Updated: Dec 6, 2020
I've had a mad busy week running my leadership and coaching courses, team, group and 1:1 coaching and even helped run a Racehackathon across 15 schools. I'm pretty Zoomed out. The common theme amongst all the teachers, middle and senior leaders, headteachers and Executive Heads I've worked with this week has been their exhaustion. I'm genuinely concerned for the wellbeing of many of our staff on the frontline. Have a look at the chart below. Are you thriving? Surviving? In crisis?
If you are teetering on the edge of surviving, here are some quick tips to maintain your mental health and well-being: 1. Breathe - you might ask what on earth does that mean? It means stop everything, focus on your breathing, even if it's just for 10 seconds. Add another 10 seconds every day. Your brain is like the M25, concentrating on your breath turns it to a single country lane. Try the square breathing technique below:
2. Gratitude - there are studies reporting having a gratitude journal has an incredibly positive effect on a person's wellbeing. At the end of each day find the good. In the mud pit you may find a lotus flower.
3. Get active. Whether it's a 1 minute stretch every morning, a 5 minute dance around the kitchen, a 10 min walk or a 20 minute run, being active not only keeps you physically fit but mentally healthy too.
4. Control. Consider what you have control over and what you need to let go of. In these times of uncertainty and being at the mercy of the government's arbitrary decisions, feelings of frustration, helplessness and anxiety can come to the fore. It's difficult, but concentrate on the things you can influence.
5. Ask for help. It's okay not to be okay. If you feel you could do with support, I'm offering 50% off my 1:1 coaching sessions till Christmas.
BUT if you feel you are heading towards crisis, you must get help now. Contact your GP, phone Education Support UK or your local mental health service where you can self-refer.
As an educational professional, due to your tendency towards selflessness, perfectionism and enjoying structure, this current climate of uncertainty, constant change and demands on your time can have a detrimental effect on your mental health and well-being.
It's time to put your own oxygen mask on first.
Mal Krishnasamy is a consultant and executive coach. She's a former senior leader, who now coaches, mentors and trains leaders in education.
Use the code Wellbeing20 for a 50% discount on your first 1:1 coaching session. This is available up to Christmas to support all teachers and leaders during this
unprecedented time. www.malcpd.com/book-online
The @RipleyTSA has shared this graphic below with me. They use it across their different schools for children. The white boxes are for things specific to each school. They generously would love to share and for it to be widely used: