14 minutes read
June 20, 2022
The Top 21 Tried and Proven Self-Care Tips for Teachers
Teaching can be mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. And the duty of a teacher is to nurture both learners and own families. Unfortunately, teachers often end up forgetting to take care of themselves. However, consistent personal care is a must!
Self-care recharges a person in various ways and even feeds one’s soul. For teachers, practicing self-care can be both challenging and vital.
Check out 21 ideas of self-care tips for teachers. Definitely, some ideas might resonate with you more than others. This list may encourage you to include at least one act of self-care every day!
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is any activity done intentionally that helps preserve our emotional, physical, and mental health. Although effective self-care can improve mood and reduce anxiety, this simple concept is mostly overlooked.
A self-care activity might be as simple as listening to your favorite music, enjoying a cup of tea, or going out for a nature walk.
Just think about simple activities that re-energize you. Then, note down and implement any activity that works best for you.
Self-care activity should be something that you regularly plan rather than something that randomly happens. So, add specific activities to your calendar. Then, notify others of your plans to increase your commitment and look for opportunities to practice self-care.
Plus, find out if you can incorporate self-care plans in your normal day with support from colleagues or school management.
Importance of Self-Care for Teachers
Teachers have an incredibly important task of educating the future. This comes with a lot of stress, which makes it challenging to work effectively.
Normally, we all get worried at times, but there are ways to prevent adverse effects of these worries on our lives. That is only possible through self-care. When teachers look after themselves, they reduce the likelihood of professional burnout. Check out other effects of high daily stress levels:
- Irritability and anxiety
- Poor decision-making
- Loss of memory
- Lack of motivation
- Substance abuse
Thus, every teacher needs to feel energized and happy to make the workflow become more manageable. Be sure to schedule your time for self-care! It is the best thing you can reward yourself with as a teacher.
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21 Self Care Tips for Teachers
Start Your Day Positively
Craft a positive morning routine even if it means waking up 20 minutes earlier. Write it in a journal; stretch/exercise, meditate, or read your favorite novel while sipping your morning tea.
Also, listen to your favorite music and dance or sing along. Cuddle with your puppy. Say a prayer if you’re religious or take a walk.
Simply do whatever lifts your spirit and sets the tone for a productive and positive day. It is recommended to spend some quiet and lonely time before the needs of others pile up.
Be Mindful of Your Physical Self
Physical and mental health go hand-in-hand. For example, when you’re physically feeling well, it helps your mental health. Exercises release endorphins which make us happy and boost our mood.
So, get to a great part and run or have a walk. Again, take fun classes at your local gym or join a sports club.
A teacher’s day is exhaustingly social. So, spare about 15 minutes to decompress at the end of the day or during your planning time. Sit quietly and meditate or do some of your favorite stress-relieving activities.
If you can only spare 10 minutes, that is impressive! Remember that you don’t always have to rush to answer the next email or plan your next lesson.
Taking a break at work can:
- Improve mental health
- Reduce stress
- Lessen body aches
- Help you reevaluate your goals
- Refocus your mind
- Improve creativity
Set a few minutes for you as this will help you attend to your duties with a clear, fresh mind.
Healthy habits include eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water, sleeping plentifully, and exercising regularly. When you are physically fit, you feel better mentally, too. Plus, these practices keep you feeling strong, stable, and regulated.
If you have difficulties with setting up new habits, just link them to your existing routines. For example, drink a glass of water before brushing your teeth at night and in the morning or briefly exercise as you cook dinner.
Perform Stress-Relieving Activities
Find out at least three activities that soothe your stress. What helps you feel happy, calm, and at peace? These might include listening to music, taking deep breaths, painting, writing a gratitude journal, squeezing a stress ball, etc.
Perform these activities consistently. Consider what triggers your stress and learn to spot signs that your stress increases. Simply create an “emergency self-care” kit to help break out some of these activities accordingly.
Acknowledge Moments of Joy or Gratitude
Look for moments of gratitude and connection and embrace them. Try writing down something that made you smile, humorous moments, or something you’re forever grateful for. Here are some tiny, joyful moments that lift up a teacher’s mood. Please take a look!
- When the school management compliments you
- When the weather is perfect
- When you are taking a warmer shower
- When your favorite food is served
- When you have a day with no complaints
- When you have an awesome date with your colleagues
- When you see the pretty look on your pet’s face whenever they meet you
Write these moments in a journal or jot them down in a notebook on your desk. Still, you can share these moments with your students and request them to share their own.
Set Realistic Expectations for Yourself
Teachers are obliged to fix their student’s issues and help better their future. When these goals are not achieved, teachers might feel demoralized.
Remember, you’re only a human. Thus, be kind to yourself by setting reasonable expectations. Consider what you’d like to do and what can really be done.
For example, you might provide a supportive classroom environment. Here are the tips:
- Greet your students with enthusiasm every morning
- Provide students with time to share events, items, or happenings with you
- Take time to solve the differences in the classroom
- Say NO to bullying
- Read with your students
- Smile often
- Sit with your students
- Always keep the good vibes
Take good care of yourself so that you might show up as your best self.
