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How To Improve Mental Health as a Teacher

How To Improve Mental Health as a Teacher

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Mental health and wellbeing is a topic that is often neglected, but it is something that is incredibly important, especially for those in stressful or demanding professions. Teachers are a perfect example of this – they often have to deal with huge workloads, challenging students, and little-to-no break time. This can take its toll on their mental health and wellbeing, which can have a negative impact on their work performance and their personal lives. Thankfully, there are some things that teachers can do to improve their mental health and wellbeing. In this article, we will explore some of the best ways to do this.

Talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling

If you are struggling with your mental health then it is important to talk to those closest to you. Your friends and family can be a great source of support and can help you to deal with the stresses and strains of your work. A great way to start is to have a conversation where you can open up about how you are feeling. You could even ask them to help you set some goals for your mental health if you are struggling to manage your mental health on your own, then you should seek the help of a mental health professional. Research has found that having social support can greatly reduce the negative effects of stress, so having those trusted individuals to rely on can go a long way.

A black and white photo of a classroom with children sitting at desks.

Enjoy a hobby

Mental health is affected by everything in your life, and this includes your hobbies. Hobbies can help to make you feel good, but they are also a great way to reduce the stresses and strains of your day-to-day life. A hobby can be anything from gardening to playing the piano. It could even be something as simple as reading a book. Whatever it is, it is important to make time for it and enjoy the simple pleasure and sense of wellbeing that it provides you with.

Find a group of friends who are looking together for a mental health-focused group

There are many groups, clubs, and meet-up groups with a focus on mental health. For example, if you are looking to meet people in your area who are interested in yoga, you could find a local group and start attending. If you are looking to find friends who are looking to maintain their fitness levels then you may well find a group of people who are looking for fitness buddies.

Make mental health a priority

Mental health and wellbeing are just as important as physical health. You can do everything in your life to be healthy, but if you don’t take the time to look after your mental health then you are setting yourself up for a bleak situation in the future. Nowadays it is easier than ever to be healthy, but it is a lot harder to be mentally healthy.

If you are struggling with your mental health then it is important to make it your priority. This means that you should try and make time for yourself, no matter how busy you are with your work.

Create boundaries and stick to them

Boundaries are a vital part of your wellbeing. By setting boundaries, you are making it easier for yourself to manage your stress levels and keep your mental health in check. Boundaries can be as simple as telling yourself that you will only answer the phone or text message once a day or you will only see your friends on a weekend. Boundaries can also be as complicated as creating a step-by-step plan to ensure that you are in control of your life.

Adopt the good-enough teacher mindset

The good-enough teacher mindset is a welcome corrective to an otherwise punishing perfectionism. It is essential for anyone who is putting themselves under a lot of pressure. If you are putting yourself under a lot of pressure then it is important to adopt the good-enough teacher mindset. This means that you should try and accept yourself for who you are. It is easy to think that you are not good enough at something, and therefore you should do everything in your power to ensure that you are not good enough. However, the good-enough teacher mindset encourages you to learn from your mistakes and to do the things that you need to do to improve. 

You can’t give from an empty cup

A cup of coffee on a wooden table.

If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, then it is important to take some time to think about how you can reduce your stress levels. You can’t give from an empty cup, and you can’t give from a stressed or overwhelmed cup. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, then it is essential that you take some time to reduce your stress levels. You could call a friend, go for a walk, take a bath, or go to bed at a reasonable time. As educators, our commitment to our students can sometimes be to the detriment of our self-care. Truly, the greatest gift we can give to our students is looking after ourselves, so that we can show up, be present and give our best back, and the only way that happens is when we prioritise our mental health.

Conclusion

In the demanding world of teaching, it’s easy to overlook our own mental health. However, neglecting it can have a detrimental impact on both our work and personal lives. In this article, we’ve explored essential strategies to bolster mental health as educators.

By opening up to loved ones, embracing hobbies, and joining mental health-focused groups, we build a support system that helps us weather the challenges of our profession. Prioritising mental health is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Setting boundaries allows us to manage stress and regain control of our lives. Adopting the “good-enough teacher” mindset encourages growth through self-acceptance and learning from mistakes. Lastly, remember that you can’t give from an empty cup – self-care is essential for refilling it.

As teachers, our dedication to shaping the future is unwavering. However, our effectiveness hinges on our mental well-being. By implementing these strategies and prioritising mental health, we not only benefit ourselves but also create a healthier, more nurturing environment for our students and colleagues. Let’s commit to a brighter, healthier future – one where our mental health shines as brightly as our dedication to education.

If you’re currently struggling with your mental health and wellbeing, we offer coaching and psychotherapy services to support your transformation. Check out our full range of wellbeing services and get in touch if you’d like to schedule a call.

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Andrew Miles

Founder of Clearly Wellbeing - Mental Health and Wellbeing Leader in Education - Integrative Wellbeing Coach and Consultant. My mission, to help you discover the insights, ideas and tools to lead a fulfilling life.

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