Stress Management for Teachers: 5 Strategies to Implement TODAY! (2023)

Stress management for teachers: five ideas you can put into place today to alleviate burnout. Are you feeling stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed? Is work stress creeping into every other part of your life? Or maybe it has taken over completely. Read on for strategies that you can implement today.

If you need help leaving the classroom, check out theTeacher Career Coach Course.This step-by-step guide has helped thousands with a transition from teaching. Save time and get support with every step of picking a new path, rewriting your resume, and answering tricky interview questions.

Workplace burnout may seem like the new buzzword lately. But it is a real problem and a disturbing trend that can lead to serious health issues. This is especially true for millennial workers. A Workplace Burnout Survey conducted by Deloitte found that 84 percent of millennials have experienced workplace burnout, compared to 77 percent among all respondents. Statistically speaking, you are likely to experience some form of unmanageable stress at your workplace that affects your life outside of work.

(Video) 5 Stress Management and selfcare Strategies Every Teacher Needs to Know

As a young teacher entering the classroom, I would often feel ashamed to admit that I couldn’t handle the workload. I would arrive to work early and stay late setting up lesson plans and grading tests.

My workload was so heavy, that most of my weekends were consumed by the job. I missed out on a lot of personal time with my family and friends and put unneeded strain on my relationships. Can you relate?

Five Stress Management Ideas for Teachers

Let’s talk about a few stress management ideas for teachers who are suffering from burnout. Implementing one or more of these strategies today will help you find some relief.

1. Identify Teacher Burnout

Employee burnout is a syndrome that is defined as experiencing never-ending and unmanageable stress at work. If you feel excessively tired, irritable, demoralized and completely drained of energy at the end of the day, you are probably suffering from burnout. As a teacher, you may have been dealing with it for so long that you don’t even realize the signs anymore.

The first step to better stress management for teachers is to recognize teacher burnout. If you recognize the symptoms described above, it is time to make a plan. Burnout is a real, valid concern that has unfortunately become a sort-of industry standard in education.

With overcrowded classrooms, unrealistic workloads and expectations, dealing with disruptive students and demanding parents, teachers are especially vulnerable to excessive stress. Left unchecked, burnout can lead to severe emotional stress, causing anxiety and depression as well as physical health issues too.

A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology finds that people suffering fromburnout have been linked to higher than normal incidence of an irregular heartbeat. This condition leads to an increasedrisk for heart attacks, strokes and death.

(Video) Managing Stress: Good for Your Health

Impact on Students

It’s not only the teacher that suffers; the burnout impacts the students as well. Teachers in high-stress situations tend to have the poorest student outcomes. Feeling like you have failed to give your students the high-quality education that they deserve only compounds the weight of the stress you already feel.

2. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is not selfish and is important to maintaining your emotional and physical health. Giving yourself permission to practice a few self-care strategies throughout the day can relieve the stress you feel during work and greatly impact the burden you’re carrying home.

A few stress management ideas for teachers practicing self-care:

  • When you see a break in the day, take it.
  • Find a quiet space to collect yourself in a more mindful way.
  • Use breathing exercises to reduce your anxiety.
  • Practice meditation to declutter your mind. Some of the top athletes and most successful business leaders rely on mindfulness techniques – and so should you.
  • If weather permits, take a brisk walk out doors. The fresh air will improve your mood and boost your energy.
  • Don’t forget to eat a healthy lunch too. Falling into a trap of eating unhealthy, fatty food is bad for the body and mind.

For more information about alleviating symptoms of excessive stress, check out our article on teacher self-care.

3. Declutter Your Space

If you have been teaching for a few years, then you have probably already collected more stuff in your classroom than you really need, such as teacher gifts, stacks of papers, school supplies and confiscated contraband. All of these things are not only taking up space in your classroom, but in your mind too.

Decluttering does not have to take hours or days after work, either. Remember, we’re working on stress management for teachers, not taking on more stress! Start with small areas and make cleaning up and organizing part of your weekly routine. You may even be able to involve students during certain down-times. Doling out some of the organization tasks in your classroom can help the kids feel a sense of ownership while practicing those tricky executive functioning skills.

(Video) Stress, Trauma, and the Brain: Insights for Educators--Educator Strategies for the Classroom

Decluttering using Marie Kondo tips

Marie Kondo, decluttering expert, and author of the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, believes we should only keep items that will truly spark joy in our lives. To successfully declutter your space, you need to make a plan to minimize and stick to it. Visualize how you want your working space to look, then discard or give away items you know you don’t want. Then ask yourself if the remaining items bring your joy.

According to Kondo, you’ll feel the answer calling out to you. If something truly brings you joy, your mood will be elevated and lighter.

If you find yourself looking around your classroom through a fog thinking, “None of this sparks joy for me…” it might even be time to start thinking about bigger changes. Thinking of leaving teaching? 9 signs it’s the right choice.

