Too much daily stress in the classroom?
There are stress relievers that can help you calm down quickly. Not paying attention to your body’s signals can accumulate those little hurdles and end up affecting your teaching. Worst of all, it might take a toll on your health and overall welfare when not dealt with properly.
It is reported that a big percentage of teachers are experiencing high daily stress. What adds to the burden is that many of them don’t realize how much stress is building up until anxiety steps in. If you ignore the pressure, it will take on your sleep, quality of life, and teaching performance. When you are highly-stressed, it affects your students, too. Similarly, their academic performance and social adjustment will also slow down.
You know that there are ways to relieve being stressed, but maybe you’re too busy to insert them into your routine. So I’m bringing you good news today.
Here are ways and strategies to help manage daily stress and handle its negative effects on your life as an educator:
1) Take short breaks in the classroom
Studies show that short physical and mental breaks in the classroom relax the brain. They are a state of rest that lets the mind wander with ease. Longer breaks such as “coffee break” provide opportunities for you to divert your attention to important life skills.
In a relaxing mood, you are able to retrieve pace that allows you to think slower, create solutions, and solve problems. It gives you moments for yourself that allows you to think of what makes you smile. You also are able to check your emotions that lead to more positive behavior. This is a fundamental skill in life.
Incorporating breaks in the classroom sets aside time to move around and re-energize the body by clearing the mind, soothing the nerves, and reducing the stress from your feet. Short breaks also offer the chance to dehydrate by taking some snacks or drinks to refresh the stomach. Overall, the downtime boosts performance that both you and your students can benefit a lot from.
2) Stop pushing your limits – Relax
The workload might seem like a lot but don’t scare your mind about finishing everything at once. A big reason this doesn’t work is that it dramatically increases your stress levels.
You know what entails a teaching profession, and you also know that planning is a big part of it. Tasks don’t pool up like crazy when they are done on schedule. You may miss one or two but see to it that you stay away from straining yourself.
I remember a teacher-friend who often comes a bit cranky due to a hectic routine. Seeing all her paperwork, I was sure she had been experiencing teacher burnout. She probably didn’t have to get irritated had she done what she had and has to do, in the first place. Trying to finish a week’s work in 2 days can really be stressful.
What I’m trying to say is that: you’re already in a situation with a plate full of tasks. The best thing to do is to relax. Stop telling your mind that you need to spend a night exerting all your power to get things done. Stop that thought at once. Take things easy and slowly sort them out to what I can do today and what I can do tomorrow. It’s a lot less brain-wracking this way than leaving your mind to panic right away.
3) Happily do the task as scheduled
This is the solution of our no. 2 (above) and where planning is crucial.
Every teacher has a planner to put all his or her things to do. Happily doing a task you have indicated in your planner makes you mentally and emotionally motivated. You get a task done, yey! Notice how it makes you smile. Notice how light you feel. Notice how it saves you so much time. Notice how it makes you happy.
Since your focus is intact, it automatically allows you to incorporate student interests into your lessons. Quality planning connects you to exactly what you need to do, and what you want. Getting a task done as scheduled helps you manage time and lessen the impact of stress.
Note that you can go for what is unknown to you when your mind is well set. You can embrace bigger challenges than what you think you’re only capable of. You can finish your tasks at a designated time and day. All this is possible if you have planned ahead.
4) Immerse your eyes in relaxing scenery
It’s no secret that being in or around nature has significant health benefits. If schools put up a lovely garden around the campus, that is to bring nature into the classrooms. Looking at nature is restorative. Others even have a deep element of mystery that makes them feel like finding their searches.
You don’t have to travel a long way to spend time with nature. A trip to the beach or mountain trek may not be practical. No worries. You can view scenes of nature like the green trees that you pass by while commuting home. Have you tried taking a walk home at a twilight? The long walk will give you solitude. In fact, it’s a perfect time for prayer.
Scenes of nature increase pleasant feelings that reduce anger, fear, and exhaustion. They have their own mystique power to soothe, heal, and restore your connection to tranquility and happiness. Experts say that simply staring at a beautiful view of natural scenery (such as mountains, trees, sunset, or stars) for 40 seconds is enough to bring the brain into a more relaxed state.
Have you tried watching stars before going to bed? Do it and let the stars melt your stresses away.
5) Practice basic meditation and deep breaths
Now, this might seem obvious but when doing long stretches of teaching, teachers oftentimes forget to take in air properly. Did you know that this can lead to a problem in performance and attentiveness?
Deep breathing increases the oxygen supply in your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. This action promotes a state of calmness that quiets the mind and brings your awareness away from worries. Some experts recommend doing the square breathing technique which is breathing in and holding in your breath for 4 seconds. This combative technique might be too simple but it is actually super effective.
You can do this in between classes, or during short breaks. Why not schedule breathing exercises each night? This technique is so relaxing that it can make you very sleepy, especially if you do it close to bedtime. Early morning is another ideal time to do some breathing exercises before your responsibilities get in the way.
6) Take a Walk or Exercise
Your body holds many connections to the brain. When stress hits the brain, the rest of the body feels that impact as well. This explains why when your body feels great, your mind does, too.
Exercise can improve mental fitness to reduce stress. If your problem is fatigue, a few minutes of walking or stretching improves concentration and alertness that enhances overall cognitive function. This is what you need when stress has depleted your ability to concentrate.
It might seem contradictory, but allowing some healthy physical activity on your body through exercise is very effective in combating stress. Therefore anything that makes the body move through exercise can decrease overall levels of tension. Even five minutes of walking can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
7) Spend time with friends and family
You know that talking to friends and family can help you get through stressful times. Don’t wait until the weekend to connect. If a physical meeting isn’t possible, call a friend, talk, and laugh together. Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belongingness.
Cooking dinner with the family or playing with kids at home are a healthy way to cope with stress. The emotional support that family and social ties can provide also enhances psychological well-being. It is a natural stress reliever that releases negative emotions helping you get a greater sense of meaning in life.
8) Light a candle with essential oils
Burning a scented candle or using essential oils quickly reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.
The scent you like will make you happy. It’s your choice. It’s your home’s personality. Choose a particular scent you love the most. For example, it is fun considering room-appropriate fragrances like a floral bouquet for a relaxing sanctuary, fresh linen for the children’s room, or a whiff of passion fruits to make dining sweet-smelling and appetizing.
Plus, the pleasant-smelling glows have become a favorite dimension in uplifting moods. Your scented candle will not only illuminate your environment and add fragrance, but as a new way to diffuse an enjoyable ambiance to feel good at home. Lavender, rose, chamomile, bergamot, sandalwood are among the most calming scents to indulge in.
A Note to Remember
Stress relievers are not just beneficial for a day or week. Incorporating them into your daily routine not only teaches you how to calm down quickly, but you can live a happy life at work. Your teacher planner is a very important reminder tool. Do follow what is in your planner by all means and make sure to put it into action.
When you’re more inclined to your plans and goals, you will learn to commit to it. You will eliminate weaknesses. Most of all, it will lead you to enjoy your teacher’s life with less pressure. I hope these stress relievers can help calm you down quickly during stressful days.
Do you have any other ideas to share? It would be great if you could leave them in the comments below.