Tips for Self-Care in the New School Year
posted by: Melissa | August 21, 2019, 02:56 PM   

Self-care is a touchy topic for educators. We all verbally acknowledge its importance. We know that step one in caring for our students is caring for ourselves. Yet, when push comes to shove and we’re deep in the trenches by September or October, it just doesn’t seem to be that much of a priority. Educators in all settings are encouraged to give of themselves, and there’s just not that much support when it comes to caring for yourself. Soon enough, an educator can realize that they’re running themselves ragged and working to the point of exhaustion.

We want this year to be different. We don’t want educators to just say that they’ll focus more on themselves this year, we want this to be a year they actually do it. Making self-care a commitment can be difficult for a teacher though, so we have some tips for you below.

  • Prioritize what you love about your job. There’s a reason that you work with students. What is it? Lean in to that. Whether it’s being an advisor to a certain after-school activity or creating lessons for a specific topic, make sure that you have time for that part of your job.
  • Prioritize what you need to improve on personally. You’re likely already doing fairly well in some areas of self-care. You may spend a lot of time with friends, or work out on the weekends, but there’s also likely an area you’ve neglected for yourself. Make a commitment to do better in that area.
  • Practice saying no. The key to lasting as an educator is being realistic about your time, energy, and abilities. Educators often feel as if they must do everything they’re requested to do. While you’ll certainly benefit from taking advantage of most of the opportunities before you, know when one more committee will keep you from your family or stop you from being able to focus on your students.
  • Create habits. We know that if you want to keep something up for the long term, then you have to make a habit out of it. If your priority this year is eating better, then you want to make a habit of packing your lunch. If it’s being more reflective, then you want to set time aside to reflect each day. The thing about habits, though, is that they have to be something that can become a part of your routine without having to think about them. When you’re thinking about your priorities, consider how you can work something new into your already existing routine.
  • Set achievable goals. Remember last year when you promised yourself you would workout for an hour every morning, journal every evening, include more opportunities for spiritual growth, read more, and pack all your meals at home? Remember how that lasted for about three weeks before you crashed and burned? Trying to do ‘all the things’ when it comes to self-care can backfire. Pick one or two areas that you want to improve this year, and focus on those areas, whether that is leaving the building by five every day or packing your lunch.

How do you practice self-care during the year? Let us know!

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