Posted 3 years ago

5 simple tips for teachers to de-stress and avoid teacher burnout by taking care of your physical and emotional wellbeing.

The teaching profession has been hit hard in recent years by policy changes and increasing demands from government initiatives. 

Studies have shown that teachers work more unpaid overtime than any other profession, with upwards of 13 extra hours per week spent marking and preparing lessons. Overworked and overstretched teachers are at risk of experiencing 'teacher burnout', with feelings of exhaustion and frustration taking over from the enthusiasm that first brought them into the teaching world.

1. Exercise

A healthy mind starts with a healthy body, with increased physical activity alleviating anxiety and raising energy levels to help you feel calm and positive. Adding in the extra task of a round of intense exercise into an already busy day can feel like the last thing you need, but even small changes to your daily routine can make a big difference. Why not walk or cycle to work, take the stairs, stretch for 10-15 minutes in the morning or organise a running group with other staff? You’ll be well on your way to releasing those endorphins, increasing your stamina and boosting your overall wellbeing.

2. Drink water

It’s an obvious one, but the value of drinking water can’t be overstated! Keep a bottle of water with you at all times to stay hydrated and beat fatigue, headaches, digestion, improve mood and make sure your body is functioning at full capacity.

3. Have a proper lunch

While it may be tempting to grab a sugary snack or skip lunch altogether when you’re rushed off your feet, having a break and digging into a healthy lunch has been shown to have significant benefits on your brain power and productivity. Don’t rely on your pupils bringing you a shiny red apple, make sure you’re ready for the day by packing a nutritious lunch the night before, with some healthy nuts or fruit to keep you energised throughout the day.

4. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness isn’t just a buzzword, meditation and the mental state of being present and aware in the moment can boost cognitive skills and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Meditation doesn’t come to every person naturally, but you can start by taking moments to quietly focus on your own mind, body and sensations without the outside world creeping in. The NHS has shared some great tips for starting to practice mindfulness.

5. Sleep well

Stress and anxiety aren’t the best recipe for getting your good 8 hours of sleep, and no amounts of caffeine or sugar can replace that rest. Before you know it you can end up in a vicious cycle of sleepless nights and irritable, restless days. Getting into a regular sleep routine, avoiding caffeine, phones and laptops before bed and dimming the lights can all help you drift off into a peaceful sleep cycle and get you ready for the next day!

Do you have any tricks for avoiding teacher stress and burnout? Share them with us on social media.