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Stress management for early childhood educators

© Christine Moore Stress Management
© Christine Moore

Stress, we all feel it, we all have it. A good level of stress does motivate us to perform better. But, when stress becomes a consistent presence in our lives, our bodies, over a long period of time, it can have unhealthy impacts. Our body’s stress system becomes overloaded as it sits in emergency mode. People can begin to have physical and emotional results that are not beneficial to positive wellbeing. So, by keeping ourselves in check with stress, by listening to our bodies, mind and spirit carefully, by adopting valuable coping strategies, and actively carrying them out, we are controlling how stress affects our lives. Working with children is one of the most meaningful occupations. It leaves you with a sense of purpose, moments of joy brought by the preciousness of children, and many hugs. But, on the other side, it holds stressors indeed. After time, our need to keep calm and patient can become strained, we feel tapped out and the overworked/underpaid phrase starts to ring in our ears. When childcare providers, begin to reach their stress limit, it is time to start getting real and look at the stress in their bodies and mind. Stress is a risk factor to our health and wellbeing. Stress can and should be managed. To be a good caregiver is to take care of ourselves as well, if not first. The first step is realizing we are in control. We cannot fix with one big band aid the problems of society, governmental systems, and the childcare profession as a whole, but we can control our reaction. We are in charge of our thoughts, emotions, and internal dialogue. We are in charge of our attitude. Another important step is to get healthier and stronger. If you are feeling good then you have more energy to cope with whatever comes your way. So, it must be said, try to eat healthy, get a good night sleep and exercise. We can make small changes in our environment and life that will move us towards being less stressed. When we realize we are in control of our stress, it is the basis of stress management! .

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