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We appreciate all the hard work our teachers and teaching staff do every year, but even more so this year. With online teaching and internet connections to battle with. To ensuring our schools are COV-ID secure and looking after our children day in and day out. Our teachers and teaching staff have helped keep this country going! It is vital that we are taking care of our teachers. Teacher’s mental health is so important. It can be easy to get weighed down with the trials and tribulations of a not so easy job.

We want our teachers to enjoy their Christmas break, spend time with families, de-stress and indulge in probably too much wine and chocolate. Taking care of our teachers and their mental health is important for their happiness, wellbeing, job satisfaction. Happy teacher means happy students! A positive vibe in the classroom will really help our young people excel. Here are a few tips to help teachers de-stress over the Christmas period, leaving them shouting, “Bring it on 2021, try me!”

Make mental health a priority

With teacher’s job roles expanding and their duties ever increasing, it can be easy to forget to check in with themselves. We rely on our teachers to help build up strong and emotionally stable students. Therefore, it is vital they feel that way themselves. According to a recent study, the main reason a good teacher decides to leave their job is due to feel over-worked and burnt out. By taking care of our teachers, ensuring they have personal support and putting mental health as top priority in our schools, could reduce that figure and help teachers stay happy and healthy.

Encourage teachers to de-stress

It’s Friday and both teacher and students are counting down the final minutes until the bell rings. The students run off and enjoy their weekend and our poor teacher is picking up all the marking and planning they must do by Monday. By encouraging our teachers to spend a few minutes in the week on themselves, de-stressing and relaxing can really help them in the long run. Some good ideas for de-stressing include:

  • Going outside for walks
  • Taking breaks from screens
  • Listen to some calming music
  • Adult colouring books – the repetitive motion has been proven to reduce stress

Lend an ear

Whether you’re a fellow teacher or not, letting a teacher just chat to you and have a vent can go far when it comes to taking care of our teachers and their wellbeing. Sometimes just talking aloud can untangle a problem or getting someone else’s perspective could make someone feel a lot better about an issue that may have occurred.

Setting a good work/life balance

Now, I know this is a tough one when there is all that marking and prepping to be done but teachers must be reminded to set realistic expectations of themselves, it is ok to say no sometimes. Even though teachers tend to be incredible multi-taskers, they are just human like the rest of us. Teachers must set themselves a switch off time where they no longer look at emails or anything work related. Without this a teacher’s mental health can really suffer, everyone needs a break! 

Taking care of our teachers and their physical wellbeing

Studies have proven that there is a strong link between a healthy lifestyle and good mental health. The most important are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and remaining active. An adult should get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep really helps to boost brain power and work productivity will increase no end. A balanced diet is vital to get nutrients that our bodies crave. Also, it’s easy to forget whilst being busy during the day but we must drink enough water and stay hydrated. When it comes to exercise the experts advise 30 mins a day of a mid-high intensity level of exercise. This can help with memory and release endorphins needed for a happy mind.

Hopefully, these tips have helped when it comes to taking care of our teachers. Let’s banish this stigma that comes with mental health and encourage our teachers to talk to someone and seek help when they need it. All of this will pave the way for a happier and healthier classroom.