Managing Stress during the School Year

School has only been back in session for a few weeks, but educators are already feeling the heat. Here are eight quick tips for managing your stress during the school year.

  1. Prioritize time for yourself during the school year. Take time to indulge in your hobbies, and don’t feel guilty about it. Make a list of three things you want to do for yourself every week—and stick with it.
  2. Don’t be afraid to say no. Think carefully before you agree to take on additional tasks. If you’re not sure you feel comfortable or ready for a new responsibility, turn it down. Scaling back your responsibilities can help you stay focused and energized throughout the year.
  3. Take a day off. Everyone needs a break sometimes, especially educators! Don’t be afraid to use your personal days to refresh yourself.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. Ideally, you should get seven to eight hours a night. Sleep loss causes irritability, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration, which can make a tough job even harder. If getting to bed early enough to get this much sleep is difficult, consider setting an alarm to remind yourself of your bedtime.
  5. Get moving on your breaks. Even if you don’t have time to take a walk, make a point of getting some quick exercise in at your desk. Try doing some stretches to relieve tension. See this list of simple desk stretches for ideas.
  6. Make time to unplug. Taking planned breaks from your electronic devices will help you refocus yourself during the day. Consider scheduling your unplugged time during the hour before you go to bed.
  7. Breathe. Take a few deep breaths whenever you start to feel stressed during the day. Review these breathing exercises for tips.
  8. Talk to your colleagues. When you’re stressed, talking to others who understand what you’re going through can help ease the burden. But be careful not to let conversations get negative. Work together to brainstorm solutions to your problems, and do your best to keep a positive attitude.

For more stress management tips, see ATPE’s Professional Learning Portal course Being Good to You: A Self-Care Guide for Teachers.

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