Teachers need to look after themselves as well as their students, follow our handy tips for ways to de-stress. Not everyone has the opportunity or time to follow every tip we give you but try to give a few of these a go – it’s important to make the time for yourself and your wellbeing.
Engage Education has partnered with the Education Support Partnership who are the UK’s only charity to provide mental health and wellbeing support services to all education staff and organisations. Take their stress test which will give you instant results and feedback on how to improve your wellbeing.
We have set out some work and life tips which you can use to improve your wellbeing. Also, we have provided links to apps which teachers will find useful.
- Set clear boundaries between home and school. Set a clear reasonable time to leave work each day and stick to it. Create an end of day ritual where when you get home, switch off your teacher mindset, change out of your work clothes and relax with a book or TV programme. Try to avoid checking your work email or doing work after this time.
- Try to limit the school work you bring home with you. Of course, this will sometimes be out of your control but when there is a choice, you can work on marking at school instead of taking it home in the evenings.
- Seek out a mentor who can give you advice on your work-life balance and other issues you might be having. A mentor is useful, not only for new teachers but for teachers at any stage during their career.
- Connect with other teachers in your area, attend teacher only events and socials to meet like-minded people who are able to share their tips with you.
- Set time aside each week to work on new ideas, reflect on past work and see what areas you could improve in. Something important for a teacher’s wellbeing is to have a growth mindset, know that you are always learning and it is important to spend time reflecting and acknowledging any areas you might have found challenging. Highlight these and work out a plan for the next time you might face this challenge.
- Establish good sleeping habits. A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things we can do to improve our happiness and wellbeing. Develop a regular bedtime routine and consider using a sleep app such as the one Sleep Cycle app linked below.
- Focus on healthy eating and regular exercise. Both have been proven to have an effect not only on your wellbeing but on your happiness and mindset. Attend yoga or exercise classes. If you don’t have the time, try fitness apps for exercise to do at home. Use meal planners and healthy eating tracking apps.
- Regularly meet with family and friends and if you are now working abroad, set up a Skype account to stay in touch – remember Skype calls are free anywhere in the world! You could even start a new hobby to meet new friends in your local area.
- Treat yourself! This could be; seeing a film at the cinema, going for a scenic walk, booking a holiday, having a night out with friends. The important thing is to give yourself a break and to not feel guilty about enjoying yourself.
- Sleep Cycle – An alarm clock app which tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during light sleep.
- Calm – Guided meditations, breathing programs and relaxing music. Calm is the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users.
- Colorfly – A colouring therapy app for adults. Relax whilst having fun with this painting experience.
- 7 Minute Workout – An app which compresses a full body workout into just 7 minutes. Get fit with these fast and simple daily workouts.
- Evernote – Stay organised with this app as you can input typed notes or scan handwritten notes. Create and organise lesson plans, to do lists, images and articles.
- Pocket – Too busy to read something you have just scrolled past? With the Pocket app, save news, articles, stories, videos, recipes, web pages and read them later.
Remember to take the time for yourself and use the tips and apps we have laid out above. Use the resources available to teachers such as the Education Support Partnership. Their free helpline is 08000 562 561.