When we think about stress and depression we tend to think of external factors which can contribute to our mental health. By making a few changes to our own thought processes and adjusting our approach to life we can have a huge impact though. I came across these Ten Commandments of Stress many years ago on a course. At the time I was a fairly typical twenty-something:
- wanting everyone to like me
- worried about having my hair and make up done perfectly all the time
- agreeing to do things for people because I thought it would make them like me more and that they would help me in return (NB not everyone does!!)
- doing lots of things because I thought that was what I was supposed to be doing not because it made my life better or made me happier….
The list goes on and I’m sure I’m not alone.
I also know that, unfortunately, I was not alone in being diagnosed with depression. After only a term in a very challenging inner city school it took hold. I was lucky because I had amazing support and I managed to pull myself out of it within months. Not everyone is so lucky.
What can you do to help yourself and others who may be struggling with stress or depression?
It is so important to spot the early signs of stress and depression before it takes hold of you. If you don’t know how to spot them please read my earlier post: Stress: Do you know the signs?
In my experience teachers are the most compassionate, dedicated, hard working and community minded of people. This can unfortunately lead to them being take advantage of, by the Government, by SLT’s, by parents and even by colleagues. Set clear boundaries and know that it is ok not to be perfect all the time (despite what OFSTED might make you believe!).
Make your mental health a priority.
Set good examples for your peers, children and your class.
Be a better teacher and a happier person.
You owe it to yourself and everyone who loves you.
If you are looking for resources to help yourself and your school with relaxation and mindfulness check out my relaxation resources.
Maybe you just want to dip your toes in the water and see how it can impact on your class. Why not try one of my free lesson plans which are available on my blog?