Tips for Remaining Stress-Free (Especially for Early Childhood Teachers)
As these winter months seem to drag on, often times teachers and early childhood educators start to have the winter blues. Although Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) is a real thing, there are things we can do for ourselves to ensure we are being the best teacher we can be. We can never really take care of others without first taking care of ourselves. With that being said, try some of these simple (and sort-of obvious) tricks, anytime you start to feel overwhelmed, overworked, unappreciated, or just down right frustrated!
The first tip, is to just simply breathe. Properly inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth (try to cover if you are in close proximity to others!). Breathe in and out for 4 seconds each, and for about 2-3 minutes. Amazing what air can do for our lungs and our brains. Next, don’t stress over things beyond your control. We all have stress in our lives, but it is entirely up to us how we allow it to control us. Obviously some severe trauma in our lives is different, but as far as things you can control, take control and make the stress work for. Look at the positive that come from stress. You gain experience, self-confidence when you overcome the stress, and a sense of accomplishment that can help you overcome future stressors!
Acknowledge that you are not perfect, and it is okay to make mistakes. It is also okay to say, “No” sometimes, especially when our emotional well-being is at stake. The best way to overcome this, is to be grateful for the things you have in your life. When things get rough, or you find yourself digging a rut of negativity and sadness, take a minute to think of all the positives in your life.
Always remember to work smarter, not harder. Find ways to make your life, and work, easier. Maybe you need some time management help. Then go out and seek this help. Maybe you just need a little help from a co-worker in delegating some work. Then be sure to delegate the work! It is always okay to ask for help.
For those of you just starting out in a career of childcare, for those in the CDA Credential program, and even for those who have a lifetime of experience, remember to always take care of yourself, so you can be around to take care of the young children who desperately need dedicated educators like you!