Learn about stress management strategies for teachers and 7 ways an every teacher can manage and prevent stress in their career.
As a teacher, you will deal with a full schedule for most of the days you work.
Alongside this, your plate will be crowded from the stress of working hard, and long.
You want to learn how to manage yourself during these times so you do not break down.
Too often, we have cases of teachers who ignore their health and need for rest and stress management until it gets so bad that they can’t do what they love anymore.
You don’t want this to happen to you.
How do you cope with all that workload and tight schedules?
Or, is there a particular coping mechanism a teacher can use to prevent and manage stress while working and getting optimum return on their efforts?
How can you manage stress as a teacher?
Online teachers can manage stress by focusing on what’s in their control, setting clear work boundaries, doing regular physical exercise, taking breaks, and using technology appropriately, among other stress management strategies. If as an online teacher you don’t prevent stress, it will eventually show in your results.
Well, in this article, we will be sharing with you 7 simple steps to prevent stress as a teacher.
Here we go!
Table of Contents:
How to manage stress – 7 simple steps to prevent stress:
Why Stress Management Is Important For Teachers
Just before you decide that you can take care of yourself after all the work is done, you might want to stop and ask yourself, “At what cost?”
Stress can affect you on three vital levels: your health, your relationships (friends and family), and your students.
Workers with high-stress levels have 46% higher annual health costs than those who don’t.
Think about that for a second.
Is that what you want?
Also, teachers who are stressed out also take more sick leaves and are less productive when they get to work, which can cost the school huge amounts of money.
Constant and heaped-up doses of stress unaddressed can lead to multiple physical ailments in the long and short-term.
In the short-term, you might have increased heart rate, incessant sweating, quicker breathing, an increase in blood sugar levels, and muscular tension, to mention just a few.
In the long-term, the effects of stress on you are: disruption of every system in your body, high blood pressure, weakened immune system, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, infertility, a speeded-up aging process, anxiety, depression, and a lot more.
Also, stress can affect your relationships and social life.
Stress left unmanaged can do a world of damage to our relationships.
When we have ourselves overburdened with workloads, it can be difficult to make time to spend with our family and loved ones.
We may not give them the full attention they deserve, and may even take out our sour moods on them till they cannot enjoy or even stand our company anymore.
When we allow our relationships to suffer and decline, the strain and stress eventually show on our work and it makes everything worse.
The stress of strained relationships harms our ability to be energetic and joyful at work.
We need to maintain our relationships to make sure we are topnotch teachers.
Lastly, stressed-out and unhappy teachers will also have stressed-out and unhappy students.
Our emotional health has an overall effect on our students as teachers.
When the teacher is happy and energetic, the students generally catch the vibe too.
Stress will cost you the attention of your students as well as their performance.
Stress ignored will cost you more than you can pay!
7 Simple Steps To Prevent Stress
Now that you are aware of the implications of stress, you want to know exactly what to do to avoid stress as much as you can, or manage it at the onset, lest it develops into something serious.
Listed out below are 7 simple steps you can take to prevent stress.
We recommend them for every teacher, and if you intend to get the most out of your career as a teacher, and live a longer, healthier, and stress-free life, then you should read them, and stick to them.
1. Focus On What Is In Your Control
By now, you should have realized that you cannot do everything.
The sooner you realize it, the better for you.
Just in case you have not yet figured it out, there are many things in your life and your career that are simply not within your control, and you have to learn to accept that.
Accept change when you need to.
As a teacher, you surely know what it is like to invest so much time and resources creating a course, hoping for the perfect lesson, only to fall short of your expectations, because a mishap happened.
Or maybe you have dreamed of having sweet, eager, energetic, and malleable students, but you have found so far that you just cannot seem to be able to exert enough influence to get them to act in a better way.
These things happen.
You have to learn to accept what you cannot change.
Separate yourself from negativity and undue criticism, don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re less than you are, especially when you are giving your best.
Try to find the solutions to the challenges you can fix, and accept the situations you know you cannot change.
2. Set Clear Work Boundaries
When it comes to working, some things have a way of growing tentacles and spreading into areas they should not, especially when it has to do with something you love to do.
As an online teacher, you have autonomy over your time, and it can get really easy to think, “Well, I’ll just allot more time to this,” because you feel it’s your time.
And you are right!
But stress isn’t far away if you keep towing this path.
You may have your pre-planned work hours and your chosen work schedule depending on your particular situation.
