Tips for Promoting School Employee Wellness
You can have an employee wellness program and follow CDC Guidelines for Operating Schools During COVID-19.
- Wellness is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a March 2020 survey,1 teachers were asked to describe the emotions they felt most often each day. Anxiety was by far the most common.
- Physical activity can lower stress and anxiety.2
- School employees who model good physical and mental health behaviors help support students’ health and academic success.
- Wellness activities can be simple and don’t necessarily take a lot of time or resources.
- Wellness programs can be organized by administrators, school health teams, or even a single school staff member wanting to make a difference.
Consider trying some of these employee wellness activities to support physical and mental health, even in a virtual environment.
- Remind staff about employee assistance programs with access to resources, referrals, and counseling.
- Recognize staff contributions and achievements, and celebrate milestones with others.
- Hold exercise challenges (e.g., steps challenge, exercise minutes challenge).
- Find and share stress management and mental health resources and information.
- Build in physical activity breaks during the school day (can be done along with students).
Other tips you can try!
- Have mindfulness meditation breaks for staff and students during the school day.
- Hold 5-minute mindfulness conference calls for staff.
- Provide or attend professional development on social-emotional skills, trauma-informed approaches (understanding the impact of trauma on the individual), and resilience.
- CASEL CARES: Strategies for Being Your Best Possible ‘SEL’f with Dr. Marc Brackett. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UE2mWPPj0k
- Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106. doi:10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/external icon
- Offerings from Healthy School, Healthy Staff, Healthy Students: A Guide to Improving School Employee Wellnesspdf iconexternal icon