Stress is life’s reality. If poorly managed, it can negatively impact our health, performance, and our well-being. And no one is exempted from its claws. People from all walks of life are prone to stressful situations that can make them lose their balance. Now, are there effective ways to manage daily stress?
A recent poll has it 46% percent of teachers experience daily stress which is parallel to that of nurses as both occupations have become highly demanding. “The threat is teacher stress,” The Conversation emphasized.
Hence, I say, stress is a part of our profession as teachers. Almost every teacher admits it, so why should we deny it? It’s a kind of reality bite.
In today’s article, I will be sharing practical tips on how to manage our stress levels and I will be talking from a teacher’s perspective. With the challenges of our roles and responsibilities as teachers, it’s incredibly important to address our stress levels so we keep our momentum and still do better in the teaching profession.
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As a teacher, I always do my best to meet the demands of teaching and I know that things just can’t be smooth-flowing along the way. There are dark spots and bumpy roads. Things are really overwhelming at times and I always consider giving myself options to reduce stress to prevent teacher burnout.
One might ask, are there effective ways to manage daily stress? Sure, yes! And, I’m kicking off from a teacher’s perspective.
Managing Stress as a Good Habit for Well-being
Coming home dog-tired can affect your mood which causes an imbalance in your emotional equilibrium. If you can’t keep your balance, it can negatively impact your relationship with your family. Since they are the immediate people at home whom you interact with, more likely, they will get affected by your emotions and actions.
To keep up with your whole being and to strengthen bonds with people around you, you should enrich yourself with positive support to manage daily stress. It totally depends on how you look at the positive side of things. If the atmosphere of negativity hovers around every inch of your thoughts, then, there’s no way out. Leave at least a pinch of positivism in you. This is how you manage daily stress.
When you scream at anyone because you are bone-weary it is not an excuse. You should learn to gain control and relieve yourself of the stress from work or even at home.
Accumulated daily stress is dangerous. It consumes all the good things in you, including your well-being. Never allow that to happen if you still think of the brighter days ahead.
Stress management is an important skill that teachers should develop. With our daily school encounters, not to mention the dreaded paperwork, we might think that there’s nothing we can do to be happy and live stress-free. With that notion, we are just allowing stress to get hold of our entirety.
Effective stress management can lead to a happier and more productive life. It’s just a matter of sustaining a balanced life. And what works for me may not work for you, so I decided to gather several options for you to choose from. Believing that there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy, any of the following options can make a difference.
Hence, keep reading!
Are There Effective Ways to Manage Daily Stress? – Best Teacher’s Perspective
To better deal with daily stress, you should know how it goes in your life. How does it affect you and how can it be managed before it’s accumulated that can negatively affect your performance as a teacher and your well-being as a whole.
This may sound overwhelming but managing daily stress should be done before it consumes our whole being. Because we know that it’s inevitable, we should completely convince ourselves that we can always embrace another day in our lives with enlivening spirits and renewed senses. From my standpoint, our effective means of dealing with stressors in our life can make a difference.
11 Keen Tips Every Teacher Must Know
1. Stay optimistic
Seeing only the negative is a work of a pessimist’s mind.
Stressors are around the corner. As teachers, we keep meeting them here and there. But, if we delve deeper into our exhaustion, we’ll find ourselves so stressed in the end. Optimistic teachers truly find happiness in the teaching profession by believing that they can make a difference in the lives of their learners.
They are the teachers who have admirable character traits and always see the goodness of things. Their optimism bears the confidence that every child is unique and deserves to be treated with compassion.
I know that the learning environment is never the same every day. Different scenes arise, different challenges arrive. However, great teachers have their ways of managing their stress levels. One of which is by being optimistic. It’s one of their most admired attributes.
Sure, you can be as optimistic as great teachers. In fact, being so can make you be called as such because a great teacher knows how to deal with their students with different backgrounds. Anyway, if teaching is really for you, you can always find ways to settle things in the classroom with a happy joyful conviction.
2. Prepare, prepare, prepare
One of the secrets of great success is to prepare. Teachers need to prepare to make the learning environment productive. Aside from that, being prepared each day is a great way to cut stress out of the way.
Have you experienced entering the classroom with no instructional materials? Or worse without a lesson plan? How was your class that day? Was it productive? Did your students achieve their learning goals?
