Coping strategies

It’s now the final stretch of term time for a lot of teachers, after what has been another challenging year. It’s also the time when teachers are busy marking exam papers as well as awarding grades in some cases. To get through the last few weeks of term, we have listed some coping strategies to help with relaxation.

Experiment with the following techniques to find out which ones work best for you.

  • Check in with your breath at intervals during the day, are they fast and shallow (stressed) or slow and deep (relaxed)?
  • Signs of stress are shallow breathing and hunched sore shoulders with a tight chest. Do a body check to see if you have a stressed posture and if you do, pull your shoulders down and rotate them to reduce the tension. Think about your posture and try to adapt a relaxed, upright posture.
  • Notice how you are when you are driving; check if you are overly tense, gripping the wheel too tightly, hovering over the accelerator/brake rather putting the handbrake on when appropriate.
  • Relax your stomach by pushing it outwards; this will enable you to breathe more deeply.
  • Practise deep belly breathing when you notice sensations of tension in your body.
  • Or you could try square breathing:
    breathe in for four seconds,
    hold it for seconds,
    breathe out for four seconds,
    hold it for four seconds,
    repeat 2 or 3 times.
    You may have to begin with 2 or 3 seconds and then with practise you can get up to 4 seconds.
  • After school, take the time to close your eyes and lie down for two or three minutes, breathing comfortably, letting the school day go before starting on the next tasks.