Teaching is without a doubt, one of the most difficult and hectic professions. There are countless number of factors that go into conducting lectures and sometimes, all this decision making can get to you. Did you know that one in five teachers quit their job in the first five to ten years of their career? There are several reasons for this high dropout rate, but one of them stands out – the stress factor.
Taking too much tension every day can significantly decrease our productivity as a teacher. In fact, sometimes we may not even realise the amount of stress and pressure that we are under, working and multitasking around the clock. So, how can you overcome stress during long, difficult days and encourage relaxation so you don’t put your health at risk in the long run?
While we cannot decrease your workload, what we can do is help you with a number of tips and tricks that will help you relax and stay calm during the week. We are sure trying these will help you stay sane and find some normalcy in the middle of the rush hour!
Take a Nap
The less sleep you get, the more stressed you’ll become. Believe it or not, power naps can do wonders when you have had a tiring day and need to get some more work done before you call it a night. Even if your naps are as short as 15 minutes, they will help you be refreshed and to clear your mind . These naps can be in the middle of the day or late evening too! Keep all your work aside, take a few deep breaths and get comfortable.
Be it indoors or outdoors, a little bit of physical exercise can get your heart pumping and instantly make you active. Whether you decide to take a walk, hit the gym, attend a yoga class, or go for a run, exercising your muscles and getting rid of tension will help ensure you have a calm and relaxing day. Even if some day you do not have the time to exercise, make sure that you do not sit in the same place for hours. Go for small walks or plug in your earphones and roam around in the house to stretch your muscles.
Even if you do not consider yourself a creative person, it does not mean you cannot occasionally get our of your comfort zone and try something new. Be it doodling or writing in a journal, all these are ways to calm your mind. During weekends, see if you can join various clubs/communities or develop a hobby that will encourage you to think out of the box and create something that is not related to your work.
Listen to Music
Music is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to stimulating or soothing the mind. Create a playlist that includes the kind of songs you find relaxing. There are days when you may feel more overwhelmed than usual, that is when these songs come to rescue! Try to make a habit of putting on music early in the morning and right before sleeping, with slow tempos and focussing on matching your breathing to the beat.
Turn off your Phone
This may sound vague, but social media and staying connected with people all day can sometimes make you tired. Turn off your phone, turn off the TV, and close your computer. Try and lose touch digitally, resting both your eyes and mind. Instead, spend this time doing something like cooking, cleaning, reading, or hanging out with friends. You’ll be surprised at how these simple tasks can help you de-stress.
Planning helps reducing stress because it allows you to avoid unexpected work load. Most of us love to plan ahead of time and it is only ideal to tell you to leave everything and just relax! If it makes you feel any better, plan your day in advance and stick to the schedule. If not, just go with the flow. Planning helps you stay on track and make sure that you are putting ticks on all important tasks.
Short break will help you declutter your mind and start off fresh from where you left off. Taking breaks does not necessarily mean sitting idle. Go out with friends or spend some quality time with family. Make sure that while you are taking these breaks, you are away from your workplace and are not indulging in any activity that might require for you to pick up work calls or talk about it.
What all of us hard working teachers need to understand is that sometimes it is okay to let your brain sign off for a while. Always thinking about work, constantly thinking about solutions to help your students, or doing corrections throughout the week can put your well being at risk. It is important to learn how to put ourselves first and take a few minutes every day just to ourselves!
Try these tips out and tell us your experience! If you have some other relaxing techniques in mind, share them with us and help your fellow teachers out. At the end of the day, it is all about keeping your mind clear and doing what you love; teaching students! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org