5 Self Care Ideas for Teachers





As a retired teacher I am well aware of the burn out that all teachers feel. Whether at the beginning of the school year, during conferences, the week before Winter or even Spring break as well as the end of the year aaaannnnnnddddd let's not forget SUMMER...Summer you question??? YES Summer! Do Teacher really relax or are the spending their summer thinking about a new class of kiddos...YOU DECIDE...I know the answer...been there...done that and every vacation seems to disappear like magic...POOF and it is time to teach!!! 


This year is a completely different journey...the Covid-19 journey. Add this to the mix and ummmm do you think teachers are stressed?  You know the answer! I have 4 teachers in my immediate family and they have been stressed out since March 15th. who wouldn't be?  It is easy to say everything will be back to "normal" and I know it will...we all know it will, BUT when their stress ripples into my territory, they look to me for solutions and positivity because I have always tried to be positive every day of my life...turned difficult situations into doable and always lived by this mantra:

Do the best you can do in every situation and your best changes depending many factors that happen in your life or how you feel...you know headaches, exhaustion, not enough caffeine, no sleep and many other circumstances of life.


This affirms the way I live my life to be my best self. if you were in my head, you would hear, "Do the best you can or you are doing the best you can and that is all you can do!"



Well...I am a firm believer that YOU need to take care of yourself every chance you get or you will burn out before you even start...especially now more than ever!

Who's with me...think of this...Do you feel like September is here and you never had a BREAK not even a teeny tiny break?

So Here are 5 tried and true Ideas that I have used, when I taught...WELL actually still use, to make sure my engine is running in top notch condition:



🌻Surround Yourself with Positivities or Be Positive:

That means:  Read positive quotes: 
Post a positive or inspirational quote in your classroom, office or anywhere you can see it everyday...Remember there will be days that are harder than others.

Make a list of everything you love about everyone and everything around you. I have kept a small journal and take a few minutes every so often to count my blessings and think about what I love about each member of my family. Can I just tell you how touching it is to read what I wrote down about each child and my spouse...sometimes I think...did I really write that? A family Blessing Jar can also be self care for the entire family and is worth the time because everyone will love adding a blessing to the jar as family self care!



Take a minute and jot down a positive moment or an accomplishment...Little or Big that made you feel blessed to be present with your family.  I love the idea of a gratitude or blessing jar. It is quick and simple to create...add a little of your personality and personal notes, then on New Year's Eve or a designated day, sit and read the notes in the jar. If you don't have time to create a pinteresty jar, just throw the notes in a basket!

It may bring some tears, but happy tears are always good for the soul!                                                            

I also have a blessing bracelet that was given to me many years ago from a 
friend.  

The idea is to wear the bracelet every day and each morning when you put it on, you count 4 blessings in your life. The blessing can be as simple as I have a roof over my head or my coffee is hot or I have the opportunity to support children during this time to make their education the best it can be right now!  I think I need to get a new one, this is looking a bit worn.  
 


Don't forget those Positive Affirmations!  I can do this, I am strong, I am capable, I am healthy...


🌻Take Time for Yourself and I MEAN ALONE TIME:

MOMs.. Eat lunch or take a coffee break or even an afternoon snack by yourself once a week or once a month or ummm every single day...you may need to hide in your car or closet!

I used to take these breaks in my classroom during a prep time or even during my lunch break just to regroup and have a bit of thinking time. Virtual and teaching from your classroom, you can still do these suggestions. 

If you are home teaching and have kids home, simply walk around the house and take deep breaths to stay calm and focussed.  When your kids have a break, take a brisk walk outside or maybe a family yoga break...simple positions like baby's pose or tree pose or simply stretch together.

I had a friend who used to ride the school elevator to gain a minute or 2 of quiet time and destress!! Not a bad idea if you have an elevator in your building!



🌻Get Rid of that STRESS! 

The list of Ideas to destress and relax is infinite...BUT...you have to try one to get started. Find what works best for you and your schedule and JUST DO IT!!!

