Key Voices #108 – Managing stress with Maria Brosnan

“Sleeplessness is a feature of the stress response… if we’ve had a stressful, busy, exhausting day, those hormones of stress stay in our bodies for hours and hours. So we lie down and expect to go to sleep but it’s like having a pint of espresso in our bodies! So how do we learn the skills to manage stress?“

This week we talk to Maria Brosnan, an educational leadership and well-being specialist. We discuss in some detail what happens in the body when we experience stress, plus Maria shares some practical techniques that can help us manage our response. We also consider coaching as a way of resolving issues, the importance of sleep and the ongoing impact of anxiety linked to the pandemic. 

We talk about: 
  • Maria’s background in well-being and her work in schools
  • Why school staff can sometimes find it hard to practice genuine self-care
  • The physiology of what happens to our bodies when we react to stress
  • The different biological ways men and women respond to stress
  • The impact of chronic stress and anxiety, and a demonstration of a technique for self-regulation 
  • How to take a holistic approach to your well-being 
  • Why coaching can be an effective tool for feeling more in control of your life
  • How Maria’s work has changed since the pandemic and how she is currently supporting school leaders, including with her work on sleep
  • The importance of nuance and compassion when dealing with others at this difficult time 


You can learn more about Maria’s approach to well-being here

Her work on sleep can be found here 

She has some free resources available here

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