Being a childcare provider comes with added stress and burnout. As important as your job is, it’s far from easy. Many ECE professionals are looking for ways to reduce stress in their day-to-day to make their job more enjoyable and have a better work-life balance.
The first step to managing stress is recognizing the signs and the causes. When we understand our stressors, we’re able to better manage and alleviate burnout.
In this article, we’ll outline manageable stress management techniques to add to your daily routine as a childcare provider. Keep reading for ways to cope with stress throughout the work day and beyond.
Taking the time to incorporate breathing helps lower stress levels. You can even involve children or other staff members in a quick, daily exercise to calm the nervous system. Try these steps to belly breathing to start reducing stress:
- Place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest.
- Breathe through your nose, allowing your stomach to fill with air.
- Hold your breath for three seconds.
- Breathe out through your nose. Feel your belly rise and lower as you breathe in and out.
- Repeat this for three more full breaths.
Daily Movement or Exercise
Incorporate movement into your daily activities with the kids. This could be simple yoga or dancing. By moving your body, you’re improving your overall cardio fitness while releasing endorphins.
Here is an example of yoga you can do with children to get some exercise in at your center. Click here.
Try Healthy Foods
Eating a balanced diet can support your immune system and repair damaged cells. Foods that include omega-3 fats and vegetables have also been shown to regulate cortisol levels and reduce stress. (harvard.edu) To ensure you’re eating healthy meals throughout the week, try meal planning. Encourage your coworkers to join you to help increase accountability. You can even get the kids involved through fun activities. Try out these ideas and incorporate nutritious snacks into their menus.
Regulate Your Sleep Schedule
Sleep is something we could all use more of. However, you can improve your sleep schedule with a few simple tricks!
- Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
- Create a nighttime routine to get your body ready for bed.
- Invest in a sunlight alarm clock to make waking up gradual and less stressful.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
- Make sure your room is dark and comfortable.
Remember, stress is normal but it shouldn’t plague you. Incorporating these techniques as a childcare provider will improve your mental health and overall well-being on your journey to reducing stress.
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