End your school day by taking a few deep and meditative breaths. Still, you can say a mantra like, “I have completed what I could do today” or “I have done important work today.” After that, say, “I won’t let the stress and worry go until tomorrow.”
Listen to Music
Listen to your favorite music or album and jam yourself out. One study found that music boosts your moods if you actively try to feel happier. Simply dance like nobody’s watching!
Sleep Plentifully (About 7 Hours)
Don’t ignore anything that you can do for your health! Lack of enough sleep increases risk of stroke, heart attack, obesity, and diabetes. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep and don’t shy from taking a quick cat nap!
Ideally, it is helpful to often say “NO.” You can’t just do everything for everyone even though you’re willing. Don’t voluntarily participate in every school activity, serve on every committee, or even attend every game.
Thus, mark your work limit. For example, you can decide not to work after 8:00 p.m. and on weekends. However, if you do it, ensure you observe your work limit – often hit the off switch.
Journaling is beneficial to your mental health and overall self-care. Write down your emotions to help express yourself unbiasedly. The approach helps you track what triggers your emotions and find how to prepare yourself when they hit again.
Still, journaling helps develop a plan to ultimately reduce your anxiety and stress. Please be kind to yourself as you journal. This is your private place to jot down your desires anyhow. Nobody is grading you!
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Try Adult Versions of Crafts
Teachers often make some type of crafts daily. Simply make the adult version of such crafts. For instance, try a champagne-scented rather than vanilla-scented soap.
Again, how about painting on wine glasses rather than painting on paper? You can make your colleague a bracelet with classy beads. It might be challenging to gather your friends for a craft night out, but you can meet virtually for a joint crafting session.
Spend Time with Friends
You can relieve stress by having a good chat and laughing with your pals. If you teach abroad, chat with your colleagues and make new friends. Sincerely, you’ll be glad about it!
You might perhaps have a lot in common, so plan a coffee day away from school! Here, you can chat about things other than work.
Read! Read! Read!
Whether you love historical biographies or fantasy novels, spare some time of your day for reading. It might be challenging to develop a reading habit, but try to slow down your social media scroll and read a few chapters.
After dinner or before bed, reduce your screen time and read a book! Or else try an audiobook as you cook. Kindle, book, or audio with an interesting story help soothe your mind.
Socialize with Fellow Teachers
It’s only your fellow teacher who understands your classroom struggles. So, find a colleague and share those hard experiences. Brainstorm and commiserate ways to work through your hardships. Laugh and share a meal and prepare to face problems again tomorrow.
Detox Your Social Media Accounts
It feels rude to unfollow people on Twitter or Facebook. But if you constantly cringe at your friend’s too-candid update, defer to their religious or political posts, or don’t like their IRL, it is time to unfollow them!
Actually, it doesn’t have to be a major statement. Twitter and Facebook allow you to stop seeing someone’s update without unfollowing them.
Here are 5 reasons why social media detox is good for you:
- It will protect your privacy
- You’ll stop feeling competitive
- You will improve your general mood
- You can reconnect with the real world
- It creates a lot of free time
Researchers believe that baking is a meditative act. You have to measure the ingredients precisely and mix them rightfully, and eventually, you’re rewarded with awesome results: a sweet treat!
Pet a Cat
Or a dog! Pets boost humans’ mental health. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression, and petting triggers your body to release this hormone.
Also, petting has several health benefits. This includes decreasing blood pressure, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels, wards off boredom and loneliness, and encourages you to socialize and exercise more.
Don’t Ignore the Small Things (They’re Really Big Things)
You can do some small things for yourself. They might appear as nothing, but realistically, they positively take good care of you. For example, a cup of coffee during a break or a bite of chocolate might seem like normal things.
But if you like it, then definitely spare time to enjoy it to brighten your day.
Stick to Your Self-Care Routines Daily
You should start and end your day with self-care practices. Start your day with guided meditation and end it with gentle stretches.
And during the day, aim for small activities of self-care. For example, stop and reflect on your feelings whenever you get upset.
Be attentive to self-talk by talking to yourself the way you would to a friend. Remind yourself what you can control whenever you’re stressed or anxious.
Speak it Out!
Sadly, most people who offer help often find it hard to ask for it. Create a reliable support system both in and out of school and don’t shy from reaching out when you face hard times. After all, you aren’t requesting anything you might not happily offer!
You can benefit from consulting a counselor or therapist. And take time off whenever you need it. Your students will be fine for a day, and you’ll return feeling recharged, refreshed, and ready to offer them love.
Closing Remarks: Self-Care for Teachers
Teachers’ self-care strategies are helpful practices that help avoid burnout, chronic stress, and limited productivity. Ignore any guilt associated with self-care and take it as the only way to offer your best self to others.
Please, remember you also deserve care! Simply stick to any of the self-care tips and notice how you’ll feel better and teach productively.