Combating Burnout: Tips for Self-Care


Did you know that workplace burnout has been on the rise ever since the pandemic first hit in 2020? According to The American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stressed from their job, and nearly half of them need help coping with this stress. The education sector is notorious for its high-stress environment, with school staff frequently dealing with long working hours, heavy workloads, increasing administrative tasks, and pressure to focus on the individual needs of each student. Acknowledging burnout is essential to maintain the wellbeing of school employees and empower staff to create a healthy work-life balance. Now is the perfect time to start recognizing your stress triggers and indulging in the things you find most enjoyable.

Main Causes of Burnout in School Workers

In order to tackle burnout head on, we first need to start with knowing what it is and the effects that it has on the individual, both professionally and personally. There are many common causes of burnout in school workers. These include:

  • Excessive workload – Individuals who work in schools are frequently stretched thin and feel pressured to work long hours just to keep up. Large school and class sizes, increasing administrative responsibilities, and limited support staff are just a few of the challenges that lead to an unmanageable workload. 
  • Lack of resources – School employees may believe they are not being provided with the funding, materials, and equipment that is necessary for them to succeed in their role, contributing to feelings of frustration.
  • Administrative pressures – School nurses, teachers, and other educational workers may struggle to keep up with the demands of parents, administrators, and the community. 

Although your work environment may seem difficult and unbearable, there is one blissful thing that you should always strive to squeeze into your schedule: self-care. Like burnout, self-care also comes in many different forms and looks different for each individual. This is the time where you can focus on the most important thing: yourself!

Self-Care Tips (No… It’s Not Selfish!)

Taking intentional steps to nurture your own health and happiness is the first step to eliminating any overwhelming or negative feelings. Find what works best for you and prioritize it as frequently as you can. Psychiatrist, Amanda Itzkoff, explains the three types of self-care that are key to ongoing self-efficacy:

1. Physical

  • Take a nap to recharge your body and mind
  • Connect with nature and embrace the fresh air
  • Engage in physical activity such as jogging, walking, or even dancing
  • Do something crafty or DIY
  • Go for a drive without a destination

2. Mental

  • Journal or write down five things you love about yourself
  • Practice mindfulness with meditation or yoga to stay present in the moment
  • Take breaks when needed
  • Set boundaries when necessary to protect your time and energy
  • Read books to keep your mind occupied 

3.  Social

  • Spend time with your loved ones, including pets
  • Join a club or social group for extra support
  • Volunteer with others that have shared interests 
  • Express gratitude by performing small acts of kindness
  • Unplug from your devices and engage in person 

Recognizing and addressing the stress and burnout epidemic within schools is crucial for building a positive and healthy learning environment. Be sure to take care of yourself as much as you take care of others. Being in tune with your mind and body is the first step to combatting burnout, which is why self-care is so utterly important. Once you assess your own needs and find techniques that work for YOU, workplace challenges will be a little less dreadful and your life will be a little more fulfilling.

To kick-start your self-care routine, check out this video




Posted in School Health