Teachers are often doing multiple things at once. Always thinking ahead for class lessons, assessment marking, organising other activities within the school, on top of your own personal and family life outside of the classroom. This can be overwhelming and cause a lot of stress.
With a duty of care over your students, you may find yourself often supporting your student’s mental health and well-being and pushing yours completely aside. It’s important to prioritise your mental health and well-being, so you can then help your students to the best of your ability.
‘Fill up your cup before you fill any others. You can’t pour from an empty cup.’
REACHOUT.com is the most accessed online mental health service, offering resources for students, parents, and teachers. They have self-help information, support programs, and referral tools, which are all free services that are always available. On the ‘For Schools’ landing page you will see topics such as bullying, transition to secondary schools, friendships, mental health, resilience, respectful relationships, social media, and study stress. These resources are beneficial for both students and teachers.
Navigating to the ‘Teacher Wellbeing’ tab, you will see links for teacher wellbeing, self-care quizzes, how to facilitate difficult conversations, self-care for professionals, developing a self-care plan, e-self-care, keeping up with Covid-19, and teacher’s wellbeing in a changing environment. These are all great resources, full of information and tips, that can help you look after your mental health. Not sure where to start? These quizzes are all 5-6 multiple choice questions to find out what self-care strategies may help you.
Here are some tips from the REACHOUT website we’d like to share with you.
- Reconnect to your purpose – try to do one thing each week that reminds you why you became a teacher in the first place.
- Adopt a growth mindset in your teaching – spend time reflecting on new ideas, considering what you have learned, and acknowledge areas you find challenging.
- Focus on kindness and gratitude – an act of appreciation or kindness produces positive emotions, stronger social connections and improved well-being.
- Create clear boundaries between home and school – find ways to turn off your teacher mindset, so that you can relax when you get home.
- Set up effective debriefing and mentoring structures – set up structures that help you to focus on solutions rather than problems.
- Establish good sleeping habits – develop a regular bedtime routine.
- Build up your emotional resilience – meet friends regularly, spend time on hobbies you enjoy, and build into your daily routine proven stress-busting activities.
- Keep focused on your goals – try to ensure that all your goals are achievable, measurable, and have an endpoint.
- Reward yourself – consider simple and practical ways to reward yourself whenever you reach a goal or sub-goal.
- Build new connections and relationships take the time to get to know the students, parents and staff members in your community.
Thank you teachers for all that you do!