Job stress tips
Quick Ways to Relieve Job Stress
- Make sure you get and keep mental and physical activities in your life
that you enjoy. Make these pastimes separate and apart from work.
Don’t work in a vacuum. Get together formally
in groups or informally with co-workers and colleagues. You can identify
problems and exchange solutions and strategies. Share the load, and you’ll
find you lighten the burden.
Know your own individualized reactions to job stress.
Ask the people who know you the best to describe in detail what you do
when under job stress. … Once you can produce the symptom on command,
you have the power to control it.
- The best medicine is to take care of your self. Don’t let problems
- But if you cannot come up with a strategy to effectively deal with your
job stress or problem, get professional help
Joe Pastore, Manager JSH
How teacher education students cope with stress on the practicum
Personal Coping Strategies
Five specific strategies were identified under the category of Personal coping
strategies. Personal coping was represented in:
Cognitive strategies such as positive thinking, setting
realistic expectations, pragmatism, and blocking the negative, and included
comments like: “I concentrated on the positive aspects more than
the negative” and “Telling myself that I am not an experienced
teacher and cannot expect to perform like one”.
Physical strategies, some of which were active (recreation,
sport and general exercise) while others were passive (listening to music,
watching TV, reading).
Behavioral strategies. These included the reported practice
of engaging in routines, like walking the dog, doing housework, activities
that did not require thought. “I coped with stress by having a can
of coke and a biscuit at recess times.”
Emotional strategies included use of self-deprecation,
a capacity of students to laugh at themselves: “If you make a mistake,
like writing a word incorrectly in front of the class, it shows you are
human”, and trying not to be hard on themselves “I just did
the best that I could.”
Rational/Time Organization strategies were identified
by students in the way they clearly defined their priorities for work and
free time: “On weekends I spent some time not thinking about anything
involved with teaching.” Students commonly stressed the importance
of making time for themselves during the teaching practicum. Finding the
time to relax, either passively or in a physically active way, was a widely
Professional Coping Strategies
Being well prepared for lessons as well as for the general
responsibilities associated with life as a school teacher were seen as important
strategies in avoiding stress. Three specific Professional coping strategies
Knowledge of the curriculum and what they were expected
to teach and knowing the structure, organisation and culture of the school
helped students feel comfortable in that environment.
Use of self-management skills such as preparation, planning
and organizational skills were reflected in comments like “I tried
to be well organised to prevent a last minute panic. I used detailed lesson
plans and programmed the day in detail. On the home front I also tried
to be better organised.” Some students used self-reflection. “I’m
here to learn to be better so I have to face all challenges” while
others reported techniques for managing school related problems.
Professional qualities were classified as strategies
where they were clearly adaptive. “At least one lesson a week I would
plan something I enjoyed as much as the kids, such as music and drama.” Students
generally did not emphasise the role that a sound grasp of the curriculum
or an awareness of school organization and culture might have as coping
strategies. However, it might be that these are assumed elements of ‘being
Social Coping Strategies
Turning to family and friends in times of crisis or simply
for conversation and reflection was widely reported as a significant coping
strategy. Involvement in social events such ‘partying’ and general
socialising away from their practicum school were seen by the students as important.
Thus, social coping included:
- Discussion with people who were identified as friends and family: “I
never had any stress. I made sure of this by socialising with staff and other
students at a cafe after school” and
- Involvement in social events: “After school socialising, general
socialising and partying.”
Institutional Coping Strategies
Within this category were human and system-related strategies
involving both the School and the University. Considerable emphasis was given
to the importance of talking to, and learning from, supervising teachers. Having
other student teachers in the school with whom to share experiences was also
regarded as helpful.
At the school level, the support of the students’ supervising
teacher, other teachers, and student teacher peers provided a human contact
in times of stress. A system-related school strategy was exemplified by
use of non-instructional time which provided ‘breathing space’ in
a hectic week.
At the University level, the University supervisor provided
a human point of contact while contact with the University Teaching Experience
Office was identified as a system-related coping strategy.
Murray-Harvey, R., Slee, P.T., Lawson, M.J.,
Silins, H., Banfield, G., & Russell, A. (2000). ‘Under Stress:
The concerns and coping strategies of teacher education students’, European
Journal of Teacher Education, Vol 23 (1) 19-35.
7 Habits of Effective People
Stephen Covey offers
advice on how to manage your overall work life effectively, especially
the section on ‘personal management’:
- Be Proactive.
- Begin With The End In Mind.
- Put First Things First.
- Renewal, creating an upward spiral of growth.