Dealing with the everyday demands of working in a school can be very stressful. By this term you may be feeling tired and ready for the summer holidays. Now is a good time to look back on the school year to see what has worked well and what hasn’t worked so well. Take the time to answer some of the following questions:
What did you do or deal with really well this year? What strategies did you use to get good results? How can you use more of these types of strategies next year? What created the most stress? Could you have been more prepared? What could you have done differently? What things can you put in place now to prevent the same situation occurring next year?
Use your answers to list things that help you cope when work becomes stressful. Highlight at least 4 things you can easily do that will reduce your stress levels at work. It can be helpful to write one for work and one for home. An example of a list is:
* Don’t take work home at least 2 nights per week. Arrive at work early instead.
* Go to the gym three times a week.
* Share photocopying with Tracey during Wednesday admin.
* Drink only one coffee per day.
* Try to meet demanding parents with Mandy or Simon.
It can be helpful to place the list in a prominent place, perhaps create a bookmark in your work diary, and refer to it often.
Suggest that some regular time is spent sharing and discussing ideas that help when dealing with stressful situations during staff or department meeting. Have teachers talk in groups of 2 or 3 with a focus on supporting one another in ‘looking after themselves’. Share successful strategies as a staff.
This week we added the ebooklet, ‘Looking after yourself’ to the Working with Colleagues section of the Psych4Schools website. You might like to use some of the ideas it describes to help you fine-tune your coping strategies for the final busy weeks of term and to plan ahead in order to keep yourself well for next year.
>read the ‘Looking after yourself’ ebooklet now.