15 Tips to Reduce Teacher Stress and Avoid Burnout

Posted on November 30, 2016

Teachers’ plates are full. Yes, I know, this might be the understatement of the decade! With classroom management, parent meetings, testing, reading papers, and grading, not to mention ABA, CBA, ITP, IEP, CRCT, and at least 100 other acronyms, teacher stress can feel overwhelming and lead to burnout.

But you don’t have to let this happen. Here are 15 common-sense tips to help teachers reduce stress and avoid burnout.

15 Tips to Reduce Teacher Stress and Avoid Burnout

1. Get to bed at a decent hour. Nothing reduces stress and restores energy like solid sack time.

2. Wake up early. When you skip the snooze button, you wake up feeling better because you already have one win under your belt.

3. Immediately after waking up, drink 16 ounces of water. This simple action hydrates you, fires up your metabolism, and flushes toxins out of your body. Plus, it fuels up your brain and helps you eat less throughout the day.

4. Take some time before heading off to school to lead your life from quiet. 15 to 20 minutes of thinking, reading, journaling, or reviewing your goals helps you get focused before diving into your day, which is a great way to reduce teacher stress.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast. Just like drinking 16 ounces of water when you wake up, this also jumpstarts your metabolism and gives your body the fuel it needs for a great day.

6. Say “I love you” to family members before you leave for the day. This simple gesture will remind your loved ones, and you, what matters most.

7. Get into work a bit earlier than most people. This helps prevent teacher stress by allowing you to get in control of your workday instead of letting your workday get in control of you.

8. Seek to encourage students, faculty, and staff. Always build up, never tear down.

9. Practice gratitude. According to Dr. Robert A. Emmons in the book Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, “The evidence on gratitude contradicts the widely-held view that all people have a set-point of happiness that cannot be reset by any known means: in some cases, people have reported that learning gratitude led to transformative life change” (from page 3).

10. Laugh. A lot. Funny things are happening all around us, we just have to open our eyes and ears.

11. Be careful not to focus primarily on the events that occur throughout your day, especially since most are out of your control. Instead, focus primary on your response. E+R=O.

12. Schedule time to get your body moving every day. Walk, run, strength train, play a sport, or practice yoga. Just 20-30 minutes will help melt away teacher stress by releasing endorphins and getting your blood circulating.

13. Say “I love you” to your loved ones again when you reenter your home. This will help you refocus on what matters most.

14. Sit down at a table, eat dinner together with your family or loved ones, and have a conversation. Better yet, turn on some fun music and prepare dinner together.

15. Unwind. Read a good book. Listen to your favorite music. Enjoy a few of the simple pleasures of life.

BONUS TIP: Start again with #1 tomorrow.


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