Working in an RTO can be challenging some days. You don’t need us to tell you about the rigours of government regulated environments, the highs and lows of funding contracts and heavy workload peaks during audits, end of year reporting etc etc etc. In short, there are multiple conflicting deadlines and issues that frequently lead to RTO stress for vocational education professionals.

So here’s a list of 50 ideas you could try during stressful times (see below for links to resources for when RTO stress is sustained or you need assistance to manage stress):

  1. Go for a walk
  2. Download an app and do a short meditation or breathing technique
  3. Put a plant or some flowers on your desk
  4. Reduce your caffeine intake - try water or herbal tea instead
  5. Have a quick chat and a laugh with a friend or colleague
  6. Plan and manage your time
  7. Ask for help
  8. Get the training/information you need to boost your confidence (perhaps an AVETMESS webinar?)
  9. Think positively

10. Spend some time outside

11. Eat food that reduces stress (avocados, lemons, dark chocolate, oatmeal and almonds are all reported to be helpful)

12. Use a diffuser

13. Take a bath

14. Take a break from social media

15. Declutter your desk or an area of your home

16. Try out a new recipe

17. Write a list of 3 things you’re grateful for each day

18. Debrief with a trusted friend

19. Listen to some music that makes you feel good

20. Have a massage or facial or both!

21. Get a good night’s sleep

22. Do something creative

23. Spend time with your pet or a friend’s pet

24. Browse in a bookshop

25. Give someone a gift

26. Monitor your stress levels

27. Do some gardening

28. Listen to a podcast or audiobook

29. Watch a funny movie or video

30. Sing or play your musical instrument

31. Cook a meal for some friends

32. Take a fitness class or go to the gym

33. Phone an old friend

34. Make a list of things that make you happy

35. Write a thank you note

36. Do a random act of kindness

37. Pick up a travel brochure and plan your next holiday

38. Play with your children

39. Watch a sunset

40. Put a new inspirational quote in a frame on your desk

41. Go for a bike ride

42. Find a reason to smile

43. Visit a farmers market or craft market

44. Try something new for lunch (away from your desk)

45. Read a poem, short story or novel

46. Talk to yourself like you would to a friend

47. Bake a cake for a neighbour

48. Buy or put together a new outfit

49. Write down your concerns or journal

50. Breathe

You could share these ideas with your colleagues and ask them what works for them during stressful times...

A final thought

Sometimes you may find that you and/or your RTO team need extra support to manage RTO stress. Here are some resources about stress that you may find useful:

Beyond Blue

Better Health Victoria




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Comment below and let us know if you have any other strategies for ensuring compliance at your RTO.