Stress, Anxiety, and Teachers Health During Coronavirus :
Stress and anxiety have impacted teachers’ health and have been been a real cause of concern long before the Coronavirus and Lockdown. The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected businesses and professions in almost all industries. Some of the first measures most countries have introduced were school closures and distance learning.
I think the worst thing about the coronavirus pandemic is uncertainty. But if you are a teacher, the uncertainty goes hand in hand with responsibility. You may not know what is expected from you over the lockdown period, how long the school closure will be for, or how to handle exams and grades. At the same time, you have to be supportive of your students, colleagues, and your own family.
A combination of uncertainty and responsibility can cause you to feel stressed and anxious or aggravate any mental health issues that you may already have to deal with. However, in situations of crisis like this one, it is natural to feel worried, stressed, and afraid.
When you feel vulnerable or threatened, your brain activates the flight or fight response to protect you against stress. So, I would say, being a little bit more concerned is useful because it keeps you alert and motivates you to do things to protect yourself and the loved ones. Menopause when added to the mix can also exacerbate your situation and the amount you have to deal with. Men are no exception to this either. They too have to deal with menopause
However excessive, worry, and fear can destabilise constructive responses to stress, damage your health, and impair the quality of life.
Here are some tips that are the easiest and most immediate things you can do the start the process of self-care. As a teacher, you can apply during your time in isolation to help you cope with coronavirus challenges. Here is what they shared as their COVID-19 routine as a teacher.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Acknowledge when you feel anxious and be aware of your emotions. It is okay to feel sad, angry, scared at the loss of your normal life, work routine, and social interactions. Understanding that your feelings are normal when you are under stress will help you accept them.
Set Your Own Boundaries
Designate different areas of your home as ‘work and/or study’ and ‘relax’ spaces. This will help ease stress and tension while working from home.
Creating time apart from other family members. This is an important part of self-care not just for your sanity but theirs as well.
Limit your daily exposure to COVID-19-related news to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Whilst we need to know the essentials which primarily is government advice and guidance. Don’t get caught up in everything else.
Allocate times of the day when your students can contact you. Then you won’t be overwhelmed by constant interruptions.
Bring Calm to Your Mind and Body
Strategies such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, or yoga are effective in overcoming anxiety and stress in general. However, in times of increased uncertainty, you may find relaxation techniques particularly beneficial. Mindfulness helps to focus on the present, become aware of your negative feelings and thoughts, and then help you to overcome them.
Create a Routine
Routine can be your anchor in times of increased stress and anxiety as you deal with the uncertainty. It will give you a sense of confidence and safety. Use your time management skills to ensure you aren’t working all the time. Set the priorities and add in breaks to your schedule. This should help you save time and increase productivity.
Stay Connected to others
Although we are physically distancing, it is more important than ever that you stay connected. Use technology to reach out to your colleagues and people you trust and talk about your feelings. This will boost your mood and help you understand that you are all in this together.
If you feel that your coping mechanisms are not strong enough to manage coronavirus anxiety on your own, reach out for help.
Make Self-Care Your Priority
There is a lot of good advice being given out such as take time for regular exercise, relaxation, good sleep, and a healthy diet. Indeed, it may be easy to acknowledge these should become your priority. Of course, great habits that can protect you against symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression during times of increased tension. However, once your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing starts to spiral down so too does the motivation to drive you forward. And instead, the frustrations and the stress just increase. You don’t get to experience any of the benefits that can come from such disciplines such as feelings of calmness and wellbeing
The Best Kept Secret!
Did you know that there’s a key muscle in your body that is so deep you are not aware of it? It is the Psoas muscle. The response of most people is that they have never heard of it let alone know where it is. It is your best-kept secret. It is your fight-flight centre and where you store your feelings and emotions.
Tension builds in the Psoas from the day you were born. All the stress, overwhelm or trauma you have ever experienced in your life is stored in your body’s muscle memory, starting in the Psoas. Anxiety is a symptom of tension overload. The same as back, neck, and shoulder pain, mood swings, lack of sleep, IBS, lack of energy, concentration, or focus. No amount of meditation or exercise is going to heal your body of those deeply held tensions.
The good news is that you can though. Everyone has the ability to find physical, mental, and emotional freedom from any level of pain. Nature gave us the amazing power which is within us to heal and build resilience. We may have forgotten but your body hasn’t. A simple, empowering powerful practice that can become your tool for life and life tool to become whole once more.
The Total Release Experience® gives you the best in education, support, and guidance as you start to take back responsibility for your own well-being. Self-care like you would never have imagined. Imagine. ‘No talking’ no expensive therapy, no more self-medication whether that is alcohol, food, drugs, or any other habit that you may have adopted to help you get by.
Just a simple weekly practice that can transform your life as you would never have imagined.
The answer as always is one we have already!