Headteachers are under huge pressure to perform in increasingly difficult environments. A recent survey of headteachers conducted by the ASCL found that –
72.4% of respondents didn’t feel that they had an acceptable work/life balance.
47.7% believing their workload to be unmanageable. More than half of the survey respondents said that they were considering quitting.
84% of teachers described themselves as stressed in the 2020 Teacher Wellbeing Index
The most effective schools recognise that its staff are their greatest asset and put huge value on protecting their mental health and wellbeing. Headteacher s who have good mental health are much more likely to create an emotionally healthy environment for both pupils and other staff members.
In settings where there is a focus on promoting wellbeing and maintaining good mental health for staff, the benefits for pupils and other staff members are clear –
• Improved outcomes and results
• Reduced absences and long term sick leave
• Increased productivity
• Improved relationships
So, what needs to happen to prevent headteacher burnout?
- Firstly, recognise the signs
We all know that burnout has many different symptoms but even the most common can catch us off guard. These include – detachment and disinterest in the job, feeling constantly exhausted, disinterested in the things we usually love, struggling to remain focused or motivated and ultimately, decreased performance.
- Don’t ignore stress and anxiety
The more we ignore stress or anxiety, the worse it can take hold. By not addressing the root causes it will start to affect every area of a person’s life not just their work life. This includes both mental and physical health. Changes need to be made; action needs to be taken.
- Take charge and create a plan of action
We all have different views on what creates an effective work life balance but having time to recharge and reset is so important to perform at our very best.
Do what we know works, allow time for relaxation and well-deserved breaks. Make more time for the things that we enjoy and plan in plenty of things to look forward to.
We also need to learn to say no when needed.
The implementation of wellbeing related programmes, mental health days and having someone we can go to for support doesn’t just apply to staff members and pupils either. By implementing regular relaxation programmes and practices into our daily routine we learn how to break the cycle of stress, live firmly in the moment, feel more rested and in control.
At Mindful Me Health & Wellbeing we design and deliver bespoke online Mindfulness courses to meet the needs of clients working in the primary education sector. Our programmes provide stress busting mindfulness techniques that have helped professionals avoid burnout.
We offer an exciting, fresh approach to delivering empowering mindfulness programmes to alleviate the negative effects of stress and improve emotional health and well-being of both teachers and pupils.
To find out about the packages that we offer for primary schools, contact us here.