5 quick and easy wellbeing tips for busy teachers

Wellbeing habits work best when they are done little and often, says teacher Gemma Clark
3rd January 2021, 1:00pm
Gemma Clark

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5 quick and easy wellbeing tips for busy teachers

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/5-quick-and-easy-wellbeing-tips-busy-teachers
5 Quick & Easy Wellbeing Tips For Busy Teachers

We all know 2020 was a year like no other. Teachers have had to adapt to new ways of working and cope with uncertainty and stress. It is more important than ever for us to look after our wellbeing, but this can be difficult with our busy lives and workloads.

I have learned that wellbeing practices work best when they are little and often. If we can build some of these quick practices into our daily routines and turn them into habits, they can help us take on 2021.

1. Cold showers

Try the Wim Hof (Ice Man) method - bear with me here! When I watched the documentary about this man, I thought he was crazy. But since investigating his claims of a scientific basis to his method, I now incorporate it into my daily routine. Simply turning your usual warm shower to cold just before getting out is enough to feel the benefits of cold exposure - and help you decide if you want to build up to the two full minutes...

2. Yoga

No flexibility is required to practice yoga, as the most effective practices can be gentle. The aim of yoga is not to contort yourself. A few minutes a day can aid relaxation and ease aches and pains. There are excellent short yoga videos on YouTube. Commit to 10 minutes of daily yoga (even in your classroom, if this offers you more quiet).

3. News-free mornings

Naturally, we want to keep up to date with the news, but unfortunately it can cause us anxiety. Research suggests it may be better for our mental health to listen to the news in the middle of the day rather than first thing in the morning. Avoid social media first thing in the morning, too. Instead try listening to an inspiring podcast or audiobook on the way to work, making for a more positive start to the day.

4. Get outside

Make a habit of giving yourself 10 minutes outdoors in the fresh air at lunchtime. That little bit of time won't make a huge difference to your pile of marking, but it will make a big difference to your stress levels.

5. And breathe...

Breathe mindfully for five minutes a day. There are a host of free apps and videos available. 

However you do it, make time for yourself in 2021.

Gemma Clark is a primary teacher in Scotland, and also a children's yoga instructor and a massage in schools trainer

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