Proactively Managing Personal Stress
8 Steps to Reduce Physical Stress:
1-Get 8 hours of sound sleep.
2-Drink a cup of Chamomile (Sleepytime) tea before bed
3-Keep a portable CD player by the side of your bed to listen to relaxing music or a visualization/stress relief CD—especially if you are having a difficult time falling asleep.
4-Exercise for atleast 30 minutes a day. Walking is a great start. Don’t have time? Make time. It’s all about you and your health. If you lose this, everything could start to crumble.
5-Eat foods that are proven to supply you with energy—especially for breakfast and lunch.
6-Eat foods that increase mental acuity. Great examples include: Omega-3 fatty acids, eggs, spinach and cranberries. In the article “Natural Foods that Increase Mental Energy” Lisa Dorwood reminds us that “Omega-3 fatty acids build the brain, proteins enhance the ability of the different parts of the brain to work together, Carbohydrates fuel it, and micronutrients protect it.”
7-Ask your doctor about taking a multivitamin—especially one with plenty of B vitamins
8-Be proactive with your health. Visit your doctor, dentist and optometrist regularly to keep yourself in good standing health.
10 Steps to Reduce Mental Stress:
1-Clear your mind and develop mental discipline. Be ready to “turn off” your school thoughts as soon as you leave school.
2-Never fret about things you can’t control. Be proactive about the things you can control.
3-Choose to see the glass “half full.” With all of the challenges that we and our students face, our only positive choice is focusing on the good that is occurring and building a plan to address any challenge areas.
4-Never take things personally. Never “own” people’s opinions. Never give them the power to take your joy or to invalidate the marvelous person that you are.
5-Realize that the only person who can determine how you feel and what your day is like is you. You are the only one who can make the conscious decision to be happy. And no one can take this away from you, unless you let them.
6-Watch your words. Speak only with kindness. Never spread gossip. Always keep secrets, unless the secret makes one unsafe.
7-Complete tasks immediately.
8-Clear your mind before bed. Listen to a relaxing CD… watch a nature documentary (or anything drama free)… meditate… visualize what gives you joy.
9-Start your day with a clear mind. Meditate, pray, or take an early morning walk training yourself to focus only on positive things and events that make you happy.
10-Never engage in self-pity. Look around for your blessings and celebrate them with gratitude. Whatever you focus on expands. If you spend more time feeling gratitude for what you DO have, more blessings and good will come your way.
10 Steps to Reduce Emotional Stress:
1-Be proactive with relationships. Make time for your friends, family, spouse and children, sharing love and caring for them.
2-Be open to releasing negative relationships. How do you feel after being with that person? Depleted? Depressed? Let it go in an unemotional manner. If it is family, communicate ways you would prefer they would respond. Let them know how you feel when you are around them and how you would like to feel. If unwanted patterns continue, be ready to create some distance until they can make better choices.
3-Do not own students’ problems. It is challenging witnessing some of the difficult life experiences that some of your students are going through. Recognize what you can control and what you can’t.
4-Create an emotionally safe, symbiotic environment within the classroom that can serve as a source of stability for students during these tough times—most of which you will never even know about.
5-Develop positive and productive relationships with the parents of your students. Let them know that you care about their child and what you are doing to address their child’s needs. Creating this sense of trust is the first step to a collaborative relationship for the better good of the child’s development.
6-Foster productive communication patterns when collaborating with colleagues. Utilize quick and informal collaboration patterns during times such as lunch or passing each other in the hall. Utilize formal and focused collaboration during scheduled team meetings.
7- Be personally reflective without being defensive. Is there a pattern in your behavior that is causing others around you undue stress? It’s ok. None of us are perfect and everyone has something they can improve. Make changes so you can move on to better things.
8-“Don’t fight with crazy.” If someone is being illogical try your best to communicate. If they are being irrational, give them some space. They are upset for reasons that are most likely out of your control. When they calm down, sit down with them to find some solutions. In these cases it is usually recommended that an administrator should be present.
9-Recognize that we are all here for the same reasons—to educate and support children. If a parent or colleague is overly upset, remind them of this and then create a plan of action
10-Relax. We are only human. Most of the emotional stress that people experience is from “attaching emotion” to tasks. Complete the task without the emotion and you will feel better and become more productive.