20 Ideas for Stress Management in ECE

Posted on June 22, 2017 at 7:45 PM

#1 Take a moment. When you are at your wits end, first know that we all get there at some point or other, and then take a deep breath and count to 10. If you need to count out loud, do so.

#2 Singing can sometimes do the trick. Try this one, sung to the tune of The Muffin man. It works well in the cloakroom when getting ready to go somewhere. As the children are listening, you can do up lots of zippers!

How many hands does Christine (slide in your name) have, Christine have, Christine have

How many hands does Christine have, she only has two.

But I wish I had 20 hands, 20 hands, 20 hands, but I wish I had 20 hands, so I can do everything at once.

By the time the song is finished, you may feel better and the children might have calmed down in requesting your help. Grab any well known tune, and just start throwing words in there. Singing lightens up the space and moods.

# 3 Find a theme song to play in your head...something that makes you smile. I have used, Bob Marley’s, Three Little Birds, especially the verse, “Don’t you worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright” many a time!

# 4 Use a phrase or imagery to help calm down. Here are some suggestions:

 Quack, quack, let it slide off your back

 Be jello, and wiggle it out

 Don’t sweat the small stuff

 It is what it is

# 5 Post motivational quotes where you can see them. Such as:

 Everything happens for a reason

 Today you are YOU, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is YOUER than YOU---Dr. Seuss

# 5 Stay positive and try to see the glass as half full, which is sometimes easier said than done. Perhaps attempt to remember the meaningfulness of childcare work and how you are impacting a child’s life, and therefore the world as a whole.

# 6 Find the humour: laugh.

# 7 Write down something funny a child said, then post it to remind yourself of the joy they bring and why you decided to be a childcare provider.

# 8 Remember to breathe.

# 9 Put the judgement and critique away, onto a pretend shelf, for awhile.

# 10 Let go of trying to control other people’s behaviour and find a way to understand their position. Practise empathy and imagine walking in their shoes.

# 11 Find your balance. Everyone’s stress level is different, so stop comparing yourself to others, and listen to your body, heart and mind. Say no if you are feeling overwhelmed. Let go of a commitment or project. Remember, that if you are happy and not rundown, you will be a better caregiver.

# 12 Lean on others. If you are working in a team, remember it is okay to ask your colleague to step in with a child’s behaviour. Remember that we all have different personalities and different styles. We all have buttons pushed inside of us and it is based on our own makeup and history. So, if one child is pushing your buttons, chances are another staff member finds this child amusing! 

# 13 Have fun. You are payed to play! So, play tag with the children, slide down a slide, or dance with them to some favourite songs.

# 14 Is another colleague causing you the stress? Try and talk it out. Conflict is always hard to face, but if done properly, then it can be solved in a constructive manner.

#15 Are you tired of the office politics? Next time, make a decision to graciously walk away when venting discussions or gossip occur. 

# 16 Go for a walk on your break. 

# 17 De- clutter your working environment. 

#18 Remember, it’s okay to cry.

# 19 Pamper yourself. Buy yourself some flowers, or a truffle or two and place them at work to remind yourself that you are amazing! Give yourself a pat on the back!

# 20 Keep a gratitude journal. Write down at the end of your day, what you are grateful for.

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