Are You Stressed? By @ASTSupportAAli

It is said that Teaching is one of the most stressful professions in the UK at the very least. According to the Health and Safety Executive, teaching and education professions report around 2,310 cases of work-related stress for every 100,000 employees each year with only nursing having a worse record.

Around 55% of Teachers in state schools have had at least one period of sick leave. (Ref.)

Many new initiatives and promises are made by the Government and Schools to address the illusive work life balance issue and  teachers are encouraged to free themselves from the shackles of continual care and pressure. We all know it isn’t as easy as that!

But, how? How do we manage? 

  • Is it because we finish at 3pm everyday?
  • We never have to work weekends?
  • Have so many holidays?
  • We just kick the naughty kids out?

I think not… anybody who knows anything about an effective teacher knows this isn’t the case.

I have come to the conclusion, that we are always stressed. We are masters of stress. We manage stress. I live with it daily. I think I have made it my uncomfortable friend. The shadow that drives me on. The voice that suggests I work smarter not harder. The twitch that perks me into shape.

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TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.”

BUT…

Have I had alopecia since I have started teaching because I am continually stressed? I think so…

Have I had an itchy scalp for the last few years, because I am stressed? I think so…

Do I not sleep much because I am always thinking about what I have to do? I think so…

I take solace in knowing, I am not the only one right? Yet, as a leader, my job is the shelter my team from all stress.

Bear Grylls once said… yes, Bear Grylls. (I love him!)

When you are a leader nobody cares how much you know. They want to know how much you care.

How do I manage it?

I try simple, but regular things…

  • I play football every Tuesday with my friends. They start at 9pm, to give me enough time to get home, changed and have dinner. Even when I feel I can’t do it. I do.
  • I see my Mum/Dad every Thursday. Without fail. No matter what.
  • Half terms are for me. Not school. One day at a push at school. That is it.
  • I play for a team- Football in the Winter. Cricket in the summer. Therefore I socialise.
  • I do not EVER work Friday night/Saturday day.
  • I have a healthy breakfast. Every morning.
  • I do not reinvent the wheel. I use Twitter!
  • I ask for help when needed. This may be an extension or simple guidance.
  • I do not drink or smoke.
  • I am loved and I love!
  • I plan. I stay organised.
  • I see my friends every half term. I dedicate time to them.
  • I am always grateful. I have a job. A family. A home. A loved one. Security. Comfort. I literally can’t complain. In the grand scheme of things, In England. Can we?

Without the above I can not be as effective as I am in my job. Without the above, I can not master my stress. I can not manage it. I can not keep the lid shut.

What will you do to manage yours?

Can I offer some suggestions?

Please do comment with some of your suggestions?

If you do wish for more support with stress then visit http://www.teachersupport.info They run a hotline service and can offer support, information and guidance for free without any judgment.

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Further Reading:

  • Really useful website with top tips/advice and real life blogs. Click here!
  • 10 Things Successful People Do. Click here.

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5 comments

  1. All true. Well said. I cycle to and from work 12.5 miles each way 4 days a week to alleviate the stress of senior leadership, stay fit and clear the head. Its a rural route and its beautiful at 0530 in the morning especially now. Not so much fun in January, but a necessary ritual. I would add giving and getting praise makes a difference to alleviate stress too.

  2. There are many different ways that I try to de-stress, but most of them involve my going to the gym. I enjoy the physical efforts that I put into my training – #trainhardplayhard. However, it’s the mental stresses that keep me awake at night sometimes – the stuff I didn’t manage to do today must get done tomorrow etc ….
    I had a chat about ‘Delegation’ and was told to delegate to a busy person – you know they will do it!!! What’s that all about. I expressed concerns.

  3. Great post, a some great suggestions for stress relief.
    I have always been a stressy person, even as a child, but I find my solace in reading. I take at least half an hour before bed every day to read. At the moment I am working my way through the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffrey Deaver, and I try to spend some time at the weekend in a bookshop just browsing (depending on my Saturday timetable – boarding school).
    I am not much into exercise but my housemate is a PE teacher and gets me going swimming with her as she trains for a triathalon. I am going to try the #teacher5aday and #100happydays as well
    I think teachers are naturally inclined to stress because we care about our students and want to do the best by them.

  4. Loved the post, Amjad. Like Kim, I’d recommend reading a good book – whatever sort of book appeals. If you have problems sleeping, whatever you do DON’T turn on a device and start checking emails. Try to absorb yourself in a good book for half an hour and then turn the light off and try again.

    I do think we have to preserve some time when we try not even to think about school – when we don’t even check educational Twitter! Being able properly to switch off (literally and psychologically), refresh and re-energise is crucial to helping us manage our stress. We won’t eliminate it but we can find ways to handle it so that it isn’t debilitating. Thanks for sharing your practical suggestions.

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