Identify your stressors and your response
- Identify what situations create the most stress for you (i.e., test scores, performance reviews, administrative observations, meetings, in-services, parents, grading, paperwork, planning, underperforming students, unruly students, etc.).
- Identify how you respond to these stressors.
- Look for patterns—within the causes of your stressors and your responses to it. Keep a journal for a few weeks about your thoughts and feelings about when you feel stressed; this helps you identify stressors so you can modify your response accordingly.
Brainstorm healthy ways to release the stress and incorporate these into your daily lifestyle
- Exercise and other forms of physical activity are good stress busters. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness also help reduce stress.
- Set aside personal time for yourself. Use this time to pursue a favorite hobby, read a book, go out with friends, or prepare a healthy meal.
- Establish boundaries. Limit the time you answer the phone or respond to emails. Make sure students, parents or guardians, and fellow faculty members are aware of your availability. You want to be an accessible educator and maintain a positive work-life balance.
Make adjustments at work
- If you are a new teacher, look for a mentor or a colleague to help answer questions and give you support.
- Make your school year more meaningful by connecting your work to your personal interests. For example, you may supervise a club or create an after-school activity; develop a unit of study that is your specialty; join a committee to pursue an area of interest; team-teach with a colleague, and more.
- Change your environment. Adjust your desk and chair to see more sunlight or get fresh air. Small comforts—such as a pillow to sit on or access to bottled water and a healthy snack during the workday—can help enrich your work experience.
- Create deeper connections with your colleagues. Talk with your fellow faculty members throughout the day or participate in staff get-togethers. Take small steps to create moments that you look forward to during the day.