Students will become overly stressed at some point throughout the school year – it is inevitable. It may be due to workload, issues outside of school, or the weight of extracurriculars and schoolwork. No matter what the issue is, teachers need to be able to combat the problem head on and help students manage on lower stress on a daily basis. There are many ways you can integrate stress management into the classroom. The list below provides a few ways you can bring stress management into the classroom and provide your students with tools to manage it as well.
Guided classroom meditation can be an excellent stress reliever. It is a great way to start the school day to get students centered, ready for the day ahead, and is a great stress manager. Meditation is proven to lower stress and clear your mind from flooding thoughts. Doing so will help your students prioritize the day and decompress.
There are many different breathing techniques that help eliminate and manage stress. Breathing is also great in extremely high-stress scenarios where a student is starting to feel out of control of their stress level. An easy exercise to teach and practice regularly in the classroom are breathing squares. As a group, everyone will breath in for 4 counts and then hold for 4 counts. To complete the square, breathe out for 4 counts and then hold for 4 counts. This can be repeated a few times to mitigate stress and bring everyone back to a center state. Breathing is one of the most basic functions of survival. Controlling your breath relaxes the body and quiets the mind.
Teach Time Management
Stress can quickly develop due, in part, to poor time management. Introduce different time management techniques to the class. Not everyone will be a hit or work for each student. Giving them options to explore what works for them will be an empowering measure in taking control of the time they need to get their work done. The better your students manage their time, the less pressure they will feel.
Overall, having discussions about stress and mental health is important in any classroom setting. Students may not even realize they are under intense stress before it becomes too much for them to handle. Having open discussions about it and providing students with techniques to battle stress, they will become better equipped to de-stress outside of the classroom as well.