5 Mental Health Tips For School Leaders

5 Mental Health Tips For School Leaders

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Mental Health Tips

Covid 19 pandemic led to the prolonged closure of schools, and a majority of schools faced challenges in terms of operations, revenue, delivery and resources. The impact was more evident on low-fee private schools as they didn’t get external support to function smoothly in difficult times and it led to bearing a lot of personal costs to ensure continuity of education.

Dealing with a lot of uncertainty and leading in challenging times led to school leaders coping with multiple managerial and emotional issues. It’s crucial for leaders to be healthy and feeling healthy means a complete sense of wholeness within ourselves – this includes the physical, mental and social wellbeing of individuals. Mental health is most neglected due to misconceptions and taboos attached to it.

“Mental health” refers to your overall psychological well-being. It includes the way you feel about yourself, the quality of your relationships, and your ability to manage your feelings and deal with difficulties.

It’s important to actively engage in maintaining good mental health as it is related to physical, and emotional well-being and connected to productivity and financial stability and impacts the overall quality of life.

Here are a few mental health tips for school leaders:

Be gentle with yourselves: 

We are living in a fast-moving world where things are changing on a daily basis. In the process of coping with changes and work, we tend to ignore or pay less attention to our emotional and social needs. Try to focus on positive things in your life – family, friends and loved ones.

Practice gratitude, these meaningful relationships help people to stay positive and celebrate and acknowledge little successes. Accept mistakes as a part of the learning process, each individual is unique so do not compare yourself with others. Be with yourself where you can reflect and enjoy your own company.  According to WHO, being kind to yourself can help reduce stress.

In the process of coping with changes and work, we tend to ignore or pay less attention to our emotional and social needs. Try to focus on positive things in your life – family, friends and loved ones.

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Set personal and professional boundaries:

As being a school leader is a role with a lot of accountabilities and responsibilities, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed at work sometimes. But why does this happen? To avoid this, it’s necessary to analyze and set some personal and professional boundaries.

It’s important to not only define boundaries but communicate these boundaries effectively by being assertive at the same time empathetic with people. Healthy boundaries help in managing work efficiently and effectively along with building good personal and professional relationships and contribute to the growth of individuals. One of the important parts of boundaries is learning to say ‘No’ objectively and respecting your own boundaries. Eventually, others will follow suit.

Also Read: Leadership traits you need to practice to become a successful school leader

 

Stay fit:

Staying healthy is challenging considering today’s lifestyle. It’s often neglected due to other priorities and lack of proper time management. As we all know – health is wealth, and allocating some time and effort will uplift your quality of life.

Including some form of physical exercise helps stay fit physically and mentally. During exercise, the body releases happy hormones, which boost mood and reduce stress. It also helps you to improve sleep – quality sleep leads to energized and active days.

One of the key factors of staying fit is eating healthy as it impacts the body positively by sourcing energy. Take out some time and invest in health by indulging in relaxation activities to feel calm, happy and manage stress and pressure in daily life.

Develop coping skills: 

On a daily basis, leaders may face many challenges related to people management, decision making, finances and other circumstances that cannot always be under control and can disrupt mental health. Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in recognizing stress, finding sources and focusing on mechanisms to cope positively.

For Example, Conflict is something which causes stress, it’s necessary to recognise and acknowledge the feeling of self and others, so you can communicate disagreements with empathy.

Developing emotional intelligence leads to good problem solving skills, prioritizing tasks and time management, and critical thinking which lead to curbing stress and enhancing work productivity and outcome.

Seek help and support:

It’s always beneficial to seek help whenever required. Accept that everyone needs support and there is no harm in seeking help. Dealing with mental health can be isolating and fearful due to the stigma attached to it but important to address it timely. Pause, breathe and assess and communicate your needs and seek professional health to figure out ways to deal with them and live a healthy life. 

Nowadays it’s necessary to recognise mental health as it is important to live a completely healthy life. School leaders are the backbone of the school and their efforts result in the holistic development of schools.

It’s important for them to take care of their mental health as they impact a lot of people in day-to-day life. Remember – mental health is individual responsibility and no one can take care of your mental health for you.

Practice gratitude:

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig Ziglar

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