For most Australian teachers the school holidays are coming to an end and Term Two is lurking overhead. It’s likely that you have spent the past two weeks boosting your immune system, getting your energy levels back and recovering from any stress related illness or injury in your body.

The outside world likes to remind teachers that they have “12 weeks paid leave a year, so it’s got to be cruisy, stop your complaining!” OR “Surely you have been off sun baking by pools in Bali and sipping cocktails.”

Now for some, this may be true, however I am certain that I would be speaking for most teachers who have actually been busy marking assessments, programming for next term, preparing classrooms and getting organised. All with the best intention to have a balanced, happy and successful Term Two, right?

Then… Week One commences and it begins: deadlines for programs, due dates for assessment items, it’s a report writing term, parents are already requesting meetings, children’s energies all over the place as they have been away from the structured school day. Your positive energy is already beginning to fade…. STOP!

The first thing teachers must do, is catch themselves falling into any form of victim or loss of power.

It’s time to take responsibility and move from merely surviving to thriving.

From my own experience of burning out, adrenal fatigue and anxiety, I moved from full time teaching into studying health and wellness. After travelling on my own journey, I believe there is definitely another way of “being” in this career. I am passionate about empowering teachers to move from surviving to thriving in all areas of their life.


1.   Learn diaphragmatic breathing.

This technique activates your parasympathetic (chilled out) nervous system and will help you to feel calmer and less reactive to external influences.

2.   Monitor your energy systems.

Our Yin energy (receiving) /Yang (giving) needs to be balanced over the 24 hours in a day. As teachers we are outputting energy all day long. Give back to ‘you’ through rest, meditation, massage, gentle yoga, nourishing food and 7-8 hrs sleep.

3.   Practise Meditation or Mindfulness.

Daily practise will alleviate stress and will assist you in learning to be present in the moment. If you get stuck in your thoughts (stories in your mind) you may have challenges switching off and can become overwhelmed. This activates your sympathetic nervous system sending a stress response through the body.

4.   Be in nature for at least 15 minutes every day.

Shoes off feels amazing! Nature helps you to re-energise, feel more grounded in your body and to have a natural, deeper connection to yourself.

5.   Learn to protect your energy.

Build healthy boundaries between you and the energy of others. Energy is transferrable and if you become too invested in the problems of colleagues, students and parents, you can become drained. Jump in the ocean, pool or shower and wash away the energies of the day.

6.   Move your body.

Light exercise on the days you are “giving” lots of energy like yoga, walking or swimming and on the days you have more energy, try get active at the gym, outdoors or moving your body in a way that brings you JOY!

7.   Learn to say “No”!

There I said it. Teachers can be conditioned to be “YES” people, wanting to please others, be seen as “doing the right thing” and the teacher who does it all. This will ensure you get a permanent job right? Well this isn’t realistic and when you take on too much you can’t do things as effectively or…. you burn out! Listen to your gut feelings (binji) when making decisions and know that it’s ok to say “No”. When you do this, you are in fact saying “Yes” to yourself and will be a more effective teacher.

8.   Ask for help!

Remember the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. Well… you could have 30 of them in your class. Support is always around, buddy up with another teacher and always check in on each other.

9.   Make healthier choices for your body!

Drink 2-3 Litres of water a day and eat LESS processed sugar. Sugar affects our gut health and our brain! Keep some fruit in the fridge for those afternoon cravings!

10.  Do more of what brings YOU JOY!

Set aside time for yourself each day to fill your cup! We cannot pour from an empty cup.

If you are interested in hearing more on how to really THRIVE as a teacher, I am running a FREE webinar for teachers on Tuesday 30th April at 8pm (Sydney, NSW).

Register here.

Join the webinar by clicking here.

For those more interested in the 6 week online program commencing 7th May 2019 where I will support you and offer new tools each week to implement in your own life and classroom, read more here.


Angela Tonkin

The Heart of Living