With the school year fast approaching and already beginning for some, it’s important for teachers to practice self-care in order to keep up with the demand of the job and ensure they are in top shape to teach their students. Many may find this difficult to bring into their daily life, but here are some tips from us which could help you be ready to take on the challenges ahead.
1. Set boundaries
Teachers often work unconventional hours, including evenings and weekends to prepare for lessons, grade assignments and catch up on emails. Boundaries give you structure and help you manage your workload without becoming overwhelmed and staying healthy.
If possible, keep work and your home life separate. Many however are not able to do so and have to find something that works for them. Whether it be not working on weekends or not working past a certain time, make sure you find what works for you and stick to it.
2. Adopt healthy habits
Getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water throughout the day and exercising will have you feeling better both physically and mentally. With habits it is important to start small and build them up as you go along, as big changes can often lead to demotivation. Rather than doing 30 minutes of exercise a day, start with 5 minutes. The key is to make it easy enough that you can do it without needing to feel motivated.
Building habits can be a difficult task but here are some valuable tips to get you started and make habits stick:
- Make habits easy. Work on reducing the obstacles between you and your habits.
- Write them down. This makes your goal clearer and helps you focus on the end result.
- Get help from a friend. Find someone who will go along with you and keep you motivated when you feel like giving up.
- If you slip up, get back on track. Mistakes are normal and understand that you will not always be perfect. The important thing is to get back on track as quickly as possible.
3. Make time for your hobbies
Hobbies are considered to be any activity that is carried out regularly during your free time for the purpose of pleasure – whether it be athletic, academic or creative. They are a great way of unwinding from the daily routine and give you a way of taking your mind off the stress of everyday life.
Research shows how people who pursue hobbies are less likely to suffer from things such as stress and depression, with numerous studies carried out supporting this claim. Find gaps in your schedule to do the things you love, it will help in the long run.
4. Keep a journal
Writing down your experiences, both good and bad can help you express and work through your emotions. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, look back on positive experiences. If you’ve had a difficult day, write down why you think that was the case and what you can do to make the next day better. It is important to be completely honest with yourself and write down your thoughts.
5. Seek help if needed
If you are struggling with your mental health, don’t be scared to seek professional help. There are many resources available for teachers, including the 24/7 Education Support helpline. And remember, you are not alone. Many teachers are going through the same thing. Take time off if needed to refresh, get back on track and get in the right mindset to teach your students to the best of your abilities.