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Prevent teacher burnout with these top tips from wellness expert Nicola Wagstaff

Jul 7th 2023

We might know what can help us rest and recover when we are stressed, but how about those times when we simply feel we have no choice but to carry on and we feel like we can’t even do the things we know that work? These times can be tough and even the most seasoned well-being practitioners have times like these. However, there are certain quick tips that can prevent burnout and also mood caused by stress to prevent spiraling and leaking into other areas of your life. Or at least catch yourself on that spiral and change the direction.

The way I see it is that there are two approaches to how we approach stress; one is acute, meaning, what can we do right now to shift it (I call this 2D), and the other is checking if the way we handle stress is a coping mechanism and/or learned behaviours from long ago. The rabbit hole can go deep and that’s because the subconscious drives 88% of our behaviour, responses and choices (I call this 4D).

We will not delve deep today, but instead some real practical tools to keep that spiral up.

1. What can you drop at work?

When you feel overwhelmed by work and what you have to do, sometimes something has to give. It has to do, or else your body will make you stop. Trust me, I’ve been there. Ask yourself if anything at all can be delegated, handed over, shared, dropped, raised in a meeting. Have you overcommitted to something but feel bad to now say no? If we struggle to even mention this then it’s time to look at the 4D whys.

2. What can you drop at home?

If it’s just temporary workload strain and it’s just about weathering the storm, then maybe something at home needs to be reduced, at least for now (but hopefully long-term in some cases). Ask for help, pay for help, slow down the social activities BUT make sure you are still getting your serotonin and oxytocin (feel good and love hormones from laughter and hugging etc.). Keep talking to those who you trust.

3. Make sure you have your rituals or ‘go-to’s’

No matter how exhausted you feel, or how little time you feel you have, the one thing you can gift yourself is a few deep breaths and closed eyes. Even for a short time you can soothe your nervous system (and hormones) and have a mini reset. This can even be when you’re in your car parked or in a toilet cubicle. There’s always a way. Here you can also reaffirm some of your affirmations that will be easier to digest. Here are my favourite Louise Hay ones:

‘Out of this situation, only good will come, for the greatest and highest good of all, all is well and I am safe, and so it is’

Personally, I get up before my little one in the morning to have 30 mins Miracle Morning with 5 mins meditation, 5 mins gratitude, 5 mins affirmations, 5 mins reading and a little boogie to my favourite song to shake off the stress before it even begins. I feel this sacred time changes my whole day. But if that means watching my favourite Netflix at night too to switch off my busy brain, then that’s also my ritual. Just keep the balance and keep an eye on if it’s soothing or a crutch/addiction.

If those techniques don’t seem to cut the mustard, we need to ask further challenging questions; am I always stressed, even when I’m supposed to be relaxing? Do I always feel some kind of irritation in life? Or, do I know how to speak up and honour my needs? What am I afraid of?

‘I am willing to witness my fear, and see love instead’ 

                                                                                                                                                                       – Gabby Bernstein

This article is about reminding you of your empowerment and that you have the tools inside! It’s just about stepping back and looking, and then choosing.

Keep posted for more mind-hacks and also some practical NLP tools. You can request a webinar on Spirals as my gift to you by emailing hello@inspire-rewire.com

If you enjoyed this blog you can stay up to date with Nicola on Instagram here.