Self-Care Tips for Educators

Image Credit: Heidie Ambrose

The beginning of a new school year typically brings a mix of emotions: the bittersweet end to long, hot summer days with a mix of excitement and anticipation for the start of a brand new school year ahead. But there is nothing typical about this back-to-school September; there are much different emotions swirling through many educators’ heads this fall. Many are feeling overwhelming anxiety for the unknowns of the 2020-2021 school year. Most educators are asking themselves:

“How the heck are we going to make this work?”

Educators are being asked to prepare for a number of educational scenarios and settings, balance their own health concerns with parent fears, oh… and provide a quality education to their students. “Navigating a pandemic” was definitely not a part of our coursework when we decided to pursue a career in education.

Phewf, dealing with these feelings can be so overwhelming.

So how do we cope?

  • Set BoundariesGuard your time. Those after-school hours are so crucial to reset and recharge. Silence your work email after 6pm and don’t feel the need to immediately respond to parents or other staff members after school hours to avoid setting the precedent that you are available 24/7.
  • Unplug With the extra emphasis on e-Learning and technology-use this school year, make a point to take time away from screens. Maybe that means trying a new hobby, reading a book, or calling a friend to catch up.
  • ExerciseAh yes, we’ve heard it before: exercise = endorphins = a better you. But let’s be clear: this doesn’t mean taking an intense HITT class 7 days a week. Instead, try going for a walk around the neighborhood or some at-home yoga or meditation exercises. Check out this blog post for more ways to get creative with your at-home exercise routine.
  • Make ListsSet aside 5-10 minutes each morning to make a list. Separate your daily tasks into “must-dos” and “can dos”. You are not superwoman/man– set realistic goals and expectations for yourself. When you check something off your list, reward yourself with a 5-min mental check-out. **cue daydreaming about your next post-covid vacation**
  • Simple + Meaningful Activities – Once upon a time, we may have been able to spend hours printing, laminating, and cutting out the latest and greatest activities from Teachers Pay Teachers, but that just isn’t realistic right now. Reduce your workload by being meaningful and purposeful with activities you dedicate time preparing. Looking for no-prep, ready-to-use materials? Click here to learn more about our new Social-Emotional Learning curriculum platform.

As educators, we likely spend a majority of our time and energy taking care of others; but during this unprecedented time, it is SO important to take care of ourselves first and foremost. Try incorporating one of these self-care tips each week to slowly develop new, healthy habits. Take it one day at a time, and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories! At the end of the day, we are all trying to do our best and the rest is out of our control.

Craving more ideas for incorporating self-care into your routine this school year? Check out this awesome resource from TeachingChannel.com:


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