Stop Stress Sign

Six Stress-Busting Tips for Teachers

Back to school is exciting, but let's face it, it can also be stressful. A new study from the University of Missouri found that 93 percent of elementary school teachers reported experiencing high levels of stress.

But we can help! Isaac Johnston, MD, a family medicine physician at Olathe Health Family Medicine - Blackfoot, has six stress-busting tips to get you through the school year. Dr. Johnston sees patients of all ages in the clinic and hospital, and delivers babies.

1. Make Friends

Teaching can be a challenging profession so lean on your coworkers. Make friends with your new fellow teachers and administration, and use them as a support network.

2. Manage Stress with a Healthy Diet

The secret to a healthy diet is meal planning. Stay away from riding the "sugar rollercoaster" throughout the day and keep caffeine at reasonable consumption levels. The best way to avoid the afternoon lull is to keep lunches moderate in size and free of sugar.

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is beneficial to essentially every part of health - especially managing stress. I recommend at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week. If this seems overwhelming, that's okay! Never underestimate the power of daily walks in the evening.

4. Sleep!

Nowadays, I see so many patients (including your students) who are not getting enough sleep. Adults still need at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Skipping out on needed sleep will turn into less energy, less exercise, poor eating choices and snowball into an unhealthy lifestyle. You will not regret making time for those Zzz’s!

5. Use De-Stressers

If you have a planning periods and need to de-stress, play calming classical music. This can also be done with students in the room during homework time. More evidence is coming out about the power of essential oils, as well. Lavender and chamomile have been shown to help treat anxiety and stress.

6. Watch for Red Flags

Nearly 10 percent of people will have a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder or major depression at some point in their lives. Red flags that stress may be more than just typical stress include:

  • Consistent trouble sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Trouble functioning at work
  • Not enjoying hobbies/interests that you once did

If you notice these red flags, seek help. The sooner these are treated, the better the response. To contact a family medicine physician, visit our family medicine page, or call 913-782-2224.

You might also be interested in:

  • Children running to school

    Back-to-School: Easy as 1-2-3

    Transitioning into a school-year routine can be stressful for families. Dr. Amanda Sommerville, an Olathe Health pediatrician and internal medicine specialist, has some tips to help ease everyone back into fall.

    Read More >
  • Couple looking at computer

    What You Should Know About the New Colon Cancer Screening Recommendations

    The American Cancer Society recently recommended individuals at average risk for colorectal cancer get screened earlier. Ashok Attaluri, MD, a gastroenterologist with Olathe Health GI Specialists, explains the reason for the new recommendation and answers other commonly asked questions.

    Read More >
  • Little girl at the beach

    Summer Safety Tips

    Summer is almost here, which means lots of new fun. It’s a great time to refresh your memory on summer safety tips for kids as you spend the days outside, in the water and on vacation!

    Read More >