Here in the South (US) we have had a rainy day. POURING. So, I took my fish for a walk.
Not really...but it is funny right? I thought we might need a laugh. How much do you laugh? Did you know that children laugh more than 300 times per day? Did you know that adults laugh less than 20 times per day? Laughter can reduce levels of stress, aid in digestion, and improves blood flow to the heart.
We are at the time of the year where many of us are stressed. We are pushing to survive the 4th quarter and finish our year strong. Can I get an AMEN!?! Do you look like this?
I wanted to take a moment today to encourage you. So, here are 10 ways to end your year stress free!
We get so busy in our day thinking about the papers that need to be graded by the end of the day, the team meeting we have to go to after school, preparing for that team meeting, how to differentiate for that struggling student, the parent email you need to respond to, and the list goes on! Don't let those moments consume you. Take a moment to listen to student conversations. That will often give you a reason to chuckle. If your students find something that is funny, laugh with them. They will love it and it will make you feel better too!
2. Plan Your Day
Write down what you need to accomplish in the day. Do not write down any more than what has to be accomplished. Writing more than what needs to be accomplished will make your list overwhelming and you will be discouraged at the end of your day when you don't accomplish it all. If everything does not get finished, it is OKAY.
3. Take a Moment to Pause
There are some days when we need "welcomed interruptions." Look for those moments in your day. It may be a child that says "Will you read with me?" or "Can I tell you a story?" I promise the moments you take to listen to their stories will be rewarding.
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien,
― J.R.R. Tolkien,
I believe that encouraging others is always a good dose of healthy medicine. When we take time to encourage others we take the focus off our self and we are thinking about the well being of others. The Bible tells us "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up others." Ephesians 4:29
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am not a huge exercise buff, but I do know that exercising decreases the amount of stress you have in your life. It also helps you to feel better.
So take a walk around the block or......
6. Have a Dance Party
I'm not kidding. You don't have to be the best dancer. Dancing can elevate that heart rate and put a smile on your face at the same time. I have dance parties in my classroom. Here is a little song we like to dance to in my room.
7. Spend Time with Family
Remember that to do list of yours? Now, I want you to PUT IT DOWN. Eventually your job will end and you will one day retire, but you can never get back moments you have with your children and your family. Make it a priority to spend time with your family. Take a bike a ride. Play a board game. Steal a few snuggles on the couch.
8. Be Grateful
In a moment of stress, list things that you are grateful for in your life. Here are a few of mine: I serve a God that loves me, I have a loving family, I have food to eat, I have encouraging coworkers, I am healthy.
I understand that some of you may not believe in God or may have a different belief system than what I believe. However, my faith is the biggest factor to my stress free life. God did not promise that we would not live a life that was stress free or pain free, but He did promise that he would walk through life with us. Begin your day in prayer. Thank God for his blessings and ask him for guidance through the day. Look for ways to serve Him and make His glory your priority.
This last one should not come as a surprise to you. If laughing reduces stress, then of course smiling will have the same effect. Studies show that people who smile improve their heart health. After a stressful meeting, choose happiness and leave with a smile. Teach your students to smile at passing classes and teachers in the hallways.
Here is a picture of me and one of my cute kiddos taking a moment to smile.
Comment below with ways you kick stress in the booty!!!