Having enough time for self-care and well-being is very important for teachers: after all, the more relaxed and balanced they feel, the more effectively they can also engage their students! And yet, finding this time can be difficult, as teachers must divide their energy between lesson planning, grading papers, and all the hard hours of teaching – not to mention the even hardest requirement of school meetings!
Fortunately, there exist effective strategies to manage stress, and thus reduce burnout, together with other mental health issues, and improve health, happiness, and effectiveness at work.
As a participant in this very practical course, you will learn what causes stress, how our bodies and minds respond to it, and how we can combat and revert its effects. You will focus on how to strengthen your body through improved sleep, nutrition, and exercise. And you will make practical exercises to improve mental health and well-being through stress-reduction and resiliency-building.
The rich background of the trainer (trained as both a medical doctor and an educator) will help you dive deep into the topics, based on research strategies to relieve stress and supported by evidence-based medicine.
By the end of the course, you will have not only acquired the theoretical bases for a healthy life but also have experienced and practiced concrete tools to improve your personal well-being, as well as that of your students.
The course will help the participants to:
- Master some basic concepts of physiology and psychology (e.g., stress, wellness, burnout);
- Understand the causes of stress reaction, and the effects of stress on the body and the mind;
- Discover the eight dimensions of wellness;
- Evaluate and manage their own wellness;
- Relieve stress and anxiety on a day-to-day basis with practical tips and tools;
- Improve one’s sleep and nutrition through simple tips and small lifestyle changes;
- Practice simple exercises for relax and well-being from mindfulness, yoga and positive psychology;
- Apply basic strategies for burnout prevention.
Day 1 – Introduction to stress management
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Getting to know each other and icebreaker activities;
- Identification of learning needs and goals;
- Presentations of participants, their schools and the trainer;
- Introducing basic terms: stress, wellness, illness and their impact on teaching.
Day 2 – Understanding stress
- Eustress vs distress (short term and long term stress);
- The physiological and mental impact of stress;
- Stress prevention;
- Burnout questionnaire, signs of burnout;
- Coping strategies and stress “first aid”.
- Understanding the concept, wellness continuum by John Travis;
- Evaluating your own 8 dimensions of wellness.
Day 3 – Breathing and relaxation techniques
- Understanding the importance and physiological impact of relaxation techniques;
- Anti-stress and anti-anxiety breathing;
- Box breathing, activating diaphragm;
- Jacobson (progressive muscle) relaxation;
- Autogenic training.
Simple exercise for school breaks
- Office yoga;
- Simple tips for involving more movement into your life.
Day 4 – Improving your sleep to improve your wellness
- How sleep influences our health, memory and cognitive functions;
- 20 tips for better sleep quality;
- Daily routines and habits for better sleep;
- How to help your students sleep better.
Nutrition for stress periods
- Understanding the different nutrition needs in stress;
- Macro and micro nutrients;
- Ideal dietary regimens for different body types;
- Vitamins, minerals and natural supplements to combat stress;
- Healthy snacks and lunches for busy school days.
Day 5 – Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
- Addressing the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to decrease stress;
- Mindfulness meditation;
- Practical experience and tips for practicing at school and at home.
Building emotional resilience
- Recognizing, labelling, and understanding emotions;
- Practicing gratitude, perspective and complex view;
- Self-belief, self-compassion, and motivation;
- Positive psychology.
Day 6 – Course closure & cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.