10 Ways to Relieve Stress and Support Your Workforce

23rd Apr 2024

School staff often face significant stress, impacting both their well-being and the educational environment. It’s crucial for schools to actively support their staff in managing this stress effectively.

  1. Develop a Supportive School Culture: Create a positive school culture that values open communication, inclusiveness, and mutual respect. Recognise and celebrate staff achievements and create an environment where everyone feels supported and valued.
  2. Utilise Your Wellbeing Programme: Make full use of the school’s wellbeing programme to provide tools for managing stress. This could include access to counselling services, stress management workshops, and resources on mindfulness practices.
  3. Regular Check-ins: Ensure school/wellbeing leaders regularly check in with their teams, focusing on personal well-being in addition to professional duties. This shows that the school values its staff and their overall health.
  4. Create a Quiet Area in the Staff Room: Designate a quiet area in the school where staff can retreat to relax, meditate, or simply take a moment to themselves.
  5. Encourage Social Interaction: Create opportunities for staff to build relationships and support networks through team-building activities and social gatherings.
  6. Promote Physical Activity: Advocate regular exercise as a proven stress reliever.
  7. Encourage Restful Sleep: Promote practices such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a restful sleeping environment, and engaging in relaxing activities before bed, such as reading or listening to soothing music. Introduce techniques such as deep breathing exercises and guided meditations to help staff unwind and achieve better quality sleep, further contributing to stress reduction.
  8. Promote Healthy Eating: Provide access to healthy eating options in the school canteen and educate staff about the benefits of nutrition. Eating well can help stabilise energy levels and improve mood, reducing stress.
  9. Encourage Professional Development: Support staff in their career development with opportunities for further training and education. Knowing they have prospects for professional growth can alleviate job-related anxiety and improve satisfaction.
  10. Communicate Openly About Mental Health: Promote an open dialogue about mental health issues within the school. This includes training for management on how to discuss mental health sensitively and effectively, reducing stigma and encouraging staff to speak openly about their mental health challenges without fear of judgment.

Implementing these strategies can help create a healthier, more supportive work environment for school staff, enabling them to manage stress better and enhance their overall well-being.