We tend to put self-care tactics on the back burner when we get busy. We start cutting corners to save ourselves a few minutes in our days. As the school year begins, we as teachers tend to put everything else on hold to get our classrooms up and running and take care of our students.
During this pandemic, taking care of ourselves is even more critical. Take these ideas to heart to help keep yourself healthy, sane, and thriving. You will feel better and be a better person for yourself, your family, and your students.
Self-Care Tactic #1: Eat healthy
It is all too easy to stop and get fast food to save time. Meal prep is a great way to keep a healthy diet, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort. One way to make sure you have what you need for an easy healthy meal during the day is to spend some time creating a menu for the week and making a shopping list of what you will need to prepare those meals. Then take a few hours on a weekend afternoon to prepare the food for the week so you can pull it out of the fridge and cook it saving evening prep time.
Self-Care Tactic #2: Staying Active
During the first few weeks back to school, we sometimes have trouble getting ourselves out of bed in the morning because we are so tired from getting back into the swing of things. However, having an exercise routine will help you have more energy and feel better.
Your coworkers are a great place to start for accountability. Cheer each other on as you reach for your exercise goals. Work together to make a plan to work out for that Couch to 5K, half or full marathon prep, or simply getting to the gym to get your muscles moving and your blood pumping.
Self-Care Tactic #3: Sleep!
I know, I know, I stayed up all night thinking about what I need to do in the classroom, my future students, and what I need for back-to-school night. “What am I forgetting to do?” Many of us are overwhelmed with all the preparations we need to make for our classrooms and getting ready for new students. We often dwell on those things when we are meant to be sleeping to maintain a healthier version of ourselves.
Make a list of what you need to accomplish so that it isn’t just rolling around in your mind. Jot things down throughout the day to help alleviate some of the stress of remembering. Take a nice relaxing bath before bed, read a book, or listen to calming music.
Self-Care Tactic #4: Treat yourself
You are working hard getting everything ready for school. Take a moment to pamper yourself. Visit the spa for a manicure, pedicure, or massage. It will be well worth your time and help relax your body and mind for the coming days.
When you’re done at the spa with your rested muscles and freshly painted fingers and toes, buy yourself a new outfit that you will look forward to wearing. Take yourself shoe shopping if you’re more of a shoe person. Nice shiny painted toes always look better in new shoes. After the summer, if your budget is tight, take a walk in a park enjoying the gardens and birds with a good book.
As teachers, we know what back to school looks like and how much of a toll it can take on our bodies and our lives. Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well and utilizing your meal prep skills. Exercise regularly to keep your body fit to manage your classroom full of students. Sleep! Easier said than done, I know, but try to get the rest your body needs so that your mind and body can be prepared for the days ahead.
Lastly, do something to spoil yourself. It has to be something you will enjoy that will help revitalize your soul. Take a moment to take care of yourself while taking care of your students in the first weeks of school.