Helping Teachers Cope with Stress Is e3’s Passion
By Caryn Gehlmann
Most of us acknowledge that teachers have stressful jobs. Teaching can be so immensely rewarding, yet it’s also demanding. I have a special place in my heart for teachers. I know many teachers personally, iincluding my son who has been an educator for over 25 years and is currently the assistant principal of an elementary school in Medford Oregon. They’ve worked so hard to keep things as normal as possible for our kids during the last few years. So helping teachers cope with stress is part of e3’s mission.
While teaching has always had its stresses, it’s been especially challenging during the pandemic. In fact, in a recent survey, 60% of teachers say they experience job-related stress frequently or always. When asked what effects job-related stress has they reported, “a harder time sleeping, they’re less able to enjoy their free time with family or friends, and their physical health suffers.”
This impacts our children as well since students tend to be more stressed when their teachers are. 41% of teachers said they feel like they’re less effective at their job when they’re stressed. Research shows this to be true. When teachers are highly stressed, the quality of their instruction, classroom management, and relationships with students suffer.
Helping Teachers Cope with Stress Technique #1 — Box Breathing
However, there are easy self-care strategies that teachers can use to help manage their stress levels. We’re going to get some of their real-life tips below on what’s working for them. It was interesting, in researching this subject, one strategy kept showing up for managing teacher stress — deep breathing! They specifically recommend box breathing. This is where you inhale deeply through your nose for four counts. Hold the breath for four counts. Then exhale evenly through your mouth for four counts. Pause for four counts. Then repeat the cycle for two or three minutes.
For more on this technique, as well as how to easily integrate aromatherapy into your breathing exercises, check out 3 Easy Breathwork Techniques to Restore Calm. If this works for Navy Seals it can work for you!
Helping Teachers Cope with Stress Technique #2 — Aromatherapy
“As I am getting ready before my students arrive, I am usually near the diffuser for at least 15 minutes. I think it contributes to starting the day on a good note, relaxed and ready for what may arrive. The diffuser is typically one or 2 oils since I have to be mindful of how the students may respond. I usually add e3’s Resilience blend to support my immune system to my aromatherapy necklace.”
“In addition to being a full-time teacher, I’m a full-time student studying for my Masters. After teaching energetic 7-year-olds all day, it can be hard to find the energy to start my online classes when I get home. Concentrate blend in my aromatherapy inhaler helps pick me up. I also use e3’s Relax blend at night to help unwind for bed… this blend is especially helpful so that I can relax and get a better quality of sleep after a busy day.”
“Many of our teachers use oils in their classrooms. Whenever I hold conferences, the parents can feel the effect the oils have on the environment of the classroom and so appreciate this. I personally have found that I am using more oils for myself throughout the day to mitigate the stress so I can serve the children from a grounded place.”
Please note: It’s recommended that educators consult their school district’s policy before using essential oils in the classroom.
“My principal and I are working on a year-long professional series related to brain science. We hope to support teachers and staff by providing them with the latest research related to human learning. Also, this approach will grow our staff’s capacity to adapt to change as we implement initiatives to improve our school. We gave everyone a “Brain Bag” to kick off the series of workshops and included the E3 roll-ons, Be Calm and Revitalize. We plan to follow up with a workshop about how scent affects the brain and how essential oils can be therapeutic and promote wellness while working in a stressful and rewarding environment.”
Did you notice they all used different essential oils in different ways? Yolia goes on to give some excellent advice, “What I say to my fellow teachers is that they need to find an oil that they find pleasant, and let it work for them. I find that to be true for me. Some days I am into citrus scents, and other days I find them too sweet. Or I love Peppermint one day, but then need a break from it. Same goes for floral ones. So trust in what intuitively feels right, and it can work wonders.”
Helping Teachers Cope with Stress Technique #3 — Self-Care
If you’re homeschooling your children, you are an “unpaid and unsung teacher” and you definitely need some self-care strategies. Get tips for you and your kids here, Homeschool Stress? Try 3 Aromatherapy Survival Tips. And one of our newer blends, Alignment, is specifically designed to promote learning. Feel free to request a free sample with your next order, if you want to give it a try in your home or classroom.
Would you like to learn more about the science behind aromatherapy and how to make your own special blends? Our free ebook, Listen to Your Nose – An Introduction to Aromatherapy is free to download.