This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and to celebrate we would like to share some of our best self-care tips for teachers. Being a teacher is immensely rewarding, but it can also be challenging and stressful, so it’s important to find ways to switch off and take care of yourself! Read on for some of our best tips…
Put healthy boundaries between work and freetime
It can be tempting to bring piles of schoolwork home for marking, or to check your email throughout the evening. Sometimes this might be unavoidable, but it’s important to not let work take over your whole life. If you do take work home from school, try to set a reasonable time limit. This also means not always being available via email or phone.
Take weekends off
Following on from the last point—even if planning and marking might sometimes bleed into the evenings, it’s important to take actual weekends to rewind, spend time with family and friends, and have fun. If it’s impossible to not do any work at all, try to at least stick to a short session and, again, set a time limit.
Get organized and work smarter
This might seem obvious, but getting organized and planning ahead can help immensely. Find reliable teaching resources, plan out lessons in advance, and make sure you’ve got a planning system in place that works for you—whether you prefer paper calendars or digital planners.
Take care of your health
Mental health and physical health are closely connected, so if we’re taking care of our body that will inevitably affect our happiness and our stress levels. Try to find a selection of healthy meals and snacks that you love and a workout routine that suits you and your life. If you’re short on time, look into things like short online workout classes and meal prepping.
Prioritize your sleep
We all know how important sleep is to our overall health. When you’ve got a busy day of teaching ahead, it’s perhaps even more important to have slept well! Aim for at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, and try to implement a winding-down routine before bed.
Have a good morning routine
After your good night’s sleep, it’s important to start the day right. Having a good morning routine can impact your whole day, so try to figure out what you need in the morning and make sure that you have enough time to implement that each morning. Leave time for a proper breakfast, perhaps a workout, and a stress-free journey to work!
Connect with other teachers
Being able to talk to other people who understand the challenges of the teaching profession can be incredibly beneficial. You might already have a strong support system at work, but if not, it’s worth connecting with a group of teachers—whether it’s a local group or an online community.
Celebrate your successes
A lot of people are prone to focusing more on problems and challenges, rather than on successes. Did you have a significant breakthrough with a struggling student? Did you have a particularly engaged group of students today? Or did you try something new that your students loved? Remember to celebrate these successes—big or small!
Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Whether it’s asking a colleague for help with a teaching problem or asking a professional to help with your mental health, it’s important to recognize when you are struggling and need support. There is no shame in asking for help, and doing so can help you avoid bigger issues.
We hope these tips will help you prioritize your health and wellbeing.