Preparation and planning are very important in teaching. It’s a way towards creating meaningful learning experiences for the students. This can be noted in our confidence in delivering instructions and in the mastery of content.
Hence, as a teacher, I always come to class with adequate preparation because if not, other inevitable circumstances like student questioning, ineffective teaching and learning, and poor academic performance of students may happen.
With that, I always believe in the power of preparation and planning to effectively teach. If you’re prepared, you are always ready for what comes in.
3. Stay organized
Being disorganized can result in being worn out. This can result in a messy classroom, desks, and piling up paperwork. This is stressful.
Have you ever looked for your blue ballpen, and you can’t just find it easily? Or looking for a reference book but can’t locate it quickly? It gets your time and it makes your table or your shelves even messier.
If you are not organized with your things, you will always be looking for them for hours every time you use them. If you don’t know how to prioritize, your tasks pile up which frustrates you. If you procrastinate, you can’t be that organized teacher. Again, this can lead to so much stress!
Evidently, the result of being disorganized is stress which affects your performance as a teacher. When you work in a very limited space because the clutter occupies more of the space in your desk, you can’t just focus on what you are doing because your attention and concentration will be always distracted by what’s scattering around. As a result, you get overwhelmed and anxious about your being disorganized.
The good news is that this issue can be resolved easily. De-clutter your space and your classroom. Remember, your students will also follow your good examples in the classroom and they will learn how to arrange their things too.
Use desk organizers for your mostly used supplies so you can easily find them. Discard disposable things and sort out important things like reference books, instructional materials, and pile folders in a cabinet or shelves. Label them properly so you can find them quickly. Finally, stick to your de-cluttering goals all the time!
4. Read inspiring quotes
I have been doing this. I read great words of inspiration from great minds. I even compile them or copy them manually in my journal so I can go over each line intimately.
I always believe that words that are powerful and inspiring. So, I read a lot and I listen to podcasts and learn from others. I stop, I rewind, I listen intently, I scribble, I internalize.
Reading good thoughts can result in positive thinking. It can make you feel better. If you feel that the whole world is against you, then you might be so overwhelmed, consider this option.
I even print them and put them on my working table. Simply put, this impacts my stress level. Every time I work, I always read the words of Christopher Robin, “You are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” I act, therefore I am.
The things that happen to your daily life as a teacher can cause either happiness, fulfillment, or struggles. Be joyful with your happiness and be positive with your sorrows. So, when something doesn’t go quite right, be inspired more and more and consider the brighter side of things.
Read uplifting quotes and embed them in your ways of dealing with life in general. Live by it.
5. Love teaching
If a certain teaching strategy gains poor results, you’ll never lose hope because you always have other alternatives. But, if teaching is not really your line, then this might cause you a lot of stress.
Love what you are doing. If the teaching profession entails you to do more for the sake of the students, then be more passionate about teaching.
Interestingly, doing things against your will or accomplishing tasks because it’s your job will result in half-baked outcomes which can make you feel anxious and overwhelmed. Then, you get stressed.
However, if you are excited each day to impart the knowledge and skills to your students, you’ll feel better and you are more motivated to accomplish more.
6. Build strong relationships with your students
One of the great stressors that teachers face each day is the diverse attitudes of students. However, by all means, great teachers always have options in their behavior management strategies that help students gain their balance and become more attentive. It’s about fostering good relationships with students.
It can be so stressful dealing with different kinds of behaviors especially if you are clueless about how to control them to settle differences. Enhance your behavior management strategies and set expectations for your learners. Help them all the way and treat them as your own. In that way, you can interact inside and outside harmoniously.
When you build a strong relationship with your students, you can easily implement discipline which is a factor for a productive classroom. If students respect you as their mentor, then it’s easy to deal with them. This avoids conflicts in the classroom.
7. Avoid worrying too much
I usually tell my struggling fellow, “Take it easy.” Will that help? Absolutely for me, yes!
Humans as we are we can’t just avoid thinking of what to happen. However, by all means, we can control it.
“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say, it is avoiding worry, stress, and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” – George Burns
At a certain point in our lives, we get caught up in pressures that can make us worry because we become uncertain of what to happen. Your emotional resilience to different situations can totally affect your well-being.
How do you handle too much pressure at work? How experienced are you in dealing with work-related pressures? When you think too far in advance, you worry about the unknown that you get so drained. Deadlines and issues at work make you overthink that negatively impacts your brain activity.
