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Improve Your Mental Health in 3 Steps

01/03/18

Having had a first-hand experience of work related stress; Mrs Williams understands the challenges that teachers face.

According to a recent article in the Independent, studies have shown that over half of the teachers in the UK have experienced a mental health issue which has been directly linked to excessive workloads. Teachers' work and private life often merge into one and by the time the holidays arrive, a feeling of relief is followed by exhaustion.

So what can you do to help yourself? Here are some ideas to get you going:

1. AVOID becoming overwhelmed by the whole

As every teacher knows, there is a huge mountain to climb each year. The thought of all the planning, lessons, marking and other duties is a lot to take on; and even harder to complete. Looking at the bigger picture can be overwhelming. Instead, breaking down your workload into bite-sized manageable chunks is the best approach to take. Plan in advance, but set yourself realistic targets each day.

2. Take a REAL break

You are entitled to have a lunch break, take one! As tempting as it is to eat at the computer, it’s not healthy. You are not a piece of furniture that is permanently fixed in your office. Go outdoors to refresh both your mind and body. And if you can’t get, bring the nature to you. Create a sanctuary in your office which takes you away from the demands of the classroom and hustle and bustle of the corridors. Place some plants or flowers on your desk to help you feel uplifted. Listen to some nature sounds, choose a screensaver on your computer picturing a beautiful landscape; every little thing counts!

3. STOP and breathe

It’s very easy to forget to stop for a moment. Overtime, stress can build up in your body often causing shallow breathing and a knotted feeling around your chest. Ideally, take a minute or two, close your eyes and focus on your breathing, count to 10-20 (1000 if you need to).

Keep an eye on how you're feeling at work; both physically and mentally. It can be extremely difficult to admit you are struggling at work. Make the best judgment and be honest with yourself; and when the time comes you may need to speak to someone and seek further help. This could be your employer, a professional or a friend. Do not be afraid to admit that you are struggling!

Unit next time
Mrs Williams

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