Spring is in the Air
Aside from birds chirping, warm weather, and flowers blooming, another great thing about Spring is that it’s an early reminder that summer break is just around the corner. We persevered and made it through the winter but there is so much more work to do. We also know that with Spring comes the stress and pressure associated with standardized testing and other end of the year obligations. Both students and teachers can become overwhelmed and experience burnout during this time of the school year, so it is important to prioritize mental wellness. Below are some stress -management strategies to help you, offered by our team of PM Behavioral Health experts.
Great Ways to Support Staff Through Tough Times
Encourage and create opportunities for feedback and expression of concerns. There are times when a person is too overwhelmed with work to stop and assess their own well-being, let alone speak to someone about it. Create a comfortable environment for staff to come to you, show initiative, and check in with staff and colleagues!
Think of ways to carve out more catch-up time. This part of the year is filled with additional tasks that add to teachers’ already-full load. Evaluate the meetings, professional development, and social obligations staff are required to attend; if there is something that can wait until a quieter time – postpone it, giving teachers space to focus on more pressing items.
Plan and organize creative staff teambuilding opportunities to help teachers feel seen and appreciated, as well as give them the time to bond and relax together. A simple recreational event can go a long way in creating a community feel that helps employees feel more at ease during tough times.
Tips for Staff Self-Care
Identify your support system: It is great to have people you can trust to share your feelings and process stress related to work. Feel free to proactively reach out to a supervisor and advocate for your needs. If needed, seek out professional support via therapy or counseling.
Intentionally schedule self-care activities throughout the week. Sometimes, when we are busy and stressed, we forget to take time for ourselves. Calendaring something like a walk, alone time, a massage, or a workout can help us make sure to take that time for ourselves.
Re-evaluate your to-do list. Prioritize the things that absolutely must be done and consider letting some other stuff go. It’s a tough time of the year – be kind to and allow yourself some grace. Now is not the time to be your usual superhero; you can set down your cape temporarily and take a much-needed breath.
Stress Management Strategies to Pass on to Students
Practice empathy; check in with your peers and lean on your support network. Ask for help whenever you need it.
Establish a set study routine, such as studying for one hour after dinner. This helps with time management and ensures that you get a little done every day.
Try to create a dedicated study area with few distractions.
Take care of your mind and body: get good sleep and eat a balanced diet.
Classroom Tip of the Month
Set up an anonymous Worry Box and encourage students to write and submit concerns and sources of stress. Writing out the things that bother us and putting them in a safe place away from our person may lessen the load of those worries in our mind. Assure participants that all contents of the box will remain private. This activity gives everyone a chance to vent in a healthy way and builds community – seeing other people writing about their worries helps us realize that we are all in this struggle together. Professional leaders can also modify this initiative for use with staff!
5 Ways Administrators Can Support Teachers (Edutopia)
Five Stress Management Ideas for Teachers (Teacher Career Coach)
Top 10 Stress Management Techniques for Students (VeryWellMind)
PM School Health partners with schools to offer mental health and acute care for students, as well as health education for educators, staff, and parents. Our team includes licensed, board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, therapists, psychologists, and child/adolescent psychiatrists.
PM School Health releases a quarterly newsletter with information and resources for our PM School Health partners.
Click here to learn more about our School Health program.
For more information on PM school health contact us at: 516-738-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org