Travel Is a Powerful Antidote to Teacher Burnout

Lexa Pennington's picture

A recent University of Missouri-Columbia study has shown that around 94 per cent of middle school teachers experience high levels of stress, which could contribute to academic and behavioral problems for their students. Of course, similar studies have shown that teachers of other age groups also battle daily stress, with many not finding the support they need to deal with the challenges of their job. In some cases, stress can be so high that it leads to burnout. If this is your case, you may have considered taking time off to travel.

Doing so may be one of the best investments you make, not only in your mental health, but also in the success of your students.

Travel Is a Powerful Antidote to Teacher Burnout
Is Compensation Available for Work Stress and Burnout?

You may have two choices to help ease stress or burnout that is making it impossible for you to work: workers’ compensation and short-term disability. If you develop anxiety or depression, for instance, you may be entitled to short term disability benefits if these illnesses are included in your plan. Otherwise, you may opt for work compensation instead (if the illness is work-related), depending on the laws that exist in your state. Most workers’ compensation insurance policies pay two-thirds of your regular income, while short-term disability generally pays a lower rate (around 60 per cent of your usual salary).

Travel Nips Stress in the Bud

It was once postulated that travel centered around wellness (such as yoga retreats or visits to hot springs or spas) boosted wellness. However, more recent studies have found that simply taking part in leisurely travel for a relatively long, uninterrupted period of time can benefit human beings, because it broadens their experience. Some of the many benefits that result from travel include stress relief, improved perceived health, better life satisfaction, and educational benefits.

Satisfying Your Wanderlust

A January 2021 study by scientists at Washington State University has shown that frequent travelers are happier with their lives than those who don’t travel at all. Those who travel to destinations that are at least 75 miles away are approximately seven per cent happier than those who rarely or never travel. The researchers concluded that although aspects such as work, family life, and social networks play a vital role in one’s wellbeing, getting out of one’s routine and engaging one’s sense of wonder can also improve one’s quality of life. To get yourself motivated, simply start talking about and planning your vacation. The more the thought of a holiday is in your mind, the more you are likely to take the leap and explore border horizons. 

Travel Is a Powerful Antidote to Teacher Burnout

Choosing Wiser Means of Traveling to Work

Even when you are staying at home and working, the means you choose to travel to work can have an impact on your stress levels. One study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management showed that people who cycle to work have lower stress levels within the first 45 minutes of work than those who travel by car. In many ways, experiencing your own city from a bicycle is similar to travelling in that it engages your senses, fosters a sense of independence, leads to interesting discoveries, and lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

A high percentage of teachers battle stress on a daily basis. Studies have shown that travel can help boost your happiness and wellbeing and nip stress in the bud. So, too, can cycling to work instead of taking a car or public transport.

Travel Is a Powerful Antidote to Teacher Burnout