How Teachers Can Practice Self-Care
Self-Care for Teachers During the Coronavirus
Every September 5 to October 5, we celebrate the tremendous efforts teachers give to mold the minds of the future generations. In honor of National Teacher’s Month, we want to pay tribute to the central role teachers have in building our nation.
We’re close to the two-year mark since the pandemic began and one thing is more evident than ever – teachers are one of COVID-19’s modern heroes. It’s true that none of us were prepared for the pandemic to happen, but teachers have gone above and beyond to ensure our children get the education they deserve despite it all.
It never was easy to be a teacher, so we salute all of you for your hard work!
While you’re busy taking care of all your students, please, remember to take care of yourselves, too.
Here are some self-care strategies for teachers to practice at home during the pandemic.
1. Eat regularly
This may seem basic but sadly, many teachers skip meals in order to teach synchronous classes or grade papers. Our bodies need enough nutrients in order to function properly, and that includes our psychological health. If you find it difficult to sit down for a full meal during the day, make sure you at least have some healthy, protein-filled snacks like nuts beside you to power you through the day!
2. Get some sleep
Sleep should be an essential part of your self-care routine! We know it can be tempting to stay up late (fun fact: this is called revenge bedtime procrastination) just so you can squeeze in some me-time for things like binge-watching Netflix shows, scrolling on social media, or playing video games. Resist the urge to. You need the zzz’s to recharge both your mind and body so you’re ready for the next day.
3. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation can do wonders for your mental health. Whether that’s a full meditation session or just a couple of minutes of stillness, taking a few minutes to pause and recenter yourself can help reduce your anxiety and stress levels. You can try starting your day with a quick meditation session (we love Calm’s guided meditations on YouTube) or listen to relaxing music on Spotify. If meditation isn’t quite your cup of tea, you can try doing daily tasks mindfully, such as washing the dishes, putting away groceries, or even walking your dog. Whatever it is you’re doing, be 100% in the moment and forget about your worries, even if it’s just for five minutes.
4. Learn to say no
If there’s one thing that sets teachers apart from most professions, it’s educators’ innate selflessness, so we know this one may not come naturally for many of you. We understand that you are passionate about helping others and can’t help but offer a guiding hand to those who ask for it but remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. It won’t do your students good as well if you’ve worked yourself to the point that you're burnt out. If you really want to care for your students, you need to take care of yourself, too. This starts with learning how to say no to things and by setting healthy boundaries, like not replying to work emails or messages outside of work hours.
Life, especially for our children, would be much more difficult without teachers around during the pandemic. Remember to take time off for yourself as well because you deserve all the love and support you shower all your students!
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