What you have to do is set your work boundaries and regularly look back reflectively to see if they are working for you or not.
And we mean, financially, emotionally, physically, and all-round, this is crucial!
You can start by asking yourself these questions:
How many hours do I need to work each day?
How much time do I want to devote to spending with family, personal hobbies, and other responsibilities each day or week?
What do I need while I am working, a quiet space, or no interruptions?
How can I distribute other activities like watching the kids, and doing chores while I’m working?
Write out your answers on a piece of paper so you can hold yourself accountable.
3. Take Some Time Off The Screen
You need to know when enough is enough.
Discipline yourself to get away from your computer when you need to.
Make sure you spend time away from your screen and mobile devices.
Working with your students demands constant interaction and you can find yourself sucked into the blue glare of glass screens even when you should be looking away.
It is your job to discipline yourself to ensure that you build in time deliberately to stay away from the screens.
You can read a hardcopy book at that time, listen to music, play with your kids, take a walk, sunbathe, and even drink tea.
Just make sure you create time intentionally to stay away from the screen.
4. Engage In Physical Activities
Yes, you read it correctly.
Spending time in front of the screen has its downsides.
You can get cramped up and impede your blood circulation.
Then, there’s stress staring at you.
You need to get moving!
Nobody will do it for you, take it upon yourself to carve out time in your day to move.
Regular exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mood.
If you can, go outside and take a walk for fresh air, and exercise your limbs or go to the gym.
Whatever you need to do, just make sure you move.
You will notice that your happiness will be greatly increased, and you will be better refreshed to face what you need to do.
Again, it does not matter what you do, so far as it gets your blood pumping better and gives you a break from the screen.
5. Don’t Be Obsessed With Perfectionism
It’s Ok to plan for the perfect lesson, but don’t call stress on yourself by obsessing for perfection.
We have said this before, you need to understand that somethings will not always go as planned, and it does not mean that you are lazy, ineffective, or incapable.
It just means that life has a mind of its own sometimes and there’s nothing you can do about it most of the time this happens.
Focus on doing what you can with what you have.
Try to stay on what is most important, such as covering the course material, preparing the students for the class, and prepping yourself to deliver.
Also, keep in mind that you cannot recreate your classroom, but you can reinvent it.
Deciding on a new learning model in a day or less will not deliver the excellence you’d like, but understand that sometimes, what you can do is the most you can do at that time, and in the given circumstances.
Remember that you cannot control every outcome, but you can do your part and expect the best to come from it.
Don’t obsess with perfectionism.
6. Use Technology To Organize Your Tasks
Online teaching doesn’t have to be more time-consuming than it should be.
Often, a lot of online educational work will involve feedback, repetitive emails, virtual forms, and so much more.
It’s easy to feel frustrated when you attend so much and barely have enough time to do the important things that need to get done.
More annoying it is when you end up underachieved but so exhausted with nothing to show for all that tiredness.
You need to arm yourself with systems that work efficiently and help you do not just more, but better.
Here are some recommendations:
- Google Keep
If you need somewhere to create checklists, Google Keep helps you to organize teaching and non-teaching information, also specific lists can be shared.
- Google Docs
If you need an easier way to refer to notes and feedback as an online teacher, you can simply do so with a Google Docs sheet opened next to your tab.
But, you will need to use it smartly, you don’t want to have darting eyes during your session.
- Text Blaze
You can use this for emails and feedback, it’s a Google Chrome Extension.
What Text Blaze does for you is that it lets you add sentences easily in your writing, especially when you have been typing similar sentences over time.
It’s a short-cut tool for writing faster.
- Feedback Panda
This is also useful for email and feedbacks.
Feedback Panda has thousands of prewritten customizable feedback templates that save you time when submitting student feedback.
7. Find Your Support Network
We are social creatures, so when we connect to others, we can’t help but work better.
Community is to us what batteries are to a camp torch.
Even when you are not on the receiving end, reaching out to someone produces oxytocin, a chemical that helps to repair the heart.
You might just be thinking, teachers already do a lot of reaching out, but you need to reach out and find support from colleagues, neighbors, and friends as well.
Take the time to cultivate these relationships and draw the support you need from these while contributing your quota.
This is a major stress reliever and can even serve to prevent stress.
We can not Emphasize enough when we say that your health matters the most to us.
We hope you found this article useful and it enlightened you regarding stress management.
Let us know in the comments!