You became a teacher because you wanted to make a difference. Sometimes, in the chaos and stress of the day-to-day obligations that come with the job, it’s easy to get burned out.
In honor of the upcoming Teacher Appreciation Week, we wanted to take a few moments to thank you for all you do—and remind you that you matter, too. It’s important to focus on yourself every now and then, so you can regroup, recharge, and finish out the year strong.
Check out these suggestions for giving teachers a break:
Share a Smile
They say laughter is the best medicine, and it’s actually been proven to reduce stress levels. Take a few minutes to collect funny cards, notes, posters, or cartoons and post them in your classroom. When you’re feeling stressed out, take a look and remember to laugh. Need some inspiration? Check out these teacher memes.
Inhale… and Exhale
Meditative breathing can help calm your mind and prepare you to tackle difficult tasks. You can begin to feel relaxed in as little as five minutes. Try this technique to improve mindfulness and reduce stress.
Exercise can help reduce tension, lower blood pressure, and improve your mood. Make a date with co-workers to walk at lunch or start an after-school yoga class. You can share your frustrations and bond over a downward dog.
Especially at this time of year, you’ve got a lot on your plate. It’s OK to say no to adding something else. Let go of guilt and the feeling that you should be agreeing and politely refuse that invitation, request, or anything that adds more to your schedule. Of course, you can’t avoid every obligation, but you can learn to pick and choose the ones that really matter—and the ones that add joy to your life.
Try Some TLC
Visit Pinterest for pins that will make you smile, inspire you, provide ideas for pampering, and more. It’s a great way to take your mind off stress and relax for a few minutes!
Adult coloring books are a hot trend right now, and it’s easy to see why. Coloring lets you be creative while it relaxes your mind. Studies have shown that coloring can actually reduce anxiety and help you calm down, much in the way meditation works. Download some free coloring sheets here and get to work relaxing.
Indulge Your Inner Child
There’s a reason why kids flock to the swing set at recess—it’s fun! When was the last time you sat on a swing? Or climbed the monkey bars? Or played hopscotch? Take advantage of the resources right on your school grounds and release some of your tension. (You might want to wait until the kids have gone home for the day, just to avoid anyone posting your picture on Instagram!). Ask the phys ed teacher if you can borrow a kickball—it’s a great way to get your frustrations out!
Stop and Smell the Roses
Candles are probably a no-no in your classroom, but you can still reap the benefits of scents. Try essential oils like lavender to reduce anxiety, citrus for calmness, or peppermint for energy. Scents including lemon can actually improve your happiness.
If you can’t get away for some massage therapy, bring the therapy to you. Try these simple techniques for quick massages you can do right at your desk—for your head, neck, hands, and more. They’re great for reducing tension, improving alertness, and helping you unwind.
Got five minutes? Use it to do … nothing. Sit quietly and let your mind wander (and not to your to-do list!). Give yourself permission to just “be.” You can squeeze five minutes in almost anywhere and it can do wonders to improve your mindset.