How to Combat Provider Stress and Burnout

by Vicki Lehman, Professional Development Specialist

Life can be stressful! The life of an early childhood teacher can be even more stressful. We are in a profession of caregivers, so it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves. I know how hard and stressful your job can be – I was a preschool teacher for 7 years in a 4/5 Pre-K classroom.

When I was in the classroom, something that really helped me was meditation. I would meditate when I got home from work. There are tons of guided meditations on YouTube you should check out. I know it may seem silly the first few times, but I found that it seriously worked for me. Yoga is great for relaxation too.

If you take care of yourself,  you can be the best version of “you” for the children in your care.

HOW CAN YOU BE A STRESS SURVIVOR?

  • Prioritize and know your limits – You can’t do everything, and that is okay. Figure out what is important, and go from there.
  • Take a deep breath – You will be amazed what taking a few seconds to take a few deep breaths will do for you!
  • Take time for yourself – Write, read, meditate, or listen to music.  Figure out what works for you and make time for it.
  • Ask for help –You can’t do everything, and no one expects you to. Ask for help when you need help!
  • Learn more about the children in your care and their needs – The more you know and understand them the better.
  • Spend time with adults – You spend your whole day with young children; make sure you are spending time with adults as well!

Remember: it is okay to take time for you! Self-care is NOT selfish.

COMMIT TO MAKE A CHANGE

Try this: take a few minutes and think about ONE thing you can change over the next month to help decrease the amount of stress you experience. Write it down on a piece of paper and revisit the paper a month from now.

At the end of the day, the children in your care deserve your absolute best “you”.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

I’m teaching a number of classes over the coming weeks on this topic. I would love to see you in person for one or more of these FREE trainings! Each of these trainings also offer 2.25 hours of CDA06 credit hours.

Cover image by Flickr user (T)imothep, Creative Commons license.

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