Have you been feeling particularly stressed lately as a result of your teaching career? This blog post offers five tips specifically for teachers that can help to reduce stress.
Teachers and Stress
It's no secret that teaching is a highly stressful profession. You put in long hours, sometimes for little pay, and the education of a generation of young people is in your hands. The rewards lie in your passion for changing lives and opening minds, making that stress ultimately worth it. But even as you acknowledge that a teaching career often involves stress, you don't have to let it take over your life. Here are five effective stress-relieving tips perfect for teachers.
Tip #1: Try Some Aromatherapy
For a long time, scents have been used to affect how people feel, and for good reason. Emerging research shows that aromatherapy can be successful in reducing anxiety and even improving sleep quality.
As a teacher, you have the ability to control your classroom environment, which makes for a great opportunity to experiment with your workplace scent and promote stress relief. You can use an essential oil diffuser in order to avoid any potential hazards from burning candles. We recommend lavender for its calming qualities. Just make sure you confirm ahead of time that none of your students have any sensitivities.
Tip #2: Color
While you might incorporate art-based activities in the classroom, how often do you take the time to create artwork yourself? Research on art therapy has shown that coloring, like in a coloring book, can help reduce anxiety and even induce a meditative state. Thankfully, the market has caught onto this fact, and the number of mindfulness coloring books targeted toward the adult audience has skyrocketed. You can color during your lunch break, or if conducting an art lesson with younger children, you can color together.
Tip #3: Be Grateful
It's easy to err on the side of self-pity when you're in the midst of a difficult, stressful time, but striving to feel grateful for the good in your life can have a profound impact on your mental health. According to a recent study, gratitude has the ability to help promote stress relief. No matter your life circumstances, you most likely have something to feel grateful for, like colleagues, family, or friends; your health, your job, or even something as simple as the opportunity to sleep in a warm bed at night. Just taking 5-10 minutes a day to reflect on the things you're thankful for can help to improve your mood.
In fact, gratitude is a mindset you could incorporate into your classroom and lesson plans. Doing some gratitude journaling with your students can be beneficial to all of you.
Tip #4: Focus On Others
We've all felt the flood of internal warmth and well-being that comes from helping others in our community; the study of giving has even show that helping others can reduce blood pressure. It doesn't take much: a charitable donation, a day of community service, or even just visiting with a loved one who appreciates your time.
The moment you take the focus off of your own stress and think instead about how you can help your community and the larger world around you, you'll feel a weight lifting off of your shoulders. And if you want to implement the art of giving in your classroom, your students can always benefit from doing some community service, too. You can sign up for a personal external service day on your own, or have your class clean up the school grounds, both of which will have the intended effect of promoting stress relief.
Tip #5: Visit an Aquarium
Speaking of stress-busting tactics that you can do with your students, a class trip to an aquarium can be both educational and stress-relieving. According to a British study, watching fish in an aquarium can have the effect of reducing heart rate and blood pressure, both of which spike when somebody is under stress. And it makes sense: there is something relaxing about the fluid, hypnotic movement of marine life.
For more tips and tricks that will help improve your life as a teacher, check out Study.com's Teacher Edition.