There’s no doubt that teaching is an extremely important profession. When educating the next generation of learners is on your shoulders, it can be really difficult to take breaks. But at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that to be the best teacher you can be, you have to take care of yourself first.
If you’re looking for a self-care reset, here are a few tips:
Start the day off right
Each morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, so make a habit of giving yourself 10 minutes in the morning that are just for you! Fill them with activities that make you happy: listening to music, going on a walk, or just enjoying your coffee in peace. Meditation can also be a great way to prepare for the day, and free resources like Calm, Headspace, and InsightTimer can help you get started. Create a morning routine that’s all about you, so that you start each day with a positive mindset.
Have a laugh
Laughter really is the best medicine. To get the giggles going, watch a standup routine on Netflix or YouTube, schedule that chat with a friend who always makes you laugh, or check out some teacher-related humor from sites like WeAreTeachers. Even after a long day, you’ll find that the best antidote to stress is a good laugh.
Celebrate your accomplishments
Sometimes it can be easy to focus on all the things you still have left to do. Instead, reflect on what you’ve already accomplished! Recognize your own hard work and celebrate the wins, both big and small. Try saving a folder of successes that you can look back on, from student achievements to kudos from fellow teachers. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, these can put a smile on your face and help you see the bigger picture.
Take screen-free time
Screens provide many fun activities, but it’s important to spend some time away from them. Block some time on your calendar that’s just for you, put away your phone, and give yourself space from responsibilities and distractions. Use the time to explore a hobby new or old, like cooking, playing with pets, caring for plants, or listening to an audiobook or podcast.
Get some exercise
Exercise builds endorphins and helps you de-stress. Find a type of exercise that works best for you, and be consistent about working it into your day. Whether it’s taking quick breaks to stretch and do jumping jacks, or closing out each day with a long run or yoga session, the key is to get your body moving in a way that’s fun and doable.
Lean in to breaks
Remember that school breaks are your time. Whether it’s a weekend, winter break, or over the summer, make sure you use the time to recharge. Prioritize your own needs, like connecting with friends and family, diving into your hobbies, or simply taking some time to rest. As a teacher, it can be difficult to take days off outside from these designated breaks, so it’s especially important to disconnect from work and lean in to them.