However, if you are doing things to become an effective teacher, there’s nothing to worry about for sure. If you know how to balance your time for work and at home, you are ready for whatever comes your way.
Avoid worrying because life isn’t always overwhelming as you think it is.
“It’s a good idea always to do something relaxing prior to making an important decision in your life.” – Paulo Coelho
Never let your mind and body get too exhausted because you forget to relax. Learn to let go of the frazzles. Considerably, dealing with deadlines and sustaining an interactive learning environment requires hard work and resilience. Give yourself time to relax.
Listen to your favorite playlist in your room. Or spend time with your family at the beach. Unwind. Breathe fresh air. Commune with nature. There are so many ways to reduce stress and feel better.
Remember that chronic stress has a negative impact on our health both mental and physical. It is a threat to our system. Hence, you need to close your eyes, take a deep breath and let your mind and body relax.
One way of calming your mind is to write your thoughts and feelings. Keep a journal with you and release all your tensions through words. If writing doesn’t give you a peaceful mind, you can do yoga or any relaxation strategy that works best for you.
Plainly, give yourself a break and zap stress out of your life. Although momentarily, at least you find time to enjoy and to be happy. You deserve it!
9. Get enough sleep
Prioritize sleep to fully recharge your body and to improve your daily focus. Tired minds may result in poor processing of ideas.
Moreover, we are more prone to the effects of stressors if we don’t acquire enough sleep. Lack of sleep affects your focus and causes memory problems.
A good night’s sleep can make a difference in your physical and mental health. Never wallow on sleep deprivation and it’s an issue that can be fixed. As Psychiatrists contend, chronic mental health is enfeebling.
“Sleep and mental health are closely connected,” as mentioned in Harvard Health Publishing.
With that, it’s imperative that you get an adequate night’s sleep. Set a perfect time at night when you consider dropping everything and hit the bed. Improve your sleep patterns through discipline and sticking to good habits like not checking FB walls and social media hours before going to bed.
10. Observe a healthy diet
Our health gives us existence. It affects our moods and thoughts. It keeps us reigning in this world. For one thing, you should eat a healthy diet. It can promote good health, it can make you feel better, and most importantly, it can reduce stress.
Just a plain thought: happy food, happy thoughts. Happy thoughts, happy life.
If you enter the classroom feeling sluggish as a result of eating foods with low or no nutritional value at all can affect your mood. The lack of energy can easily agitate you that can break your classroom equilibrium.
Moreover, if you’re unhealthy you easily get sick which can lead to absence from work. When you miss days in school, deadlines pile up and your students miss a lot of learning opportunities. Although there can be a teacher-substitute, still it affects students’ performance because they have to adjust again and again.
And the most wonderful of it all is to laugh. Live and laugh as they say.
Nothing beats a merry heart. And nothing is more sorrowful than a weary soul.
“A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22
I share funny thoughts with my colleagues. I laugh. I share funny stories with my students. I laugh even more. I use humor in my instructions and all of us share laughter.
Hence, I never let a day pass without laughter. As for the words of Charlie Chaplin, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” And for me, laughter is a stress medicine that is always free.
In other words, the moments we share with our fellow teachers, the happy times we have with our students help reduce stress. Talking with a fellow teacher during breaks won’t make you less of a person. In fact, it’s a diversion from stressful situations.
I am greatly inspired by the thoughts shared by Dr. Nishant Tripathy, a cardiologist, that “Laughter is a natural antidote to many of the illness-causing effects of stress and it is free of cost.” Of course, who will not patronize it?
Whether it’s chuckling, giggling, or guffawing, who cares? As long as it replenishes your energy and happy mood, then do it. Begin it today. I hope this makes sense.
If you let stress creep into your system, it causes disruptions and problems. Stress is a threat that devitalizes all aspects of your well-being. Or worse, it affects your quality of teaching.
Since you have a major role in the education of the child, you shouldn’t feel low. You can’t help children improve their performance if you feel incompetent about yourself because of anxiety and depression as a result of stress.
Bite the secret to stress management. Also, adopt the useful tips mentioned above as effective ways to manage daily stress. Or maybe you have certain techniques that aren’t mentioned here yet. Let’s help one another as you and I need to de-stress from time to time.
Together, let’s recharge our batteries and teach meaningfully!