Here are some Ideas that I have tried and they might also work for YOU!
  • Yoga:  Every Morning rise a bit earlier and simply do about 7 minutes of yoga poses. Check the internet or have a book handy.  You can always sign up for a class, but 7 minutes a day will make a world of difference!! 
  • Walk at lunch time with a friend, colleague or alone. It is even better when it is cool out! When I taught full-time, (I'm retired now!) we used to walk around the school neighborhood about 2-3 days a week. It was one of the best activities I did and made a world of difference for how I faced the rest of the day.  
  • I also used to walk with a friend to school everyday...sometimes even in the snow...my friend and I would solve all the school issues as we walked and felt great even if the problems did not go away, we still chatted about it and got it off our minds. We lived about a mile and half away from school and would meet on the corner.  We were assigned the title:"The Walking teachers" and I would even see someone in a supermarket who would say, "Don't I see you walking everyday to work?"
  • Play with the kiddos. play hide and seek, catch outside, a board game, anything you know will take your mind of off school and bring you back to where you are...in the present!
  • Read a non educational book. 
  • That's right PAMPER yourself do something...anything that you love doing...don't wait for someone else to do it!!! UMMM...it might not happen. You are in charge of YOU!!
Now, I know right now many things are different.  I have not really pampered myself the way I used to do before Covid, but I have figured out ways to keep the positivity going and pamper in a different way. For example, give yourself a home DIY facial, foot massage, stretch using an exercise ball ( I saw these for $5 at 5 Below!), muscle rollers to get rid of tension or simply stretching out each muscle in your body especially the neck.

Now...please note...I am not saying to do all of these...I mean....you would add more stress to your life than you had before you started!!!

Simply pick one or two to try for a while and see if it makes a difference in your daily life!

🌻Prioritize or Set Priorities:

  • Make a list of Have To's or Must Do's, Can DO's or Can Say No To's and start to listen to your list and cross off and prioritize that list. 
  • Make a list each week perhaps Sunday night or a night that works for you and write everything that you have that week.  Then evaluate each item on your list.  Add a key something like this:  Green is MUST Do or Have To; Yellow is Can Do and Red is I can say no to or can postpone to another time.   Remember, your job can bounce back from a hiccup, but your family and you should be treated like a glass ball because when it breaks, it is harder to mend.
Download this list and Print.

🌻 Eat as Healthy as you Can:

I say as healthy as you can because I know how crazy hectic life can be.

For example; make one change. Something like I am going to switch to "breadless" sandwiches this week and stick to it. Plan that type of lunch for the week and make it each night or ahead of time. Add all the ingredients except for the heavy bread. Add a light dressing and that change will come naturally the more you do it.

Sometimes you just need to be mindful of what you eat...stop the fog eating, where you are eating without thinking about what you are eating and add a few healthier choices each day.  


Another idea might be to start your morning off with a healthy fruit or vegetable smoothie each morning or even bring it to school for break or lunch.  Here are my Go-to's....easy and nutritional!

I simply use frozen smoothie mixes and mix and match to my current mood each morning. Sometimes I add fresh fruit that I have on hand like bananas, blueberries or even an apple.  

I have one daily smoothie, but I only add fruit, veggies and water with stevia and I am good...less calories and great tasting.  The one above, looks yucky, but tastes yummy!  It is Matcha tea, banana, strawberry, mango, coconut and stevia...I drink it a feel like I am on a tropical island until my phone rings and brings me back to reality! 
Just simply make small changes and you will see a difference!


The last one that you NEED to absolutely add to your diet is water!


Just remember every day is a new beginning with new possibilities. If at first you don't succeed, just simply start again and again...Remember: you might not be there YET...but you will!!

 

Try your best to focus on the Blessings you have not what your neighbor has...Positivity is a choice...a choice you have to make every single DAY!  If you feed your brain positive thoughts, you brain will be reconditioned to think that way, which will lead to a less stressful life.

Allow yourself to make a few mistakes because we learn life long lessons from our mistakes and PLEASE, PLEASE, don't be hard on yourself...NO ONE IS PERFECT!

They say if you can do something for 30 days straight, then it will become a habit or second nature!! 

Let me know how you do...I'll be waiting!!







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