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A Lesson in Stress Management – Learning to DeStress at School can set Teachers (and Students) up for Succes
posted by: Tamia | August 16, 2021, 03:08 PM   

After a year and a half of pandemic learning, going back to the classroom will be a tough transition for both teachers and students. Teaching is stressful under normal circumstances, but the uncertainty and constant stream of new regulations and requirements will make this school year particularly demanding. 

That is why it’s so important that everyone in a school setting—teachers, administrators, and students—makes an effort to prioritize self-care in order to stay calm, focused, and healthy throughout the school year. By learning and implementing a range of simple stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, stretching, and deep breathing, individuals of all age levels will be better equipped to navigate difficult situations.


But how does a teacher, whose responsibility is to nurture, teach, and uplift their students, prioritize self-care?


For starters, it’s helpful to think of self-care as not a singular goal, but as a collection of activities that can be done throughout the week to address different areas of personal wellness. The Monday Campaign’s DeStress Monday at School program, which was developed in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University, divides the concept of self-care into five key categories and includes a collection of actionable practices that correspond to each specific category.


  1. Starting the Day: Healthy goal setting and therapeutic movements like a sun salutation to help prepare you mentally and physically for the day ahead.

  2. Boosting Energy: Chair yoga and fun dance breaks to help relieve tension and energize.

  3. Improving Focus: Mindfulness practices like mindful eating, listening, and drawing to refocus attention back to the present moment or activity.

  4. Calming the Mind: Deep breathing practices or a “mind jar” to  quiet negative thoughts and bring control to a chaotic environment.

  5. Connecting with Others: Expressing gratitude, empathy, and appreciation or setting up a kindness garden to connect—or reconnect—with others.


By focusing on simple activities that can be done quickly, teachers can easily incorporate a self-care cue into their weekly routine, as well as share the tips and practices with their colleagues and peers. In a world that often feels full of unknowns, learning a few stress-relief techniques can help strengthen your resolve this school year.



Meghan Crowley is the senior program associate with The Monday Campaigns and a former sixth grade teacher with a master’s in Health Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University.


The Monday Campaigns is a public health initiative associated with leading health institutions that promotes sustainable behavior change by dedicating every Monday to health. Why Monday? A growing body of evidence suggests that healthy thinking and behavior is synchronized to the week, with Monday being the day people are most “open to buy” health.

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