5 WAYS OF PRACTICING SELF-CARE AS A TEACHER
Practicing self-care as a teacher is essential to maintaining good healthy habits that lead to happy teachers.
Why do Teachers Need Self-Care?
As a teacher, you tend to put self-care on the back burner. For many educators, teaching is much more than a job. It can become all-consuming as you realize the systemic challenges in education, the endless needs of your students, and the family involvement teaching can require. You take care of everything and everybody ALL of the time, which inevitably means that you neglect yourself. Am I right? Teacher burnout is real. Well today, I want to remind you to prioritize yourself to prevent teacher burnout by practicing self-care as a teacher.
Ultimately, we love our students and want what is best for them. However, this means your energy needs to be endless to meet all of their needs. Practicing self-care as a teacher will help fill up your well of energy so you aren’t continuously pouring from an empty cup. Teacher self-care will make your career sustainable long-term. Specifically, when you care for yourself, your stress and anxiety will be reduced. Essentially, this means a happier teacher and happier students. A win-win!We’ve compiled a list of self-care ideas for teachers so that you can continue to do what you love in the classroom while taking better care of yourself.Write your text here...
Benefits of Practicing Self-Care
This is one of the most essential self-care techniques a teacher must learn. Initially, it can be so difficult to close your computer at the end of the day when you have papers to grade, parents to respond to, and report card grades due soon. However, you must teach yourself that the work will always be there. You deserve to go home each day and have a personal life that is recharging and restful. Remember, teaching is not your only identity!
Honestly, ensuring that your hours outside of school are filled with what brings you joy, excitement, and fulfillment is key. The more you begin practicing self-care outside of work hours, the more energized you will be when you return.
Part of teacher self-care involves having good time management skills. Specifically, this means trying to commit to always leaving work at the same time every day, regardless of how long your to-do list becomes. Furthermore, make sure you are efficient with your time during the work day so that you can get more done during your work hours and have less to worry about when you head home. However, this can be easier said than done!
Capitalize on the Joy and Gratitude
One of my favorite teacher self-care ideas I learned from my first year was to make a “shine” folder in my email inbox. Every time I get a nice note from a parent, a surprise email from a student, or a complimentary email from my principal, it goes into my “shine” folder for me to go back to and read if I’m having a hard moment in my work day.
That way, I always have a little boost for when things feel challenging because as a teacher they often do! Also, take note of the joyful moments where you feel immense gratitude for what you do. Try writing these moments down, jotting them on sticky notes, or keeping them in a note on your phone.
Reminding yourself of all the reasons teaching makes you smile and returning to those reminders whenever you need them is the best way of practicing self-care.
Incorporate Mindfulness into your Day
Mindfulness has endless benefits for you… and your students! A sneaky way that I incorporate some self-care for both myself and my students each day is by having students enter the class as mindfulness meditation is playing. Honestly, this not only gives students a moment to settle into the new classroom environment, but it gives me a moment of pause to take a deep breath before beginning the next class.
However, If this is not a possibility in your schedule, try to really take note of how your body feels throughout the day. Specifically, focus on the moments when you feel anxious or overwhelmed. If so, see if you can take five minutes for yourself to take a walk, listen to a guided meditation, or tune into your breathing. A 5-minute self-care reset can do wonders when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Schedule in You Time
I know what your’e thinking! How can I possibly fit any more into my day on my teacher schedule, right?
However, scheduling in time for practicing self-care is arguably the most important part of your day. Whether this is a daily walk, time to read your favorite novel, or making a wonderful meal for yourself, commit to doing one thing every day that is entirely for you and your wellbeing.
Regardless of what you choose, it is so important that you take that time for no one else but yourself. You spend SO much time thinking about everyone else- you deserve the benefits of self-care too!
Meet Your Basic Needs
It may seem like a ridiculous thing to remind yourself, but seriously…Are you drinking enough water every day? Getting 6-8 hours of sleep? Eating three meals and moving your body each day?
These health necessities ensure that your body is functioning effectively. Our self-care can suffer the most when we aren’t meeting our basic needs. Therefore, when you are not sleeping enough or meeting these basic needs, everything else may feel difficult. So even though it seems obvious, I’m sure you can think of one of the areas we listed that you can try to be more intentional about getting enough of.
For me, it’s putting away my phone so that I can get more rest at night. This profession is a difficult one, and not one for the faint of heart. Because of this, it can make practicing self-care seem unimportant.
However, teaching is one of the most important careers you could choose, and the difference you make in your students’ lives every day is astronomical. Please, please remember to implement self-care ideas throughout your day.
Ultimately, you deserve all of the love and care that you give to your students every day. Although teaching can feel overwhelming, prioritizing and practicing self-care (YES, sometimes even before GRADING!) can be a real game changer.
Any time you feel yourself starting to tire out, return to this list and remind yourself of the self-care you deserve. You can do this, and we are cheering for you!
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