Workplace stressors such as workloads, workplace environments and relationships, professional, personal and community expectations can all impact on educator mental health and wellbeing.
Educators who understand how important mental health and wellbeing is for personal and professional success can take steps to focus on their own wellbeing. When you look after yourself you are better able to support those around you: family, colleagues and the children and young people in your care.
It is important workplaces find ways to reduce stressors and put strategies in place to manage them more effectively. With a supportive culture in your workplace, staff wellbeing can be supported and this will have a positive influence on professional relationships and interactions, which flows to the whole learning community.
Educational leaders can take action to improve wellbeing by developing a healthy culture and environment within their learning community. They can ensure factors enhancing a positive culture are maintained and improved and can act to change any factors hindering staff wellbeing.
By visiting the Be You website you can access and share the resources about practicing self-care in a way that works for you. The Be You Fact Sheets provide a number of strategies that are helpful in practicing self-care and managing stress for staff in school and early learning services. There are also Wellbeing Tools for You with information and a range of resources to help in supporting your wellbeing.
A team of educators wanting to support each other’s wellbeing recently created their own self-care poster using some of the strategies linked to the Be You Fact Sheet on Staff wellbeing. This poster was designed to give them a quick visual reminder to practice self-care when feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Here are some of the self -care strategies they used:
- Monitor your stress: recognise your own signs and identify personally difficult situations
- Find ways to manage your own stress that work for you: exercise, relaxation, positive self-talk
- Become aware of how you think: challenge negative thoughts
- Make a regular time for yourself to pursue interests that make you feel good good
- Develop personal relationships and connections with others
- Learn relaxation techniques
- Practice mindfulness: become aware of being in the present moment
- Be mindful of how you feel and act with others
- Be supportive and non-judgemental of others
- Engage in reflective practice about your work and professional development.