Are you struggling to cope right now? Are you exhausted and burnt out?
Teaching is one of the hardest jobs. It can be physically AND emotionally draining.
It’s especially intense at the moment with millions of teachers trying to teach during a pandemic.
Teacher self-care is even more important now than it was before. You need to look after yourself for your students’ sake. But you also need to look after yourself for you and your family’s sake.
So here are 10 self care tips for teachers that you need to try.
1.) Stop Working
The sad truth is that teachers spend so much of their free time lesson planning. I used to spend every Sunday planning for the next week. It ruined my weekends.
You need to be strict with yourself and set aside some time to stop working. Maybe you’ll stop working on weekends. Maybe you’ll make a pact with yourself to leave work earlier each day.
It’s easier said than done, right?
But here’s the thing. I used to spend hours of my weekends working because I was always trying to go that extra mile. I was always trying to make cute classroom décor or crafty lessons that required lots of laminating or preparation.
Sometimes you just have to do the bare minimum and take some time off for yourself.
2.) Buy resources instead of making them
I used to spend my Sundays making worksheets or designing lessons from scratch. It was so time consuming!
You can save lesson planning time by buying resources on Teachers Pay Teachers. There are so many no prep and done-for-you lesson plans and activities that can save you hours of time. Consider investing in some units of work or packets full of activities that will save you planning time.
3.) Have some time to yourself
Some teachers take a break from working but then they find themselves cleaning the house, cooking dinner, or doing various childcare responsibilities for their family.
Are you guilty of this?
Sometimes you need to be truly alone so that you can relax and unwind. Carve out some time, whether it’s an hour, afternoon, or even a whole day, where you are spending time alone and not cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, running errands, or parenting!
4.) Do something truly relaxing
This is different for everyone. Some people love a good bubble bath, I know I do! Maybe you find reading a book relaxing or just lying down and resting your eyes.
The most important thing is that you have some quiet time away from loud noise, like the TV.
5.) Treat yourself
Eat some delicious food or have a glass of wine. Go to the spa or get your hair and nails done.
Heck, go for a shopping spree!
Whatever you do, spend some money on YOU and don’t feel guilty about it for a second.
6.) Get some endorphins
Exercise has been proven to be amazing for mental health.
As hard as it can be, I encourage you to get off the couch and get moving.
It can be something relaxing like going for a walk or having a swim. Or maybe you could join a class or a gym and completely switch off from being a teacher.
Some exercise classes (like Zumba) are SO much fun! I started playing tennis and going to Zumba classes in the evenings. It revitalized me!
7.) Find a hobby
It’s tempting to spend our down time on social media or watching Netflix. But if you have a hobby or interest, it can bring you so much more joy!
Get crafty, join a sports team, or practice an instrument. Ask yourself what else you enjoy doing but have been neglecting.
8.) Stop screen time
Teaching during this pandemic has meant that lots of teachers are spending more and more time on technology. It’s so important to take a break!
Social media can make us feel like we’re not good enough, so put your phone away and take an hour off.
It might be hard at first, but you’ll be surprised how nice it can be to switch off from all the noise.
9.) Get social
Sometimes when we’re exhausted, the last thing we want to do is be social. But spending time with friends and family can be the best way to improve your mental health.
Use it as a chance to take your mind off teaching and have some fun!
10.) Look after your body
Drink some water and get some sleep because you need to take care of your body. Getting plenty of water and sleep is so important to your physical health.
Take a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Go to bed earlier or take a nap. Don’t forget to look after your body! Eating healthy food can also give you more energy.
S0, there are my top 10 self care tips for teachers.
Be strict on yourself and commit to trying them, because it’s so important that you look after yourself.
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P.S – Follow me on Instagram @terrificteachingtactics to see more helpful tips!