7 Strategies for Reducing and Managing Teaching Stress
Published: Tuesday November 09 2021 by Melanie Crewe
We will all need to manage stress of some form throughout our lives. By the very nature of a teaching role, marking will stack up, students will present challenges and lessons will need to be planned at short notice and so stress is inevitable and you are not alone.
Education Support reports that 82% of Teachers describe themselves as stressed. How you respond to it can however spell the difference between a long and rewarding career, and one cut short due to burn-out.
In our previous blog we suggested a number of hints and tips that can be practiced on a daily basis, to manage day to day micro-stress doses, that you as a teacher will experience. These included keeping hydrated, eating well, taking daily walks and practicing mindfulness and breath-work.
Try these 7 strategies, some of which are further explorations of the suggestions above, to help manage and combat stress on those difficult days.
1. Prioritise your workload
Set yourself healthy boundaries that stop you from taking on too much and find ways to delegate certain tasks to support staff. This can make a real difference to your levels of stress and exhaustion. Work smarter, not harder.
2. Be aware of what causes you stress
Note down any situations or events that leave you feeling stressed or emotionally drained, with one or two ways, such as breathing techniques, to reduce and manage stress for each. When you’re experiencing high levels of stress, practise your stress-reduction techniques and note what works.
3. Be kind to yourself
Teachers are often prone to perfectionism and often feel that they aren’t doing enough, or that their mistakes are magnified because of the importance of their job. Feelings of guilt and regret cannot change the past, and can affect the present by draining your energy. Be kind to yourself, you are already ‘enough’ and you deserve recognition.
4. Talk to someone
No matter how long you’ve been teaching, there are times when we all need help or support. Talk to a family member, friend or colleague and express your feelings. Try not to allow your thoughts or a situation to develop into something bigger than it needs to be.
5. Schedule time for yourself
Connecting with nature, listening to music or something as small as taking a warm bubble bath, can be great ways to help manage stress. Gentle repetitive exercise, such as walking, swimming or cycling are also good to relieve stress. Try to schedule at least 15 minutes of ‘you time’ each day, to allow the stresses of the day to melt away.
6. Plan ahead
Set or request time to prime yourself for new tasks or responsibilities at work. Feeling rushed can lead to mistakes, regrets and stress. Plan ahead to arrive at appointments early, composed and having made allowances for unexpected hold-ups.
7. Allow yourself some positivity
Try to keep a positivity journal and find something positive about each day to note down in your journal, no matter how small it may seem. Journaling is a useful self-care exercise and is a positive reminder that however hard life gets, there is always joy to be found.
We have a number of flexible teaching and support options available across our network of nationwide offices, which include job shares, Tutoring, part time and short term contracts.