Prioritizing Self-Care As Educators

Balancing our personal health and our work is important, but also especially difficult in situations like the current pandemic. Fortunately, there are ways to strike a balance between meeting our needs with those of our students. If you’re feeling spread too thin, consider the below adjustments you can make.

Sleep And Exercise
Many studies agree on the benefits of seven to eight hours of sleep each night for adults. Prioritize maintaining a routine bed time so you get the rest you need for mental clarity the next morning. Combining sleep with healthy eating habits and exercise will nourish your body to give you the energy needed to perform. Set aside at least 15 to 30 minutes each day to exercise, with something as simple as taking a walk or stretching.

Mindfulness And Learning
Schedule time for work and family, but also for yourself by scheduling activities that promote tranquility. Meditation, yoga, spiritual practice, completing puzzles, or playing games each engage and calm the mind. Keep learning by reading articles or listening to podcasts that cover topics you’re interested in for fun – not just for work. Being a well-rounded educator who can expand your students’ minds with topics tangential to the subject you teach enriches their learning experience.

Stay Connected With Others, while Respecting Boundaries
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation, but between lesson planning, research, and meetings, it’s easy to forget to stay connected with friends and family. Prioritize close relationships that bring you support when you need them most, whether that’s with trusted co-teachers or old friends from college.
Using video conference tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or others means of staying in contact with family and friends can have a huge positive impact on your mood. Meals and book clubs through video chat are engaging and safe events to add to your social calendar. Tired of being on video? Boundaries are important. If friends or family want to video chat frequently but you’re finding yourself tired of the screen, gently remind your loved one of just how much time you spend on video chats during the school week. Phone calls, texts, even sharing relatable memes on social media are still great ways to maintain relationships in these difficult times.