According to a 2015 survey conduced by the American Federation of Teachers, more than 30,000 U.S. teachers report high levels of stress and low levels of autonomy. High stakes exams. Demanding administrators. Challenging students. its no wonder teachers are stressed! On a daily basis, those circumstances can challenge teachers to do their jobs well- or overwhelm them. This week’s blog post writer, Julie Yaeger, Learners Edge Vice President/Director of Curriculum outlines her 4 ways to easily and naturally reduce teacher stress. Prior to joining the Edge, Julie was a middle school Assistant Principal and enjoyed spending time with those quirky 6th through 8th grade students. Julie savors time at her cabin relaxing with her husband and her two dogs. Take a deep breath and delve into some stress relieving ideas that work for her and will hopefully prove beneficial for you.
We have all read the variety of lists designed to help us lower stress: exercise, sleep more, lose weight…yeah, okay, give me something I can actually incorporate into my very real, very busy life.
School may be done, but that doesn’t mean summer is easy-breezy. You may have children of your own to enjoy and to keep them active enough to avoid the dreaded “I’m bored” statement, you find yourself running constantly, or you may have family outings or class reunions to, ahem, look forward to, in the next few months. How to deal with it all?
I suggest four more manageable, natural, and dare I say, enjoyable ways to lower the stress in your life.
4 Easy and Natural Ways to Lower the Stress in Your Life
- Lavender—you don’t need to create sachets to put under your pillows each night; rather, find fresh or dried sprigs to incorporate into your décor. The scent provided through the branches will provide a fresh and relaxing vibe.
- Chocolate—yes! Go dark and add a few strawberries. The dark chocolate gives you the benefit of possible reduction of stress hormones and the strawberries give you vitamin C–healthy + chocolate—win, win!
- Chamomile Tea—the process of making tea slows you down, thus starting the relaxation process and the chamomile acts as a mild tranquillizer. Maybe turn on some quiet music and put your feet up.
- Sauna—most health clubs have them and some lucky cabin or cottage owners do too. Get past your inhibitions and bring on the warmth. The heat decreases muscle tension and anxiety while the enveloping warmth improves your overall mood.
Relaxation and decreasing stress is not a matter of “deserving” or “pampering,” but really a step toward your overall wellness. Give yourself permission to enjoy a few serene moments!
Start your summer off with a peaceful, calm bang by trying one or all four of the ideas above and let us know in the comments, or on Facebook, which worked best for you!
Looking for additional ways to reduce your stress or find that work/life balance? Check out Learners Edge Course #5792: Refocus & Recharge: Strategies for Finding Balance in Teaching and explore a wealth of strategies you can enlist to attain professional and personal balance, avoid teacher burnout, and recharge.