Planning lessons, delivering them effectively, differentiating learning, supporting children to succeed…teachers are on the frontline and never more so than over the past 16 months. Many will be feeling drained from this exceptionally testing academic year.
To be ‘fit’ to cope with the constant demands and pressures, to provide the quality teaching and learning experiences that you wish to, and to be the great teacher you aspire to be, it is essential that you take steps to consider and look after your own wellbeing.
Here are five simple ways to improve your wellbeing and make sure you are fit for your lessons:
- Stay hydrated; drink plenty of water. It sounds really simple but not only is it a healthy habit, drinking water can help to alleviate the effects of cortisol (the stress hormone). The NHS suggest you drink 6-8 glasses each day. Consider increasing your intake on warm summer days!
- Prioritise good quality sleep. A good night’s sleep gives your brain time to repair, restore and re-energise. A calming routine before bed would help with this – reducing the effects of blue light by switching off all technology an hour before bedtime (try reading a book instead) and keeping your mobile phone out of your bedroom!
- Exercise. Being active helps to release helpful chemicals in your brain that boost your mood and improve attention and concentration. Aim to have small active bursts in your day to keep your brain topped up. Also, create an exercise schedule for yourself for longer exercise sessions (walk, run, the gym, sporting activities – whatever you prefer) and prioritse that time for you!
- Get outside. Spending time in nature has been proven to benefit both mental and physical wellbeing – reducing blood pressure, lowering heart rate, reducing muscle tension and minimising the production of stress hormones. To maximise the benefits, really take in your surroundings – take note of three things in the environment around you that make you feel good.
- Write it down. Building a habit of journaling (writing down your thoughts each evening) can help clarify your thoughts and feelings, and solve problems. It can improve sleep and increase productivity. It can also help you meet your goals and improve your quality of life while reducing stress and symptoms of depression. Get a notepad and get writing!
If you find some of your new habits have a positive impact on your wellbeing, consider sharing them with your pupils or even doing them together. Being a good role model will help to inspire your pupils to be healthy and active and prioritise self-care.
Team Up is our innovative wellbeing programme. We have packages for children and for staff.
Remembering your ‘why’ – reconnecting with you and looking to the future – our blog by Hannah Bell to support school staff who might be struggling with the pressures of the pandemic.