We’ve created a list of the top 5 ways teachers can reduce stress and better manage their end-of-the-year workload:
1. Adopt a positive outlook. This can be as simple as re-framing your challenges. Next time you find yourself thinking, “I have so much work to do, I’ll never get it all done!”, stop, take a deep breath, and re-frame the situation. Create a plan of action, and then generate a new statement to say out loud or write in a journal. For example, “I will do my best to finish my work tonight, and then I will make time to relax.”
2. Live in the present moment. Chronic worry about the future can fuel stress and anxiety. Notice when these worries arise and redirect your attention back to the present moment by practicing deep breathing or listening to the sounds in your environment. Try focusing your attention fully on what is happening right now.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Whether you’re a perfectionist, or constantly find yourself dwelling on minor inconveniences, it’s easy to let little things stress you out. Put life into perspective by looking at the bigger picture. Ask yourself if these small things really matter. It’s likely that in the grand scheme of things they don’t. See if you can accept this moment just as it is, and choose to let go of the things you can’t control.
4. Keep a gratitude journal. As we discussed in our last blog post, taking time to purposely focus on what you are grateful for can significantly improve your well-being, increase your happiness, and counteract the negative effects of stress. Try writing down 5 things you are grateful for every day for a week and see how your outlook changes!
5. Practice a mindfulness technique. Set aside time each day to sit in stillness and cultivate peace of mind. Calm Classroom techniques take just 3 minutes and can be practiced on your own or in your classroom with your students throughout the school day.