11 (+1) Stress Busters for Early Childhood Educators
December is here. You’re nearly at the end of another year – but don’t rush. Take some time to slow down and reduce the stress of what can be a hectic time - if you let it. Does this sound familiar?
1 Bring the garden inside
Have your team take turns to bring fresh flowers/herbs to work. Or, if you can, pick some fresh flowers with the children. Then stop to inhale their scent or just smile when you walk past them during the day.
2 Dress up
Pick an item of clothing from your wardrobe that makes you feel joy when you wear it. Wear it!
3 Count your answers
FACT: On average, a 4-year-old child asks 437 questions a day
Get the calculator and multiply questions by the number of children you spend your day with. Then multiply that by work days in the year (around 200) and be proud of - and astounded by - your patience, knowledge, and question-answering abilities!
4 Water (& sand)
Drink it (water that is). We all forget to do it – but it does make a difference. Plus the sandbox isn’t just for the kids. There’s something hypnotic and soothing about running your fingers through sand.
Extra ‘water’ for experts - if you can swim before or after work – even better!
5 Deep Breathe
We all know that practicing mindfulness and taking the time to stop and breathe has many health benefits. Try this meditation video we use in the office - trust us, you'll love it!
PS make sure you click the link at the end!
You’ve heard of laughter clubs. You don’t have to join one. Just laugh. Laughter releases endorphins exercises facial muscles and reduces stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline). NOTE: If you’re having trouble – make a child laugh, it’s contagious!
If you are not well - rest. Remember to look after yourself. If taking time off from your work is difficult, consider having a folder with emergency lesson plans, activities and class information to hand to an educator that’s covering for you.
8 Accept Help
It’s ok to let someone else help you and it might make your day just that little bit easier. Practise saying no.
9 Make a High-5 List*
“Every weekday morning (or the night before) write out 5 things that have to be done by the end of the next day. Make sure to tackle the thing that is causing you the most stress first…Give yourself a high five if you complete the first thing on your list. Sometimes just the act of writing things down will help you tackle life’s laundry” Tara Benwell
10 Tech support
Take a five-minute technology “time in” (warning - not just before bedtime!)
Like our Educa facebook page and take a scroll – we have quotes to make you laugh or think, activities for you to try and links to current research articles. Or play a game. Or watch a youtube clip (yes it’s an Evian ad but it will remind you about H2O).
11 Keep a Joy Journal
Looking for joy is like looking for a color. When you look for the color blue, you see it everywhere. Start noticing and writing down things that bring you joy. You’ll re-set your mindset and become happier.
12 Random act of chocolate
Notice we got through 11 without mentioning chocolate! Please do not eat all the chocolate you are given as presents – give some away as a random act of kindness… choose someone you think least likely to be recognized for their work all year & make their day (and yours).