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Taking Care of Ourselves: Stress and Relaxation

Stress is natural and may seem inevitable. However, it can take a toll on your health and effectiveness as an early childhood educator or parent. It impacts the quality of care that you can give. When you are too stressed, it is difficult to offer the praise, nurturance, and structure your children need.

Please use the resources below to help reduce your stress:

Taking Care of Ourselves

Download these booklets to learn how to identify your sources of stress. Use the activities to learn the signs and strategies for reducing stress.

Stress Reduction Workshop

Use this PowerPoint presentation and related materials with Head Start staff and families to teach techniques to reduce stress.

A Dozen Posters to Combat Stress

This series of 12 colorful posters teaches effective strategies to reduce stress in Head Start families and staff. Print these out and post them in different areas of your home or program. Programs can try placing them in break rooms, kitchens, or even on the back of the bathroom stall doors—the only places busy teachers get a moment to breathe! These posters are designed to be printed out in color on 8" x 14" paper.

Relaxation Bookmarks

These bookmarks highlight tips on deep breathing. Download and print them onto heavy stock paper for handing out to Head Start families, staff, administrators, and consultants.

Relaxation Exercises

The Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMHC) team has recorded a series of Relaxation Exercises in English and Spanish. These exercises may be used by Head Start and Early Head Start families and staff to help reduce stress.

Last Updated: July 16, 2018