7 Tips to Help Teachers Reduce Stress
By Chase Fordtran
We know that most teachers are overloaded with STAAR testing, grading, and other classroom related activities. So, we put together a go-to list of 7 helpful tips for reducing stress. Check them out below:
Meditation doesn’t have to take up long periods of time or require a special room. Just 2-5 minutes a day of deep breathing and closing your eyes can have a big impact on your stress level and health. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.” So, on one your “breaks” or those 15 minutes you use to shove lunch in your face, try closing your classroom door, popping in some earplugs, and closing your eyes or perhaps use one of the many guided meditation apps now available on your smartphone.
Go for a Walk Outside
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever.” Even a brief 5 to 10-minute walk around your school campus can help. It can help boost endorphins and improve your mood. But remember to always consult your doctor before you start any new exercise program.
Everyone loves music! This is a win-win and according to Harvard Health Publishing studies show that “Bright, cheerful music can make people of all ages feel happy, energetic, and alert, and music even has a role in lifting the mood of people with depressive illnesses.” So, pop in your headphones in between classes or blast the radio while you’re grading.
Watch a Cat Video
Ok, it doesn’t have to be a cat video, it can be any viral video that makes you belly laugh. Because a “rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.” according to the Mayo Clinic. With such easy access to your mobile device, it’s easy to jump on YouTube or favorite social media personality’s account and start laughing.
Sometimes a little snack can do the trick. Healthy snacks like nuts, fresh fruits, or raw veggies with some hummus are all good for you and either contain healthy fats or antioxidants. According to WebMD, these “foods can cut levels of cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones that take a toll on the body over time.” Dig-in and enjoy!
This isn’t one that you’re likely to accomplish in between classes or on your lunch break, but a quick power nap after hours at home can really boost your energy levels and help you manage stressful tasks like grading papers or after school activities. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness, and performance.” So, go get your sleep on!
Not everyone has the time for caring for a pet, but they can be SO rewarding. Including, but not limited to, helping reduce stress and creating a peaceful environment. But if you really don’t have time to take care of a fish aquarium the Washington Post suggests that even watching or streaming a live video link of a reel (get it?) fish tank video in the background can have the same effect.
Hopefully, one or more of these stress relieving tips help you out. Please share your thoughts and experiences on reducing stress by contacting Teacher Enrichment Initiatives through Twitter and Facebook or via email.