Self-care is not selfish. It is necessary and important to your effectiveness as a teacher, and really is the best gift you can give both yourself and your students.
Too busy putting everyone else’s needs first to know where to begin with your own? We’ve got 20 suggestions for self-care to get you started:
1. Take one day off.
2. Decide one thing to stop doing. Not everything, just one thing.
3. Say no to one thing. Not everything, just one thing.
4. Let one thing go. So your costumes won’t be perfect or authentic.
5. Ask for help for one task. From a student, a colleague, or your admin.
6. Make one personal appointment: the gym, yoga, hair/nails, etc. Write it down and keep it.
7. Pick one song, put on your headphones, close your eyes and be with the song.
8. Do one task at home: clean a room, do the laundry. Not all the tasks, just one.
9. Set an “end of work time” for the day.
10. Focus on one thing you can do today and do that.
11. Get air. Go outside for five minutes. Breathe.
12. Drink water. Eat a vegetable.Take a vitamin.
13. Actually have lunch. Don’t grade, don’t plan, give that time to yourself.
14. Watch five minutes of something that makes you laugh.
15. Talk to your best friend for five minutes.
16. If you have a free minute, instead of checking your phone, sit with your eyes closed.
17. Find your outlet. If you’re stressed, how can you get it out?
18. Set boundaries for work email and social media. Set a time when you stop responding.
19. Acknowledge your effort. You are working hard for your students.
20. Take a health review: mental health, physical health, sleep health, relationship health. Be aware that in order to do your best work, you need to take care of yourself.