More than 41 per cent of teachers in Australia report high levels of occupational stress, according to research from the University of Western Sydney.
Stress is often described as a feeling of being overloaded, wound-up, tense and extremely worried.
While it’s ok to feel stressed from time to time; you should not be feeling constantly wound up and tense.
Here are some top tips to help manage your stress levels:
- Exercise – engage in some moderate activity each day. Whether it’s taking the dog for a brisk walk each morning, working it during that playground duty, or going to the gym after school do it! Exercise is a proven stress reliever as it helps the body release feel-good endorphins. It also boosts the energy levels teachers need to keep their students engaged.
- Take a break – when you’re not at school, make sure you take time to switch off. Once the homework is marked and the forward planning is complete the time should be yours! Tomorrow is another day.
- Speaking of tomorrow – plan ahead and be organised. When things are already in place there’s a lot less likely to go wrong and therefore less to stress you out.
- Identify the stress – make a list of the things that are bothering you. Now pinpoint those things you can take care of and those that concern you the most. When you’re feeling calm plan a strategy to address them. Check them off when they’ve been dealt with – it feels very empowering.
- Reach out – research shows connectedness and support from colleagues help protect teachers from stress. Share your feelings about the challenges and anxieties you face. Learn from the experiences of others. You are not alone.
If high levels of stress continue for a long period of time, or are interfering with you enjoying a healthy life, it is advisable to seek professional help.
Organisations such as Lifeline
can are there to help - Use them.