especially helpful at holiday time when we feel overloaded by demands and things to do. Maybe do a little less this holiday season and find time to take a few deep breaths to center yourself.
Organizations hire Vicki to conduct Inner Power Mindset Training to help teachers, health care providers, and families thrive. If you’re a teacher or health care provider needing help with stress, anxiety, or better sleep, contact Vicki for a FREE Empowering Session, “From Stress to Be Your Best” at Vicki@InnerPowerMindset.com.