How to handle stress: teachers & education staff | Education Support
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How to handle stress: teachers & education staff

In March 2021 82% of teachers described themselves as stressed.

Here is some practical advice to help teachers and education staff handle stress.

1. Know your priorities

Be clear about your priorities. Practice holding healthy boundaries that stop you from taking on too much, or committing yourself to work that doesn’t align with your personal priorities. This can make a real difference to your levels of stress and exhaustion. Practice saying no.

2. Be aware of what stresses you out  

Make a list of events that leave you emotionally drained, with one or two ways to reduce the stress for each. When they occur, use them as an opportunity to practise your stress-reduction techniques and note what works.

3. Forgive yourself: don’t dwell on past mistakes

Feelings of guilt, remorse and regret cannot change the past, and they make the present difficult by sapping your energy. Be kind to yourself. Make a conscious effort to do something that brings you joy or peace. 

4. Don’t bottle up anger & frustrations

Express and discuss your feelings. This could mean addressing difficult situations with colleagues, or talking to a friend who is a trusted sounding board. Just don’t let it fester. Feelings are heavier when you carry them alone.

5. Set aside time each day for recreation and exercise

Gentle repetitive exercise, such as walking, swimming or cycling are good to relieve stress. Meditation, yoga, pilates and dance are also excellent. Find what suits you best and make it a habit. Hobbies that focus attention are also good stress relievers.

6. Take your time

Frenzied activities lead to errors, regrets and stress. Request time to orient yourself to a new task or responsibility at work. If rushed, ask people to wait until you are ready.  Plan ahead to arrive at appointments early, composed and having made allowances for unexpected hold-ups.

7. Practice gratitude

Try and find something positive about each work day – even the tough ones. Visualise situations you have handled well, and hold those memories in your mind when going into stressful situations.

8. Cut down on drinking, smoking, sedatives & stimulants

These vices only offer temporary relief and don’t solve problems. They can create mental and physical health problems in the long term. Consider the affects you are looking for (sedation or stimulation) and how else you can achieve them.

How we can help 

Our helpline is an essential lifeline for teachers and education staff who are struggling. It is free, confidential and available 24/7 on 08000 562561.

Our Employee Assistance Programme is a cost-effective staff wellbeing package that can transform your team's wellbeing. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch

How to handle stress infographic

Download a pdf of this infographic below.