Stressed and Overwhelmed
Posted: 20 May, 2016
By: Annabella Sequeira
We are fast approaching the end of the school year and teachers are starting to face the onslaught of demands that comes without fail at this time of the year. The stress of having to finish curriculums, set and mark tests and exams, report-writing, sporting and other extracurricular activities is compounded by having to negotiate their way through the maze of demanding parents, some needy and unfocused children and their own personal lives.
Teaching is a passion, and it brings so much satisfaction to be a part of helping young minds develop and thrive, but the reality is that teaching is also so incredibly stressful, and our teachers are being stretched beyond their limits.
Tips and Tools for Teachers to Cope
So how can teachers manage their stress levels better? The following strategies are universal in alleviating stress and overload:
- Avoid – remove the stressors before they create stress and overload
- Anticipate – if you cannot avoid the stressor or the situation, anticipate and plan for overload
- Self regulate – when you are in overload, learn to self regulate in order to maintain calm, focus and control of your reactions
Self regulation strategies are easy and accessible tools and methods that can be used to calm and organise the brain. Examples include:
- Deep breathing to calm and organise your nervous system
- Movement breaks – walk away from the stressor for 5 minutes, if possible
- Find a quiet, peaceful space during a break in your timetable where you can listen to music of your choice through headphones or read a book
- Chew something crunchy or chewy
- Apply deep pressure by pushing your hands together or by doing chair sit-ups
- Teachers are not superheroes and they do have limits.
Learn to say NO to certain things and be aware about that which causes you stress and overload. Stay positive, and focus on your achievements and the positive impact that you have and will have on the children you were privileged to impact on during the course of the year.