It’s no secret that education is often a high-stress and low-reward career. It’s not uncommon to work long hours or difficult students, alongside the act of teaching itself having an emotional and mental toll. But when that stress and exhaustion begins to turn into burnout, you know you have a real problem.
There are ways to help prevent burnout as a teacher, and they range from easy ‘apple-a-day’ -style prevention all the way to emergency vacations. Here are a few of the top methods to overcoming and preventing teacher burnout.
Talk About It
We have often pushed away from venting our feelings and frustrations. It’s understandable that we don’t want to make our own problems somebody else’s, but we can find an enormous amount of help in having a shoulder to cry on. Try and have consistent sit-downs, video chats, or phone calls with friends – or join a group for teachers. These forms of support might not feel like it at times, but they are invaluable for mental health and comfort.
Find a Self-Care Routine
Self-care is a bit of a vague term nowadays, thanks to overuse and jokes. But having a good routine or hobby that provides self-care benefits is one of the best ways to avoid burnout. There are many ways to work self-care into your life, but major examples are meditation, yoga, long walks in nature, quiet reading time, or even a relaxing tv show. Yoga and meditation are major stress relief techniques thanks to their emphasis on breath control and focus.
Take a Step Back
Burnout can often be frustrating because you don’t have the complete picture. When you are working and living in the moment, you can’t see where your major stressors lie. If you can, take a day off and really consider the ways your day leads to feelings of burnout. Are you feeling respected? Do you feel empowered? Are you not getting the rest you need? There are many questions that you can ask yourself to help discover the cause of burnout.
Ask for Help
At a certain point, you need to reach out. Your friends and colleagues are excellent resources for support and help, but they can’t always provide the answers that you need. When you begin to see burnout affecting your health, you need to find help. Visit your family doctor, or find resources through your school’s Employee Assistance Program – if your school has one. There are many more resources available online and locally, take advantage of these resources.