School-Day Stress Relief: A Whiteboard and a Spray Bottle

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In researching this post on managing teacher stress, the information available online was not particularly helpful: get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, take time for yourself… Chances are, you’ve heard all these things before. And, you probably had the same reaction then as now: But I can’t do those things because I don’t have time which is why I’m stressed to begin with. Often, the more stressed we are, the harder it is to eat a home-cooked meal and get to bed at a decent hour.

But, school is about to start and it’s a brand new year, which means now is the time to think about the best way for each of us to stay fresh and happy. Perhaps the key is thinking outside the box – where can we find a moment or two of peace in a busy day devoted entirely to our students? For Gregory Euclide, the answer was right on the wall. To relieve stress during his fast-paced days, Euclide, a Minnesota high-school teacher, took to the whiteboard. “During my lunch break I would start these drawings… I would give myself 25 minutes to finish something,” he explains.

Euclide’s method may seem novel, but expressions of creativity have long been known to relieve stress. Drawing, sculpting, playing music and other acts of creativity allow us to immerse ourselves in what we’re doing so that we can let go, if just for a few moments, of overwhelming stresses. Of course, painting on a whiteboard isn’t for everyone; what are your methods for school-day stress relief?