We’ve all got days when we just feel like walking away. The overwhelm of daily life, the latest news crisis for the world or the monotonous banter of social media is enough to send anyone into self-inflicted isolation.
But when you’re an educator, in charge of an entire classroom of students, walking away just isn’t an option.
And that’s why self-care, while often overlooked, is so important for teachers, counselors, and students.
What’s more, as someone who teaches and cares for others, it’s often easy to dismiss your own self-care routines and rituals, which should be kept as a priority.
Because if you can’t help yourself, you can’t help anyone.
So read on to learn how you can easily implement self-care into you life, every day.
6 Ways to Incorporate Self-Care for Educators
Setting Aside Time for Self-Care
Time for yourself should be kept sacred, so it’s important to choose a time of day when distractions are at an all-time low and you can intentionally set aside some time for yourself. It can be as little as 5-15 minutes per day, so no more excuses for not filling your bucket!
And when you take this special time, do whatever you want to do…meditate, read, workout, etc. It doesn’t really matter what you decide to do during your time, always chose something intentional for yourself.
After a while, these rituals will become habit, and it’ll get easier and easier to incorporate “you-time” into your busy days.
Take Some time To Meditate
If you’re feeling especially overwhelmed with life, feelings, and you’re finding it difficult to manage your emotions, taking a quick time-out to reflect, meditate, and bring yourself back to the present moment can be hugely beneficial.
You can do this formally by listening to a guided meditation, or you can meditate on the fly by repeating a helpful mantra or reviewing an uplifting poster. You can find apps for your phone for guided meditation like Calm or Headspace. There are also tons of free guided videos on youtube. (My favorite calming videos are by The Honest Guys.)
If you’re in the middle of class and chaos takes over, it can be helpful to incorporate a moment of mindfulness for everyone. Consider keeping coloring books on hand to give everyone a few moments of quiet reflection.
Environmental Reminders to Improve Self-Care for Educators
Place self-love or empowering posters in your environment to brighten the room, and the emotional atmosphere. Put posters, or thought bubbles, in an office, a classroom, or teachers’ lounge so they are there whenever you need a mindful moment throughout the day.
These little reminders will help you find peace as well as anyone else passing by.
Sometimes overwhelm can come from lack of organization and planning. You’d be surprised how a few minutes of decluttering can lighten your life.
Similarly, setting goals or creating bucket lists also give you something to look forward to. Keep a notebook filled with goals and bucket lists.
So if you’ve ever found yourself feeling completely aimless in life, it’s time to start making some plans!
Important Checklists and Trackers
Speaking of organization, checklists and trackers can also help you plan, take stock, and track your habits and feelings (yes, this also includes journaling).
Use water intake trackers, budget tracking, gratitude journals, and habit trackers to stay on track toward goals or just to remain organized.
This can cut down the feeling of scatter-brain and give you more bandwidth to teach students and focus on other important facets of your life…like relationships and career, for example. You can simply keep track of your progress in a notebook or you can splurge on pre-made trackers like these.
Take a Self-Care for Educators Inventory Assessment
When it comes to self-care, the following facets are the most important things to consider. Ensure you’re keeping a balanced routine…and putting your best self forward by addressing each of these.
- Mental self-care
- Physical self-care
- Emotional self-care
- Practical self-care
- Relationship self-care
- Spiritual self-care
You can assess yourself independently, or look for online assessments to see how you’re doing.
So whenever you take time for yourself, make sure you’re balancing all of these components in your self-care routines.
And if you need some help getting started, I’ve created this self-care kit for educators to get organized, and to lighten the planning load! Not ready for a full kit? Start with these free signs to get your teachers in the bucket filling mood!
Grab a printed copy of my Focused Self Care Journal for you or your entire staff!