It’s that time of year again. Summer vacation is over and school begins soon. Time flies when you’re having fun, but the bills must be paid. So, it’s back to work you go. Teachers, your classroom, and students await. Principals and administrators, your school community needs you. Do you feel a bit of anxiety thinking about it? Don’t fret, because you are going to create a simple stress reduction plan as a pre-emptive strike.
Stress is a health wrecker and killer. The Mayo Clinic has a list of effects of stress on the body. The effects range from headaches, muscle tension, chest pain, fatigue and more. Stress also affects you emotionally and spiritually. Therefore, you don’t want to carry around stress like a heavy purse. Begin to learn your triggers of stress and develop a plan to combat the effects. Stress reduction is key to your health and sanity.
The beginning of the school year is a stressful time. You have much to do like decorating your classroom or making sure all materials, books, and resources are in stock. Administrators must make sure all students are enrolled and schedules are complete. Above all, the building must be in tip top shape and cleaned before the first day of school. Meanwhile, your list of to-dos is long. When you feel yourself getting anxious or stressed, think of this: Stop, Think, Relax, Exhale, Smile, and Start over (STRESS). Here are a few things to help you create your stress reduction plan.
Stop when you feel the anxiety or stress taking over. Whatever you’re doing can wait until you’ve calmed down. Plus, if you are stressed you won’t do your best at completing the task. Stop and sit down for a moment to think about your next move.
Think of strategies that are less stressful. Take a moment to contemplate what is triggering the stress. What is your reaction to the stress? Do you react with anger, sadness, illness or depression? It’s okay to step away for a moment to think about how to react. Count to 10. If needed, count to 100. Think of the consequences of your reaction. Afterwards, taking a moment to think will help you to relax.
Relax your mind and body. Stress causes your muscles to tense and you feel it in your shoulders and neck. So, when this happens you cannot function at 100%. Stop, think and now relax. There are techniques to help you relax; however, you must take the time to practice them. You can practice deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Also, you can exercise regularly or do some type of physical activity to help you take a load off. Schedule time in your day to relax.
Exhale is the next step. Once you stop, think and relax it’s time to exhale. Don’t wait to exhale. Do it now! Find a quiet space in your home, at work or in your mind. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and exhale. Then take time to smile.
Smile, because you will feel better and less stressed. Laughing and smiling is one of the best stress reduction strategies around. Keep a sense of humor. Make lemonade out of lemons. Socialize with others and make them smile, too. Stress doesn’t like being around happy people with smiles on their faces. Add smiles to your stress reduction plan.
Start over after you stop, think, relax, exhale, and smile. At last, you now have a few strategies to help you create a stress reduction plan. As you develop your plan, keep it simple. Therefore, don’t over complicate or over think it. Above all, you’re trying to reduce stress not add onto your plate. Develop your plan today!
Then, stop, think, relax, exhale, smile and start over. Repeat!
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