Top 5; Ways to reduce stress

We all experience stress at some point. For some people, stress can be a major part of their lives and they can easily feel overwhelmed and stressed out by issues in their school/personal life. I tend to be one of these people – I get stressed very easily – about small things and big things and everything in between. Over the last couple of months, I’ve developed some ways to help me to have less stress and I’ve noticed a huge improvement!

Morning Routine;

Every morning my alarm goes off at 7am. I get up, get dressed and have breakfast. Then I drive to school (about 25-30 minutes) and usually arrive before 8.15. I spend 15-20 minutes in my room organising myself for the day and then I go to the staffroom for a cup of tea and a chat with colleagues. This is a great way to relax before the day starts!

Exercise;

I was never good at sports. I don’t really like doing physical activity. I am very lazy. Last December, I joined the gym. This was my fifth gym in five years and I wondered if it would be as much as a failure as the last two – where I went for a few weeks and then found excuses. I started off with two sessions a week (as recommended by the personal trainer) and four months later – I’m going at least three times per week. While I still often dread going, its starting to become a habit and when there I enjoy the sessions and feel great afterwards. It’s a great way to relax and unwind after the day.

Diary;

I bought this Ban.do diary from My Shining Armour last November and have been using it every day since. Its a great way to keep track of things that I need to do and its good to look back at the end of the week to see the different things that I managed to accomplish. I write down everything – even small jobs from changing displays to photocopying or organising resources for a team teaching session.

Music;

Music has always been a massive part of my life but when I was doing my leaving cert I stopped going to classes and put all my time and attention into studying – this was a massive mistake! Then in college, I was too busy and when I first started teaching I only played my violin for music lessons. It has taken me 7 years to refocus my attention and time to music and last year I began piano lessons which I love. Music is a really important hobby for me and its such a pity that I discarded it when other things came along. I try to play the violin once/twice a week and play the piano on a daily basis. Again, its a great way to switch off from school and destress after a tough day!

Comparison;

We are constantly comparing ourselves to others – sometimes without even realising it both in work and in our personal lives. “Oh I wish my classroom management was as good as _______”  or “Look at that display! My classroom is a mess!” or “Why did I not think of that?” We all have our own unique talents and abilities – I’m great at teaching Music but struggle to come up with ideas for teaching P.E. – collaborate with colleagues and friends and ‘magpie’ their ideas!

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