Combat Burnout with Improved Posture and Physical Movement
3 Steps to give you Back Your Power and Energy in the class room
“Burnout hits 1 in 4 teachers”
You are counting down the days until the next school holiday break. But the fact is, by the end of the school term, you are exhausted – emotionally and physically.
You spend the next 2 weeks of what should be your holidays, recovering from the long working hours, classroom work preparation, school reports, meetings and parent teacher interviews.
Just as you begin to feel ‘normal’ and rested, you have to do it all over again..
What can you do for your physical health to better manage your stress to avoid the various stages of burnout? How can you break this vicious cycle?
Here are 3 simple steps to Take Back Your Power!
1. Check your Posture
Simply changing your posture and engaging in expansive postures known as ‘power poses’ can lower the production of your stress hormones. So, the next time you are up in front of the class and teaching I encourage you to try standing a little taller and be open with your gestures. Not only will you capture your students attention but you will feel more relaxed. (1)
2. Breathing Exercises
Controlled breathing techniques are a promising antidote to combat stress and anxiety. What we often don’t realise is that when we are stressed our body stores tension and our breathing becomes shallow. Try taking a slow breath in for 5 seconds, holding for 5 seconds and then breathing out for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times to decrease your heart rate and reconnect to your physical body. (2)
3. Physical Movement
There are many forms of exercise that are of benefit for stress reduction. Walking in nature is the easiest way to start. By orientating yourself in nature you create a calming affect on your nervous system. Yoga, Pilates, Meditation and Stretching all have a positive effect on your well being and depending on your level of burnout and injuries, more vigorous exercise such as strength training, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and running are all relevant and of benefit. (2)(3) Begin by incorporating some form of movement mentioned above at least 3 x per week to feel the benefits.
Louisa is an Exercise Physiologist in Melbourne. If you would like assistance in better managing your stress and burnout, feel free to get in touch to discuss further.
- Cuddy, A. J. C., Wilmuth, C. A., Yap, A. J., & Carney, D. R. (2015). Preparatory power posing affects nonverbal presence and job interview performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(4), 1286–1295.
- Esi van der Zwan, J,. De Vente, W., Huizink, A. C., Bögels, S. M., De Bruin, E. I. (2015). Physical Activity, Mindfulness Meditation, or Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback for Stress Reduction: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback,December 2015, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 257–268.
- Gerber, M., Brand, S., Herrmann, C., Colledged, F., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., Puhse, U. (2014) Increased objectively assessed vigorous-intensity exercise is associated with reduced stress, increased mental health and good objective and subjective sleep in young adults. Physiology & Behaviour, August 2014, Volume 135, pp 17-24.