School staff stress is at an all time high! Changes in curriculum and testing, children’s behaviour, workload impact and teacher shortages are jeopardising the mental health of teachers on a daily basis. Anxiety, depression and complete mental breakdowns are becoming common place. It becomes a vicious cycle; one that seems impossible to break.
According to research conducted by Katherine Weare for the ‘.b (dot-Be) Mindfulness in Schools Project’ in association with the University of Exeter, in her report named, Impacts on the Wellbeing and Performance of School Staff.
Practising mindfulness strategies have been shown to reduce stress, burnout and anxiety, increase mental well-being and enhance job performance.
3 Easy Beginning Strategies:
1. Breathe! When you feel yourself becoming stressed by a situation, stop and take a deep breathe that fills your entire body. Hold the breath for a second and then slowly exhale as you allow your shoulders to fall and relax. Repeat from 3 to 15 times. Just focus on the breath and nothing else.
2. Find pleasure in everyday activities. Simple everyday activities can become a meditation as long as you focus on the activity at hand; how it feels, how it smells, the sensations it brings, the sounds it makes. Don’t multi task. Be mindful of the moment and allow other thoughts to float away.
3. Practising Gratitude – The act of kindness and gratitude triggers feelings of well-being. Remember, positivity begets positivity. Once you start to consciously show gratitude, it starts to become a good habit that happens naturally as that spiral of happiness feeds the cycle.
This ‘in brief…’ article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of UKEdMagazine. Click here to freely read online.
@Ed_Tmprince Principal – Leeds, UK