Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on SEL activities. Check back tomorrow for Part 2.

We are all dealing with high levels of stress right now. On top of normal pressures, current events are causing stress related to job and financial worries, health risks, and disruption to our normal routines. We need to find ways to effectively manage our stress—and practicing SEL activities can help.

When not addressed, stress can lead to harmful health concerns like anxiety and depression, reduced attention, impaired self-regulation, and decreased learning readiness. It can also lead to negative well-being factors, such as sleep and eating disorders. Extended exposure to toxic stress also can have lasting mental and physical health effects.

Related content: 6 actionable SEL strategies

We’ve compiled 10 tips to help educators work through stress and 10 tips to teach students effective stress management. Try these out to find which work best for you and your students.

Educators: 10 SEL activities to de-stress

10 SEL activities for teachers

Educators, we know you have a lot on your plates right now. Be proactive about keeping your stress levels in check. Try these 10 de-stressing activities to find out which strategies work best for you.

1. Identify your stress triggers. Stress can be caused by many different factors — long hours, frustrations around technology and virtual learning, too much news exposure, etc. Make a list of all the stressors in your life, noting those you have control over and those you do not. Begin tackling the list by choosing one or two items you have some control over that cause you the most stress. Make a plan to manage the stressor(s), write down a goal, and create accountable measures to help you follow through.

About the Author:

Emily Doerr has worked in education technology for over four years, specializing in the K-12 market. She currently serves as national marketing coordinator for Aperture Education. The daughter of two college professors, Emily developed a love for learning and for sharing knowledge at a young age and has carried that passion with her throughout her career. When not diving into trends and strategizing, you’ll find her exploring the world and taking on new adventures.

Note: A version of this article first appeared in the 2020 Back to School Guide from Aperture Education. Aperture Education provides social-emotional learning assessments, strategies and resources for schools and out of school time organizations.