It's no secret that working in supply can sometimes be stressful. In this blog, SupplyWell recommends resources to help supply teachers cope with stress.
Let’s talk about stress! According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt stressed at some point over the last year and even have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. 75% of all education staff have faced physical or mental wellbeing issues because of their work and 53% have considered leaving as a result. Our very own CEO and co-founder Michael Heverin was one of 42,000 teachers who left the teaching profession in 2019. For 13 years he was a teacher and senior leader, but work-related stress, and exhaustion made teaching an unsustainable career for him. Michael co-founded SupplyWell with the aim to keep teachers and money in education, while also empowering teachers to look after their mental wellbeing.
Burnout and Stress
3 in 10 teachers report consistent burnout according to data collected by Teacher Tapp. Teacher Tapp defines burnout as “A state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress, for example, working a stressful job. Common signs of burnout include feeling tired or drained most of the time, feeling helpless, trapped and/or defeated.”
Teaching can be an incredibly rewarding profession. Seeing that lightbulb moment across your pupil’s face is such a high. Just as there’s no denying that seeing real progression and understanding in a cohort is magic. Sadly, the other side of teaching can bring pressure, burnout, and ultimately stress. Click here to read how our very own co-founder and CEO Michael fell out of love with teaching, due to stress.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to cope with stress. Here are some techniques to help empower you in effectively minimising your stress levels, so you can focus on things that are important to you:
Preparing for your role
Preparation is key to a stress-free start to a new school placement. Your educator partner will be with you every step of the way so make sure to get in touch and talk through any questions or concerns. Otherwise, check out our guide to setting yourself up for classroom success.
Meditation is great for stress management, it enables you to focus on the here and now, with emphasis on the physical feelings within your body. Installing meditation apps can be helpful in encouraging focus. Most apps have guided meditation classes for beginners, so you can feel confident no matter your level. Teachers who work with SupplyWell have exclusive access to the Every Mind app which has lots of helpful content and insights including tailored tools and resources. The app incorporates mindfulness throughout and encourages proactive management of your own mental health. Another great app we recommend is the Calm app which has an array of fantastic resources including sleep stories to help you get a better nights sleep.
After a long period of time being told not to socialize, it is evident that loneliness and lack of social interaction is a component in increases in stress levels. To combat this you can spend time with friends, family, and loved ones. Even cuddling pets can make you feel less stressed and weighted blankets have also proven to decrease stress as they can simulate the sensation of a hug, resulting in a person feeling less anxious and stressed.
Looking after your body
Pump up those endorphins by adding some exercise into your day. The release of happy hormones is scientifically proven to help reduce stress.
Doing exercise reduces stress hormones, including cortisol and instead encourages your body to release endorphins which are natural mood-lifting chemicals in the brain. Movement is also proven to improve sleep quality, which is often negatively impacted by stress.
A quick 10-minute walk or a short yoga flow in the morning can be enough to get the heart rate lifted if you’re short on time. We’ve put together 5-morning routines for teachers that you can try.
Nutrition is just as important as movement when it comes to stress management. Although there’s no denying that instant pick-me-up feeling, reducing your caffeine intake can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Consider your vitamin intake too, keeping topped up on vitamins B and D can help maintain good physical as well as mental health.
We hope this blog post has given you some ideas of techniques to help you manage stress. SupplyWell wants to remind you that you are never alone and we are here to support you. What techniques do you use to combat stress? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!