Teacher mental health suffered during the pandemic. Through the ups and downs of COVID, these caring professionals remained laser-focused on supporting their students. It’s no wonder that burnout and high stress levels are causing many teachers to leave their jobs. In fact, an astounding 84% of teachers said their responsibilities are far more stressful now than they were before the pandemic.
Schools, school districts and our society need to find ways to better support teachers. Beyond that, however, teachers need tools to support their own mental health. With that in mind, here are some mental health tips for teachers that can help you recover after this time of stress and uncertainty.
Reclaim Your Vision
There’s a reason you chose teaching as your profession, but remote learning and the stress of the pandemic may have obscured your purpose. Take some time to remember why you became a teacher and what you hope to accomplish in the lives of your students.
Find Happiness Anchors
As much as possible, hold on to the highlights of your teaching career. While you have undoubtedly faced obstacles throughout the pandemic, focus on the good things — the students who improved because of your efforts, humorous moments in your classroom, special connections. These experiences can serve as happiness anchors on challenging days.
Enjoy Life Outside of Teaching
Teaching is a noble calling, but it’s not the only part of your life. To improve your mental outlook, it’s important to have activities and passions you enjoy outside of teaching. Go out with friends. Spend quality time with your family. Find a creative and relaxing hobby. These pursuits can help renew your outlook.
Spend Time With Positive Peers
If you’re already struggling with burnout, associating with negative or toxic coworkers can diminish your already exhausted resources. Find people who are passionate about their teaching careers and who bring joy and creativity to their classrooms.
Take Advantage of Resources and Programs
Many schools, administrators and districts have realized the importance of supporting the well-being of their staff — especially with teachers returning to in-person classrooms. There may already be resources or programs in place that can help you deal with the mental and emotional fallout of the pandemic.
Make Mental Health a Priority
Now that schools are returning to a pre-COVID sense of normalcy, you may think that your stress levels and emotions will return to normal as well. However, it’s important to acknowledge that you’ve faced one of the most difficult experiences in your career. If you’re having a tough time balancing your mood, taking care of yourself or enjoying teaching like you once did, professional help is available.
At Taylor Counseling Group, our individual counseling sessions are personalized to your unique needs. Whether you’re struggling with on-the-job anxiety or questioning your career path, we can help. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.