4. Simplify Your Lesson Plans to Reduce Daily Stress

Minimizing the stress in your life shouldn’t just apply to your surroundings. If your lesson plans are unorganized, complicated and too long, you should consider a process to streamline when and how you teach.

A few ideas for stress management for teachers who need to streamline:

  • Prioritize the learning your students need.
  • Cut out redundant and unnecessary aspects of your lesson plans.
  • Use technology, software and apps that will automate and organize as much as possible. Websites such as,, and offer free and simple plans to make your life easier.
  • Take a few moments to reflect on what is and what is not working. Make adjustments considering both your students’ and your own needs.

5. Top Stress Management for Teachers Strategy: Limit Your Teacher Workload

Teacher burnout and work-life balance are two of the main reasons why teachers quit. One way to limit the stress the overflows into the rest of your life is to set a few boundaries. This strategy will make the biggest, most immediate impact on your stress level outside of work.

These are just some of the ways that you can begin to practice stress management by limiting your teacher workload:

(Video) Stress management strategies for teachers

  • Leave work at school. Don’t take it home with you. For you to maintain a healthy work/life balance, you need to draw clear boundaries as to what you allow after work hours.
  • Do not to check your email when you are not at work. Or, if you need to be connected, give yourself a short, set time to check email and reply, then shut it down for the night.
  • Don’t volunteer for things you just cannot handle mentally and learn how to say no effectively. When you become more self-aware about how you respond to certain situations, you’ll know when to say when.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be volunteered. It’s okay to say no to additional demands. One simple sentence that has worked for me every time is, “I’m sorry, but I cannot responsibly take this on right now.”

By implementing some of the ideas in this blog, you’ll be able to evaluate your current workload, see what you need – and what you can offload.

Help for managing teacher stress & burnout

Too many teachers downplay their mental health struggles thinking it’s just “new teacher jitters” or part of the position. My final year of teaching at a toxic school environment completely broke me. After walking away from that experience and finding happiness, I was shocked at how conditioned/numb I had become to being consistently unwell.

You should not feel intense dread about your career on a daily basis, period. If you are miserable more often than happy, let’s try to find solutions to support you:

Recommended reading: The Teacher’s Guide to Self-Care by Sarah Forst. You can also listen to Podcast Episode 14, where Sarah shares actionable advice on how to implement self-care into your routine.

Blog Post: Stress Management for Teachers; 5 Strategies to Implement Today

The Teacher Career Coach Podcast Episode 31: Blake Blankenbecler, Therapy for Teachers

Finally, if you’re struggling day-to-day it may be worth it to look into a therapist. Get started today with TalkSpace, a private, online therapy with flexible plans to meet your needs.

(Video) Dealing with Teacher Stress in Class - 5 Tips!

And if managing stress brought on by teaching isn’t enough, it may be time to look into alternative careers. If you’re at a loss when it comes to figuring out your options, check out our free quiz below for customized suggestions teachers transitioning out of the classroom.

Stress Management for Teachers: 5 Strategies to Implement TODAY! (2)


What are 5 stress management strategies? ›

Take care of your body.
  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, and substance use.

What are 4 healthy stress management strategies that student could use? ›

Stress management tips for college students
  • Get proper rest and sleep. ...
  • Focus on health and nutrition. ...
  • Be active. ...
  • Have a stress outlet. ...
  • Find connections. ...
  • Practice self-care. ...
  • Manage time effectively. ...
  • Stay organized.

What are the stress management techniques answer? ›

The ones that focus on slow movement, stretching, and deep breathing are best for lowering your anxiety and stress. Meditation. It has been around for over 5,000 years for a reason. Meditation works well for many people and has many benefits.

What are the 5 things we want to stop avoid for stress management? ›

Avoid drugs and alcohol as they can add to stress. Eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise on a regular basis. Engage in self-relaxation. Try muscle relaxation, breathing or meditation exercises, prayer, yoga, or swimming to reduce stress.

How can teachers reduce stress in students? ›

Here are 10 ways to help your students manage their stress.
  1. Host morning meetings. ...
  2. Teach through games. ...
  3. Promote a growth mindset. ...
  4. Teach mindfulness. ...
  5. Practice deep breathing. ...
  6. Teach visualization. ...
  7. Encourage students to be smart about social media. ...
  8. Encourage students to get enough sleep.
Apr 7, 2022

What are 3 ways to reduce stress related to school? ›

Coping strategies for students
  • Practice deep belly breathing. You can practice deep breathing between classes, at lunch, or before and after school.
  • Try progressive muscle relaxation. ...
  • Participate in regular physical activities. ...
  • Recognize and accept all emotions. ...
  • Learn to communicate struggles. ...
  • Find a few trusted listeners.
Jul 23, 2021

What is the most effective stress management strategy? ›

Mindfulness practices such as meditation are proven to be effective stress management techniques. Practicing gratitude is another effective technique for managing stress long-term. It helps you transform negative thoughts into positive ones.

