Teachers can get very stressed in their tasks and often feel as if their back is against the wall. As we attempt to mold the minds of the future, we must deal with other demands from our own evaluation by principals, parents, the community, and elsewhere. In the midst of all that, we are supposed to care. Depending on the teacher and the environment, this stress can be downright debilitating. I have good news though, you can do simple, quick relaxation techniques during lunch right at your desk to help tackle tension. Being responsible to keeping yourself relaxed and whole will translate in you being a better teacher and person. In being less stressed, you will have a more positive impact on the kids. In short:
You don’t have to put your hectic classroom on hold to chill out.
Here are a few methods of relaxation you can use in the day at your desk during lunch or even as you teach throughout the day:
Practice yoga “lite.” Moving your arms and body slowly and meditating on your space can have a calming effect before the kids come back.
Take off your shoes and do toe scrunches under your desk. This is great and the minimal aspect of it carries great relaxation rewards.
Fake a smile. Studies have shown that the positive effects of smiling occur whether it is fake or real. “Fake it til you make it” in terms of merriment may lead to real smiles and laughter.
Have photos of your family on your desk. These can take you away from the stressful mental area you may be in and remind you of your priorities.
Exercise. Take quick physical and mental breaks during the day. Walk around the class more and during lunch you can walk the field a couple times to get centered.
Create breathing reminders throughout the day. Paste up a sign where you can see it that says “breathe.” Also, associate common occurrences with a reminder to breathe.
Deep Breathing. While at lunch, put on relaxing music and practice inhaling and exhaling to achieve calm.
These are just some of my ideas I have tried and found relaxing. One more tip: If you can, get audio relaxation music or sounds in your classroom for your break. I have 3 CD’s of the rainforest and the regular forest in my room. I know exactly where they are and can turn them on in a few seconds. This is an excellent way to relax at lunch at my desk.
I know many good teachers are very over-extended, especially these days with so much political drama about the budget and the future of the profession. Make relaxation a priority and you will be better equipped to face these challenges. As a teacher, you don’t have to feel as if your back is up against the wall. When you create relaxation in your day, you will be more effective at meeting the needs of the children you are entrusted to.
Below are a few websites that I recommend. They have some great desk relaxation methods. Give them a read and see if you agree there is some amazing stuff there to help you relax.