Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stress Less! {Tips for Teachers}

It's spring! If you're a teacher you know what that means...the end is in sight and the stress levels are through the roof!  With end of the year testing, spring fever, the mad rush to cover all the standards, and in my case, putting on a school play, stress is almost unavoidable. 

And, chances are if you're reading this post and it is the fall, or even the winter, you might still be feeling stressed.  So, I thought I would share a few of my favorite ways of handling stress.



Stress is normal.  It ebbs and flows.  When we ignore stress, there can be consequences like difficulty sleeping, anxiety, lack of focus, and so on.  As teachers, we need our sleep and we need to be able to focus.  So, it's important that we learn to diffuse our stress levels as needed.  And, since we are all different, the ways in which we do this are likely to differ too.

Now, I'm no psychologist, but I know what works for me when it comes to stress.  My hope in sharing these ideas with you is to remind you that you are not alone in your feelings of being overwhelmed and overworked.  Such is the nature of our job (or any job, probably). 

So, how do I cope with/stress less?  In several different ways.  

Tip #1: Indulge in Something that Brings You Comfort
Comfort can mean lots of different things to lots of different people. I drink.  Coffee, that is. Out of a mug with a unicorn on it (because it makes me laugh).


Oddly, the coffee does not hype me up (sure, it perks me up), nor does it leave me feeling wired or more stressed.  Nope, it calms me down and makes me feel relaxed.  A fresh cup of coffee in my hands as I roam the classroom, or sit down to tackle my weekly mountain of grading, soothes me.  I know it sounds so strange, but it works for me.  It's also something I can do while I'm working to feel calm and relaxed.

Tip #2: Exercise
I know you've heard this next one before.  Work out!


I know it sounds so cliche, but it does help!  I always feel better physically and mentally whenever I work out.  When I am focused on gettin' my sweat on, I don't have time to dwell on the things that bothered me on a bad day.  Instead, I'm focused on toning my triceps (still a work in progress) or strengthening my core (again, still a work on progress). 

Best of all, you don't need a fancy gym to work out!  Simply find a workout DVD or go for a walk. I've even found some great workouts on Pinterest!

Tip #3: Talk it Out
Or, in my case, vent.  Yep, I like to blah, blah, blah my worries and frustrations away.


I feel like venting sometimes gets a bad rap and sometimes it's interpreted as complaining, but  sometimes it's just the release I need.

In some camps, venting is a valid coping mechanism. Sometimes, there are just some things that are so irritating/wrong/frustrating/insert your own adjective here, that I just need to spit it out and move on.  It's much healthier than pretending that issues don't exist, or keeping them bottled up inside. 

When I vent, I'm simply looking to say what's bugging me so that I can move on with my life. I guess, in a sense, I just need to be heard. I have an awesome group of friends that I can count on who let me vent, without judgement.  And, of course, I'm always there to hear their vents too!

Tip #4: Find Some Me Time
I know this one can be hard. The struggle is real for all of us.  But, for the love of your health, find a way to squeeze in some "ME" time.  Even if it's only 10 minutes.  The purpose of this time is so you can decompress and refocus, and there is no right or wrong way to spend this time.


Sometimes my "ME" time involves getting my nails done (or, doing them myself).  Other times, it involves a soak in the tub.  It might also mean that I close my bedroom door and watch an episode of my favorite show on Netflix, or scroll through Instagram without being interrupted. I might even sit on my exercise bike and read a book.  Look at that, killing two birds with one stone there.

This time doesn't have to be elaborate or even planned out ahead of time.  Just do something that makes you happy and will allow you to focus on something other than what is stressing you out.

Tip #5: Chill Out with Friends or Family
Spending quality time with loved ones is a great way to shift your focus. I can have a super stressful day, or have dealt with a super stressful situation, but spending time with my family helps me push all that aside and refocus on what matters.  Sometimes we head to the movies or go out to eat, sometimes we play board games, and sometimes, we just veg out in front of the television.  Just being around people who love me no matter what makes me relax and helps me recharge.

While stress isn't always avoidable, dealing with stress is possible.  These are my favorite ways of feeling a bit less stressed.  When I am able to relax and refocus, it is easier for me to prioritize and tackle my tasks with a fresh perspective.  I hope you're able to use a tip or two!

DON'T FORGET IT, PIN IT!



For more ideas, check out how these lovely ladies keep stress at bay!


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4 comments:

  1. I want a unicorn mug! That's awesome! And I love the pic of the girl with the hula hoop...maybe that will be my new exercise....the hula hoop :)

    Christy
    Crayons and Whimsy

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  2. I like your blah blah blah- spitting it out and moving on Aimee! This is a great post my friend! Here's to a stress-free weekend! :)

    Jeannine
    Creative Lesson Cafe

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  3. The venting definitely helps! My teaching partner and I are great at both venting and listening to the other vent! Lucky for us, we manage to take turns. :)
    Andrea
    Always Kindergarten

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  4. Venting is my number one strategy. It must be a teacher friend because the Mr. does not get it! Coffee makes me a happier mommy and teacher, BUT.... exercising, oh! goodness... I just can't! I am way too lazy. Hubby exercises for the both of us :)
    Need a friend to vent with? You know where to find me :)

    Tania
    My Second Sense

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