What are 3 examples of stress management? ›

Stress management approaches include:
  • Learning skills such as problem-solving, prioritizing tasks and time management.
  • Enhancing your ability to cope with adversity. ...
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, tai chi, exercise and prayer.
  • Improving your personal relationships.
Oct 5, 2021

What is the most important stress management technique? ›

Some of the most important activities for stress management include optimizing sleep, eating, and exercise.

Why stress management is important for teachers? ›

Teachers who are not aware of how to effectively manage stress decrease their ability to educate their students properly. Emotions also play an important role in decision-making. Overwhelm, anxiety, and frustration can block our ability to make wise, rational decisions.

How do you manage stress at school? ›

What are the Best Techniques to Help Students Manage Stress?
  1. Keeping a journal.
  2. Getting plenty of exercise.
  3. Eating healthy, regular meals.
  4. Making sure you get enough sleep.
  5. Meditating.
  6. Downloading an app that provides relaxation exercises (such as deep breathing or visualization) or tips for practicing mindfulness.
Nov 10, 2022

What are 12 strategies to deal with stress? ›

Physical activity is a natural stress buster.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help relax muscles and reduce anxiety. ...
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar. ...
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. ...
  • Get plenty of sleep. ...
  • Supplement with magnesium. ...
  • Identify professionals who can help.
Feb 16, 2018

What are the 7 steps in managing stress? ›

Here are several tips to help women as well as men:
  • Recognize and counter signs of stress. ...
  • Take time for yourself. ...
  • Try new routines. ...
  • Stay connected and make new friends. ...
  • See problems through a different lens. ...
  • Seek help with problems.

What are the 10 stress management techniques? ›

10 stress busters
  • Be active. ...
  • Take control. ...
  • Connect with people. ...
  • Have some "me time" ...
  • Challenge yourself. ...
  • Avoid unhealthy habits. ...
  • Help other people. ...
  • Work smarter, not harder.

What are the 9 stress management techniques? ›

These nine simple, effective stress management techniques can help not only in your online degree program, but in life:
  • Stay social. ...
  • Get enough sleep. ...
  • Exercise. ...
  • Eat well. ...
  • Get organized. ...
  • Manage your time wisely. ...
  • Get help if you need it. ...
  • Take breaks.

How can we reduce stress and anxiety in the classroom? ›

Follow These Steps to Ease Student Anxiety in Your Classroom
  1. Start with a Student Meeting. According to Fagell, students who are experiencing anxiety may not fully understand their actions or responses. ...
  2. Create a Coping Toolbox. ...
  3. Validate Student Feelings. ...
  4. Use Mindfulness. ...
  5. Teach Competence. ...
  6. Refer Students for Additional Help.

How can teachers best help students deal with stress encourage mistakes? ›

Encourage mistakes

Explain why mistakes are important, encourage mistakes when giving work, and show students how they can improve by prompting them to ask reflective questions such as: What could I have done better? What could I do differently? What worked well?

What causes the most stress for teachers? ›

The Causes Of Teacher Stress

Teachers work longer hours than many other positions, which often leads to burnout and stress. Some of the many contributing factors are lack of resources, work-life balance and political issues.

What are 5 types of stress? ›

5 types of stress: Environmental, postural, emotional, dental and nutritional.

What are the 3 C's of stress management? ›

Kobasa introduced the concept of psychological hardiness and suggested that hardiness moderates the relationship between stressful life events and illness. Kobasa characterized hardiness as comprising of three components or the 3C's: Commitment, Control, and Challenge.

What are the 3 keys to managing stress? ›

This article presents the three most important keys to managing stress, sleep, weekly “recharge” time and daily breaks.

What are 4 stress management skills? ›

Expand your stress management toolkit by mastering these four strategies for coping with stress: avoid, alter, accept and adapt. When we feel the effects of stress weighing us down, it's like lugging a backpack that's becoming heavier by the minute. Too much stress can make our journey through life difficult.

What is a good stress management plan? ›

Stay active. Physical activity releases feel-good endorphins. Taking short walking breaks several times a day is a powerful tool for channeling stress. Exercising or joining yoga, dance, or tai chi classes with friends also helps achieve step 2—staying connected.

Which five coping strategies is the most effective? ›

Topping the list of effective coping strategies are active coping, positive reframing, instrumental support, religion, and acceptance. Here's what each entails. Active coping is characterized by solving problems, seeking information or social support, seeking help, and/or changing one's environment.

What are the 5 types of stress? ›

5 types of stress: Environmental, postural, emotional, dental and nutritional.


1. Tools for Managing Stress & Anxiety | Huberman Lab Podcast #10
(Andrew Huberman)
2. How to make stress your friend | Kelly McGonigal
3. Stress Management Strategies for Health and Wellness (5/26/21)
(UCI Division of Continuing Education)
4. CENTA Webinar Series Session 107: Stress Management Strategies for Students
(CENTA Team)
5. 3-Minute Stress Management: Reduce Stress With This Short Activity
(Therapy in a Nutshell)
6. How to stay calm when you know you'll be stressed | Daniel Levitin


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