Being a teacher is also being an expert at self-sacrifice. Teachers always sacrifice to the point where they sacrifice their evening to put together their lesson plans, they sacrifice their mornings near the copier, and they also sacrifice their summer break for meetings and PDs.
All of this comes with the job because when you’re a teacher, you don’t just teach—you’re also giving them you’re all. It’s amazing how self-less teachers can be.
Yet, when it comes to caring for themselves, that’s the only time they might fall short. They tend to skip on their breaks, give up healthy snacks, and just overall do it wrong when it comes to self-care.
Are you looking for motivation and encouragement? Commence the new school year with positive thoughts and aim for productive student learning year-round!
And it’s high time for this to change for the better. Here are 7 Effective Self-care Strategies For Teachers that will surely work even for the busiest ones!
7 Effective Self-care Strategies For Teachers: Take Charge of Your Life!
1.) Set aside time for self-care routines
Many teachers would agree that the last thing they would want to do especially during busy seasons in school is to take some time off for themselves because there’s always an after-school activity or two, piles of test papers and homework to grade or a list of lesson plans to plan.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the tasks that you need to get done in time, it may be difficult for you to set aside some time for self-care, but still, that’s not an excuse to not prioritize it.
Self-care is not just about personal growth. It’s about setting boundaries to keep yourself sane and healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Setting aside time for self-care will also help you become a better teacher which will then result to you creating a better environment for your students. Remember, energy is contagious, so if you’re feeling stressed out and exhausted your students and colleagues will also feel the same.
There are many methods that you can do and include as part of your self-care routine. You can try out meditating, journaling, exercising, traveling, picking up a new hobby, and eating healthy foods—these are valid forms of self-care that you’ll need in order for you to thrive.
So try to experiment and see what form of self-care is really effective for you. Maybe it can be by listening to music, cooking your favorite food, or just about any activity that will help you feel grounded when you need it the most.
2.) Handle your emotional health with care
In your day-to-day life as a teacher, you will be clashing with different types of people and different kinds of emotions. Some of them can be positive, and of course, it’s inevitable for you to face negative ones as well, and all of them should be managed carefully.
This is the reason why teachers need to have the great ability to control their emotional responses, which can require great control of your own feeling as well.
These are some tips that will help you manage your emotional health:
Be aware of your own emotions
Emotional self-awareness is one of the first steps you can take toward effective self-care. Try to be aware of things that can trigger emotions inside you like sadness, happiness, guilt, and relief. Learning to be aware of what provokes your emotions will help guide your decision-making process as well as provide insight into how you can better cope with challenging situations in the future.
Do something that makes you feel good
Take some time off and start doing something that you love, something that makes you feel good. It can be a walk in your favorite park, spending time with your family, watching your favorite series, or even getting a massage. Doing things that you love to do will help bring back peace and balance you out when it feels like everything is just going haywire.
3.) Laugh because you need it!
People often underestimate the power of laughing. As we all know laughter is one of the best medicine for the mind, body, and soul—and sometimes all we really need is a good long laugh to help give us a reset.
Not only is it good for your health, but it’s also best for your mental health, emotional health, relationships, and stress levels as well. It’s also known that laughing can also boost our immune system.
So give it a go and watch that comedy movie that you’ve been meaning to watch or scroll through relatable memes that just gets your laughing gear starting and let yourself laugh out loud!
4.) Keep your water bottle near you at all times
When our body is dehydrated it tends to muddle the way we think. This is because lack of hydration can impair our ability to think clearly which is vital for teachers who make decisions almost every minute of every day.
Drinking water helps keep your body hydrated, and when you’re hydrated your mind is kept alert and focused, and it also helps fuel physical activity such as running around with kids or keeping up with all the activities that you and your students participate in both in and outside of the classroom.
So it can only make sense that keeping yourself hydrated is also a form of self-care, so try as much as possible to take multiple sips of water throughout the day and finish at least 1-2 liters of water a day.
5.) Take a break when you need to, and make those breaks count
Teachers are humans, and like anyone with a stressful job, they need to take some time off for self-care.
Teachers are more likely than people in other professions to experience high levels of stress, burnout, depression, and anxiety as well. Most teachers also suffer from injury-related chronic pain at a higher rate than people working in other fields.
This is the reason why it’s important for teachers like you to take breaks when you need them because taking a break can make all the difference in how you’ll be able to handle stress and other problems that you deal with day in and day out in school.
Make sure that you are taking ample break time to let your mind rest for at least around 20 minutes or so, and make sure that you finish it. This will help prevent burnout as it will give you time to relax in between tasks. This will also prevent thought from one task to carry over to the other.
Recharge your brain and body, so that when it’s time for you to come back from break, it has more energy to face the day head-on!
6.) Include exercise in your schedule
In order to make sure you’re in tip-top shape physically, emotionally, and mentally you have to be physically active.
Exercise has a plethora of benefits for your mind and body. And when done regularly it can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and it may also improve your mental health.
With regular exercise, you can also improve your sleep, reduce stress levels, enhance your memory skills, and reduce the overall risk of depression and anxiety.
7.) Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it
If we were in a perfect world, you will never need to do this. But sadly, we need to face the truth. If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out to the point that you can’t take it anymore, refrain from keeping it all to yourself because you will be hurting yourself even more.
There are plenty of people who can help, from your family and friends to your colleagues who you may be surprised to share the same sentiments with you.
You can also consider asking for professional help about the issue you’re facing; they’re the expert and they’ll be able to give you advice as to how you best address your concerns so that you’ll no longer feel like you’re drowning in stress with work anymore!
At the end of the day,
Remember that self-care is not a luxury, it’s a basic need. And that there’s no problem with prioritizing your needs over those of others because with you being a teacher, you’re already giving so much of yourself without you even realizing it.
Always keep in mind that you’re an amazing and one-of-a-kind teacher and that your students and their parents and most importantly the whole world recognize you and appreciate you!
But you can only keep it up as long as you take care of yourself first! And one last thing before we go ahead and close the curtains—remember to take it easy and have fun!
Until our next one, hats off to all the amazing teachers!