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At times, teaching is stressful and can take its toll both physically and emotionally. As a career and technical education (CTE) teacher, there can also be additional stress and worry about enrollment and recruitment for the next year. All teachers naturally face the ups and downs of the school year and here are some ways to prevent teacher burnout and better handle stressful situations and times of the year.
In this episode, Khristen discusses:
- Set a Morning Routine You’ll Stick To
- Practice Stress-Relieving Activities
- Set Boundaries
- Ask for Help
- Take Time to Do Something for You Every Week
1. Set a Morning Routine You’ll Stick To
There are several podcasts and self-help books that encourage a morning routine because most successful people have one. Some of these books give detailed instructions on what you should do during your morning routine and even the duration. For this tip, think about incorporating a practice that you will actually stick to. Pick three to five things to add to your routine and see how they go. Remember that you can always adjust those, but give it a try. Here are some things to try: meditation, gratitude journal, working out or getting your body moving, drinking a full glass of water, and/or waking up earlier.
2. Practice Stress-Relieving Activities
There’s no way to completely avoid stress while in this profession, but you can be prepared for it when it comes. By practicing stress-relieving activities when you’re not stressed, you are teaching your body how to respond in any situation. Here are some ways that you can reduce your stress levels: do a brain dump when you arrive at school or are feeling a little overwhelmed, put your legs up the wall for at least five minutes and just breathe, try a breathing technique like square breathing to focus on breathing and slow down, and practice yoga to further teach yourself breathing techniques with sustained movement.
3. Set Boundaries
Boundaries are up there in importance with routines. If you don’t set boundaries in your teaching, you will be working all the time and may come to a point of resenting your job and your students. Boundaries allow you to leave your work at the school and continue to have meaningful relationships outside the school and school day. Setting boundaries can occur at any time, but they should occur. Consider the following: set office hours of when you are “working” and stick to them, decide when you are going to check and respond to emails and let your students and parents know, and turn off phone notifications so that when you’re at home, you aren’t tempted to respond or do more “work.”
4. Ask for Help
It is tough to admit that we can’t do it all and that we need help, but we’re not machines. Find out ways that you may be able to ask for help from someone else–a family member, a friend, a colleague at school. They can always say “no,” but you’re currently doing without their help now unless you ask.
5. Take Time to Do Something for You Every Week
Find something that you are going to look forward to every week that is just for you and something that you will enjoy. It could be participating in a hobby, going out to dinner with friends, taking a walk and enjoying nature, or taking a relaxing bubble bath. Don’t overcomplicate this task, but allow yourself to have that moment. It doesn’t need to be scheduled on a specific day, but you may choose to do so in order to release some tension and stress.