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Classroom Management: Ways to Stay Healthy, Control Stress

Janelle Cox

As much as teaching is a rewarding job, it can also be an extremely stressful one. Throw in the holiday season, and you could very well have a panic attack.

Teaching is a job where you are constantly putting others’ needs before yourself. But if you want to be an effective teacher, whose students are successful, then you must be able to use classroom management to ease your daily stress, as well as maintain a healthy lifestyle. This means getting enough sleep at night, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with your family, and being positive. Here we will take a brief a look at each of these ways to use classroom management to control the stress in your life.

1. Classroom Management: Always Stay Positive

It easy to always think negatively, but the trick to being stress-free is to always stay positive. When we think positively, we expect a good outcome. Positive thoughts are favorable to the way we see things. Negative thoughts only bring us down. It’s also best to stay away from any negative people or colleagues. You can always find a few of these people in the teacher’s lounge complaining about their job or life in general. Stay away from these people. Surround yourself with people who only have a positive outlook on life and teaching and you will find that you will be much happier.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a master's degree in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the elementary education expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.

2. Incorporate Healthy Foods into Your Diet

While you may pack your child a lunchbox full of healthy foods, you must not forget about yourself. For the always-on-the-go teacher, your body needs a lot of protein to keep your energy up. Pack yourself a few snacks like nuts, berries, or dried fruit to nosh on throughout the day. Pack your lunch with a Greek nonfat yogurt, hummus and carrots, or apples and peanut butter. All of these foods are known to keep your energy and mood up. The goal is to use classroom management to take better care of yourself so that you can be an effective teacher free of stress.

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3. Getting Enough Sleep at Night

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night. This is the most effective and healthiest way to reduce the stress in your life. If you have trouble getting this amount of sleep, then plan to go to bed earlier. It is also a good idea to create a regular bedtime routine. Just as your students or children have a bedtime routine, you should as well. Avoid taking your cell phone into the bedroom or bringing in any schoolwork, because this will just distract you even more.

4. Take the Time to Exercise

Teachers are usually on their feet for most of day, so it’s not uncommon to want to put your feet up as soon as you go home. The problem with this is that the more you are sedentary, the more tired you will become. Exercise is a healthy way to de-stress your body. Take the time to mark your calendar and go for a jog, pick up some free weights, or take that yoga class. Your body and your mind will benefit from it, and it will end up being one of the things that you actually look forward to doing each day.

5. Spend Time with Your Loved Ones

Instead of bringing your work home with you each night, stay after school for a half hour a few nights a week and finish up your work there. Think of your home as your sanctuary. It is a place where you can take time for yourself, and be with the people that you love the most. Go with your friends, take your family out to dinner, or just relax at home with the people that you love. Just being with people and smiling, laughing, and having fun will help to ease any stress that you may have.

Remember if you want to healthy and manage your stress while teaching, then you must get an adequate amount of sleep each night, eat an abundance of healthy foods to keep your body of full of energy and your mind sharp, take a few minutes each day to be active, spend some quality time with your loved ones, and always stay positive. If you are consistent and follow these tips, you are on your way to a healthy, stress-free life of teaching. 

How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle free of stress while teaching each day? Do you have any tips or suggestions that you would like to share? Feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts.