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Finding the right balance for you…

Finding the right work-life balance can be a struggle. Let’s face it, we have all found ourselves burnt out at some stage in our life’s hoping our next holiday comes around faster than it seems to be approaching. Unfortunately, as teachers we find it more difficult to leave work at the end of the day and forget about our responsibilities. From lesson planning to marking, are we ever able to just leave at the end of the day and switch off?

‘Health and Safety Executive (HSE.gov.uk) estimate work related stress already costs Britain 15.4 million working days per year. The human costs of unmanaged work related-stress extends far beyond this. A key way to protect your mental health against the potential detrimental effects of work-related stress, amongst other aspects is to ensure you have a healthy work-life balance. Using the tips below we hope will help you find the balance you deserve.

Take personal responsibility

  • Speak up when expectations and demands are too much. Employers need to be aware of where the pressures lie in order to address them.

Work smarter, not longer

  • Prioritising tasks based upon the level of importance can be an effective way of eliminating stress. Rather than soldiering through workloads, take the time to work out what needs to be done and when for.

Draw the line between work and leisure

  • If you need to bring work home, try to ensure that you only work in a certain area of your home and you can close the door on it.

Taking some ‘you’ time

  • We all have our hobbies and interests (If you don’t, find some) this is a fantastic way of forgetting the work life for a while and escaping the stresses that come with. Ensure you have this time! It’s easy to neglect the ‘you’ time and work instead; this only results in stress down the line.

Escape in exercise

  • Healthy body = healthy mind. Rather than sitting in the sometimes toxic staffroom listening to Mrs Jones complain about her class, take a walk. The fresh air and exercise is a great way of reenergizing the mood and as a result, your day.

As teachers, in the UK we are responsible for the next generation, it is our duty to provide them with the best start in life. It’s important that we are the best versions of ourselves in order to do this so I hope the tips above help.

Here are some resources and apps that you may find useful if you are experience stress, depression, or anxiety.  It should be noted that in the first instance you should always seek help from your local GP / doctor.

  • MoodZone by the National Health Service (NHS)
  • Be Mindful (Be Mindful is an online course for reducing stress, depression and anxiety. It guides you through the elements of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
  • Beat Panic (Beat Panic is designed to guide people through a panic attack or raised anxiety using their iPhone or iOS device).
  • Big White Wall (Big White Wall is an online community for people who are stressed, anxious or feeling low. The service has an active forum with round-the-clock support from trained professionals. You can talk anonymously to other members and take part in group or one-to-one therapy with therapists.)
  • BlueIce (BlueIce is an evidenced-based app to help young people manage their emotions and reduce urges to self-harm).
  • Calm Harm (Calm Harm is an app designed to help people resist or manage the urge to self-harm. It’s private and password protected.  Its available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store).
  • Chill Panda (Apple App Store) | Chill Panda (Play Store) – (Learn to relax, manage your worries and improve your wellbeing with Chill Panda. The app measures your heart rate and suggests tasks to suit your state of mind. Tasks include simple breathing techniques and light exercises to take your mind off your worries).
  • Cove (Create music to capture your mood and express how you feel with the Cove app. Instead of words, create music to reflect emotions like joy, sadness, calm and anger. You can store your music in a personal journal, or send them to someone and let the music do the talking).
  • Cypher (Apple App Store) | Cypher (Google Play Store) –  (Cypher (formerly Silent Secret) is an anonymous peer-to-peer social network. It is a space to share your feelings and secrets, give and receive support, and connect to other support organisations).
  • distrACT (Apple App Store) | (Google Play Store) – (The distrACT app gives you easy, quick and discreet access to information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts.  The content has been created by doctors and experts in self-harming and suicide prevention).
  • Feeling Good: Positive Mindset (Apple App Store) | (Google Play Store) – Relax your body and mind with a series of audio tracks designed to help you build confidence, energy and a positive mindset.
  • Leso (Ieso is an online course using instant messaging for people with mental health problems. The confidential service puts you in touch with a therapist trained in cognitive behavioural therapy. The therapy is by text so you can review your sessions at any time).
  • My Possible Self : The Mental Health App (Take control of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour with the My Possible Self mental health app. Use the simple learning modules to manage fear, anxiety and stress and tackle unhelpful thinking. Record your experiences and track symptoms to better understand your mental health).
  • Sleepio (Sleepio is an online sleep improvement programme, clinically proven to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep through the night, and give you more energy during the day.  The programme is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). You will learn cognitive techniques to help tackle the racing mind and behavioural strategies to help reset sleeping patterns naturally, without relying on sleeping pills).
  • Sleepstation (Sleepstation is a 6-week online course for people who struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night. The course is tailored to your needs, using the information you provide, and gives you access to a team of sleep experts who will offer helpful advice and support throughout).
  • Stress & Anxiety Companion (Apple App Store) | (Google Play Store) – (Stress & Anxiety Companion helps you handle stress and anxiety on-the-go. Using breathing exercises, relaxing music and games designed to calm the mind, the app helps you change negative thoughts to help you better cope with life’s ups and downs).
  • Thrive (Apple App Store) | (Google Play Store) –  (Thrive helps you prevent and manage stress, anxiety and related conditions. The game based app can be used to relax before a stressful situation or on a more regular basis to help you live a happier, more stress-free life).

Related

For students experiencing worries, stress, anxiety or depression we encourage you to review the following app:

  • Student Health App (The Student Health App provides easy access to more than 900 pages of reliable health information all in one place. The content has been created for university students by NHS doctors and is regularly updated.  Use the app to reduce your worries, feel more confident and get the support you need at what can be a challenging time for any student).

Please share your thoughts and tips below.

Disclaimer: The app developer is solely responsible for their app’s advertisement, compliance and fitness for purpose. Unless stated otherwise, apps are not supplied by EpicJobs, and Epicjobs is not liable for their use.

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