Let’s be real: it takes a lot of mental and physical energy to be a teacher. Especially during a time like now when everything is shifting from on-site teaching to remote teaching. When you’re an educator self-care is always important because if you’re taking care of yourself, you’re taking care of your students too.
If you neglect to take care of yourself, you can be at risk of experiencing burnout. Practicing self care is also an excellent way to set an example to your students. It’s very important to try to balance your work and leisure so that you can properly enjoy both. Here are some self-care tips for any teachers out there.
Sometimes when we are writing up to-do lists, we can easily get carried away. Evaluating how you are managing your time is one way to take care of yourself. Look at your to-do list. Are there tasks you only want to do rather than need to do? When you overload yourself with tasks, it can be easy to get flustered and it’s a sure way to experience burnout.
It can also be beneficial to your time-management to set boundaries with students and their families. In an ideal world, we could help others any time they need. But unfortunately, working under that mindset can be detrimental to your mental health. Learn how to say no, or redirect people to other helpful resources.
Taking a Break From Productivity
While on the topic of managing your time, don’t forget to give yourself time to not work. Socializing with loved ones or peers is an excellent way to unwind and rejuvenate yourself. However, it can be hard to unwind if you’re going to just discuss work in your freetime. Try to designate time when you and your coworkers can connect and talk about topics unrelated to work.
Giving yourself enough time to relax and re-energize is crucial to avoiding burnout and maintaining self-care.
Looking at positive messages or quotes can help if you’re having a stressful or overwhelming day. Do your students or their families write you encouraging notes or feedback? Collect them and put them somewhere special so you can look back at them on a rainy day.
You can also collect your favorite motivational, inspiring, and motivational quotes. Create a small project for you and your students where you all share your favorite positive quotes.
Monitoring & Combating Stress Levels
Lastly, take note of your stress symptoms so you can know what you can handle and when you are the most stressed. Try to maintain a self-care routine of activities that relax and calm you. For example, you can try to read outside in your backyard surrounded by nature every weekend (or any activity that you find to be a stress reliever).
There is no set way to practice self-care. Everyone copes with stress differently. Find your stress relievers, manage your time as best as you can, and most importantly, be forgiving to yourself. Practicing these behaviors will make it easier for you to influence your students to do the same.