With the quarter drawing to a close, grades are due, conferences are around the corner and stress levels are running high. Here are a few stress-busting tips to get through the next few weeks.
It is commonly recognized that physical activity jumpstarts the mind and helps students of all ages pay closer attention in class and expend some of that extra energy they would be spending goofing off. Not only will your classes be more productive, but you can also reduce stress throughout the day by joining in the physical fun.
At the beginning of each class period, have your students hop around the class, do jumping jacks, line dance or just run in place for a few minutes. Leading the pack in this activity will maximize the energy in the room and give your mind a break for a few minutes. The sillier it is, the more you and your students will enjoy it.
OR Slow It Down
If you don’t feel comfortable letting loose with your students, overly rambunctious students can’t handle that freedom or your older students are “too cool” to participate, try an opening meditation to begin each class. You can all take a few moments to relax and refocus after the hustle and bustle of running between class or switching gears from social studies to science.
Keep a few things that always make you smile in your desk. It can be anything from pictures of your kids, your dog’s first collar, a mini-Eiffel Tower from your trip to Paris, a bottle of sand from your summer getaway, lotion that smells like heaven, an Ernie Banks baseball card or your favorite candy.
On your most trying days, take a momentary mental break from your class and your students and your crazy life by taking pleasure in your hidden treasures.
At the end of each day, make a To Do list for the following day. You can use different colors to mark items in order of importance. One color for MUST DO today, one for SHOULD DO today, and one for CAN DO if there is time. (Avoid red; it will only stress you out more).
You’ll get a sense of satisfaction from crossing items off the list, and you’ll force yourself to think about what really NEEDS to get done and what can wait for another day. By holding yourself to a daily list, you will prevent the anxiety that would come with overwhelming weekly or monthly lists.
Take things one day and one project at a time. You’ll be less stressed in no time.
Elvis has left the building
If your lunch schedule, free period and school permit, actually LEAVE the building once in awhile, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Read a book at a park, grab a quick sandwich, or even listen to the radio in your car. You’ll be amazed how freeing it is to have a few moments without interruptions or anyone vying for your attention.
Rule 1: Don’t let this stress-reliever become a stress-inducer. Do not feel guilty about taking some time to yourself. Don’t go so far away that you’ll worry about getting back to school in time.
Rule 2: Remember that this moment cannot last. You do have to return to school after these stolen moments of peace, no matter how difficult it may be.
If you absolutely can’t leave campus, you can create your own oasis in the classroom. When you have a few minutes or more between classes, shut the door and turn out the lights. This should give you a break to regroup.
Crock Pot Sensations
Never underestimate the stress-relieving power of not worrying about dinner. Throw one of these pre-made meals in the crock pot before you leave for school and come home to a delicious, guilt-free meal for you and your family.
How do you relieve stress? Post your stress-busters in the Comments section!