Teaching and childcare are professions driven by passion, commitment, and a genuine desire to make a positive impact on children’s lives. However, amid the demands and responsibilities, teachers often overlook a crucial aspect of their well-being, self-care. In this blog, we’ll explore the significance of teacher self-care, provide practical tips, and discuss how to help yourself when you’re just not feeling it anymore.
Common Struggles as a Teacher
Teaching is a profession that demands resilience and endurance, similar to running a marathon rather than a sprint. As a teacher, you put a lot of passion and energy into the kids you’re taking care of, and at times, that consistent effort can be tough to maintain. The old saying stays true, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So we always encourage teachers to make sure that they are taking care of themselves (with some of the tips below) so that they can put all they have into teaching and taking care of the kids they see daily.
Low Energy Levels
The demands of teaching are relentless, and the energy required to meet daily challenges can be overwhelming. Whether it’s facing a room full of eager and energetic learners or navigating the complexities of education and childcare, a well-nurtured sense of self-care becomes the cornerstone for maintaining the enthusiasm and resilience required to tackle each day.
Tips for Prioritizing Self-Care as a Teacher
Setting clear boundaries between professional and personal life is a cornerstone of effective self-care. Allocating dedicated time for relaxation and pursuing hobbies outside of work hours is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity. Joining a book club, engaging in a pottery class, or just engaging in any of your hobbies can offer a welcome relaxation not only physically but also gives your brain a break from the constant demands, fostering a healthy work-life balance.
Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques
Incorporating mindfulness, meditation, or breathing exercises into the daily routine becomes a powerful tool for managing stress and staying present. These practices not only rejuvenate the mind but also create a positive ripple effect in the classroom, fostering a conducive learning environment.
Physical Well-Being Matters
Prioritizing physical health through regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep is foundational for overall well-being. Taking a short walk during breaks can be a rejuvenating ritual, enhancing both physical and mental health.
This doesn’t have to be anything over the top either. If you’re an avid gym goer, well keep it up! If the gym isn’t your thing, that’s not a problem. Those short walks during breaks or a quick bike ride after work can be more than enough.
Seek Support and Community
Connecting with fellow educators, joining support groups, or seeking mentorship creates a sense of community and shared experience. Through these connections, teachers can find solace, share advice, and collectively navigate the challenges of the teaching profession.
One program that many might not know of is Wisconsin Early Educated Share Services Network’s Educator Assistance Program (EAP). This program has many different support services from mental health support and health cand wellness coaching to work and life support services. It truly is a one-stop shop for most of your potential needs as a childcare provider or teacher.
Say ‘No’ When Needed
Learning to say no when additional tasks become overwhelming is a crucial aspect of self-care. Prioritizing tasks and delegating when possible ensures that a teacher’s workload remains manageable which helps prevent burnout.
As someone who is in childcare, it’s likely that your default is to always be helping. This is one reason you’re so good at your job but it can also cause things to feel a bit more overwhelming than usual.
At Cornerstone Academy, we understand how important it is that those who work in childcare also get the care, breaks, and support they need. We have other blogs that help with different childcare topics that might help with more specific hurdles you might be facing. We hope that the New Year is a great one!