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Sunday, September 29

Teacher Self Care

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Self-care is so important! You can’t help anyone else if you cannot first help yourself. We all know that, why else do they tell you to put the mask on yourself first on airplanes? So, my question is, if we know self-care is so critical, why do we push it off? I don’t have time. I don’t need to. The excuses go on and on. This is the first year I am truly adopting a self-care is alright mindset.

Value Yourself

First things first, I needed to realize it was OK to take care of myself. I feel like as teachers we are so programmed to take care of everyone else before ourselves. Why else do we hold our bladders to the point of bursting instead of just quickly asking another teacher to watch our rooms? Before I could start practicing self-care, I needed to let myself know that it is ok to do. I realized that I cannot burn myself out the way I did at the end of the last school year. Self-care is the change that I needed.

You Don’t Have To Do All the Things

The first thing I needed to do is stop putting so much extra pressure on myself. I always try and do my best especially in my professional life. We have a million and one things we are required to do as teachers. Why add extra stress of getting papers graded like lightning, or having lessons planned a month in advance? I started removing unnecessary stress and allowing myself to breathe. I started saying things like, “it’s ok, I have time, I will do it, just not right now.” It’s crazy how different you feel when you learn that the world will not stop turning if you don’t do everything all the time.

Find a Stress Reliever Every day At Work

What makes you smile at work when you get overwhelmed or have a bad day? Your secret candy stash? You colleagues? A hot cup of tea? Turning the lights off and sitting in silence for five minutes while the kids are at lunch? For me it’s all of the above, plus getting some fresh air. Take your brief lunch break and stop eating in the photocopy while you prep! I was always that teacher, once the day started I did not stop, or sit for that matter. I started leaving school a few days a week at lunch to pick up food at the store around the corner from my school. I can’t even tell you how amazing I felt walking off of campus for a brief moment. Each day I am able to get fresh air and walk outside during the day feels amazing! I now make a point of getting lunch off school ground once a week. I suggest you find your little happy things, do them as much as possible.

Take Back Your Weekends

In previous years, I had a schedule. Friday night was rest and recoup night. Saturday was clean the house from the chaos of the week and try and do something enjoyable. Finally, Sunday was groceries, meal prep, and all things school. Then, bam, back to Monday. Does that sound like a recipe for success? Nope! This year, I made a change. My weekend focus is now on rest, family, friends, and whatever makes me happy. I think as teachers we often forget to have a personal life after the year starts. In all honesty, it is very difficult to have a personal life with how much we have to do all the time. However, this year I rest my priorities. Now, I am recharged mentally and emotionally when Monday comes. This is because I allowed myself time to rest and step out of my teacher shoes.

This year, I challenge you to take time and care for yourself. Care for your soul and well-being. Take time for self-care and have a happy school year!

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