DeStress Monday at School

The DeStress Monday at School Program is designed to support teachers and educators by offering simple ways to introduce stress management techniques into their routine, starting every Monday. Through a series of practices created by Johns Hopkins University and The Monday Campaigns, the DeStress Monday at School Program helps teachers—and their students—start the week with a new tool for managing stress, to help them feel more focused, energized, and relaxed.

The DeStress Monday at School Program includes 20 stress management practices for teachers to try on their own, then introduce into the classroom at their discretion. Watch this short introductory video for more information or review the full curriculum below.

Before You Begin the Program

Learn why Monday is the best day to refresh your intentions and introduce new healthy practices to your classroom.

Curriculum

The five sets of activities below are designed to help reduce stress for you and your students, starting with the “Starting the Day” material and working down through “Connecting with Others.”

These morning activities help us get ready to make the most of the day.

Use these practices to help you tap into your own energy, strength, and vitality.

Turn to these mindfulness practices when you or your classroom are having a difficult time focusing.

These practices are helpful for settling the mind and relaxing.

These practices offer ways to connect — or re-connect — to ourselves and others.

Starting the Day

Each morning brings a new day to experience. Some mornings we may wake up with lots of energy and want to jump out of bed. Other mornings we may feel tired or worried or just want to pull the covers over our heads. No matter how we feel when we wake up, we can take time to check in with ourselves. We can notice what the day feels like and set a goal for something we want to try doing or feeling during the day, like being kind to ourselves or other people. These morning activities help us get us ready to make the most of the day.

Start your day with an expert-guided meditation and teach your students about setting intentions with the help of a brief recorded intention-setting practice.

Start your morning with bed yoga and mindful bed-making and practice mindful breathing in your classroom with the help of two guided meditations.

Practice balance and concentration at home and in your classroom with the help of an instructive video.

Bring positive energy into your home and classroom by performing a sun salutation with the help of an instructive video.

Boosting Energy

Monday is a great day to increase your energy, so that you can participate fully and whole-heartedly in the week. Some Mondays we may wake up feeling refreshed and energetic. Other Mondays we may feel tired from a late night or long weekend; we may feel weary at the thought of the week ahead. Use these practices to help you tap into your own energy, strength, and vitality on a Monday or on any other day of the week!

Build strength, focus, and determination at home and in your classroom with the help of an instructive video.

Boost your mood and your energy with a joyful dance break.

Unwind between classes with the help of our instructive chair yoga videos and then lead your students in a fun game of Sound Ball.

Combine meditation and movement through mindful walking with the help of a guided audio meditation.

Improving Focus

Sometimes when we are aware of how we are (that is, when we are mindful), we notice that our attention is flitting around from one thing to another, and we’re having a difficult time focusing on what we want to be doing. At those times, the practices below can be helpful for increasing focus. While they may seem simple, they are not necessarily easy. And they may require practice.

Practice mindfulness while you eat with the help of an instructive video.

Explore the fundamentals of mindful listening with an in-depth video and then lead your class in a guided mindful listening audio meditation.

Still your mind with a guided mindfulness audio meditation and teach your students how they can practice mindfulness throughout their day with a rainbow walk exercise.

Turn doodling into a meditation with our mindful drawing activity.

Calming the Mind

Everybody gets upset sometimes – that’s part of being human! Mondays are great days to remember that fact and practice how to settle our minds and emotions, so we can look forward and focus on our week. It is helpful to recognize that having upsetting thoughts or feelings is a natural part of being human. It’s also helpful to recognize that difficult thoughts and feelings can settle down, especially if we allow them to settle down. Many people find the practices below helpful for calming our minds. While they may seem simple, they are not necessarily easy and they may require practice.

Still your thoughts and then lead your classroom in a mind jar visualization exercise with the help of our instructive video.

Practice keeping a cool head with a mindfulness exercise and help your class recognize and manage challenging emotions with our guided audio meditation.

Settle your mind with a mindful breathing exercise and teach your class to appreciate living in the moment with a guided audio meditation about listening to the rain.

Color your way to a calmer mind with our printable coloring sheets.

Connecting with Others

Sometimes when we are rushing through our day and trying to get things done, we may find that we’re easily frustrated or critical of ourselves or other people. It can be hard to feel compassionate and connected with ourselves, our students, and other people in our lives. These practices offer ways to connect — or re-connect — to ourselves and others. You may find that the practices help you be just a little kinder to yourself. You may also find that the practices take you “out of your own head,” off autopilot, and back into connection with the world. Sometimes that sense of connection can help us de-stress and remember that we are not alone but are part of a community. Practicing on Mondays is a great way to start the week!

Practice self-compassion with the help of a guided audio meditation.

Watch an inspirational video on performing random acts of kindness and inspire your students to celebrate their acts of kindness by setting up a kindness garden in your classroom.

Explore the difference between empathy and sympathy in a short video from Brené Brown and help your students practice empathy with two guided audio meditations.

Practice loving kindness with the help of a guided audio meditation and encourage your students to think about how they're connected to the wider world with our Connect the Dots exercise.