A career in teaching can be rewarding, but it can also be demanding. It can be challenging to strike a healthy work-life balance when you spend much of your free time grading papers and drawing up lesson plans. All of that stress can affect your performance in the classroom and, by extension, your students.
As a teacher, you need to learn to care for yourself just as you do for your students. Self care is a crucial part of succeeding in a high-stress job like teaching, and it can help you avoid burnout in the long run. Read on to learn more about teacher self care and how it can help you make a difference in the classroom.
The Importance of Self Care for Teachers
Self care can mean different things to different people, but it all boils down to improving overall health and wellness. Self care activities can target several areas, including:
- Physical health
- Psychological and emotional wellbeing
- Spiritual fulfillment
- Social engagement
- Professional satisfaction
Self care is a vital part of maintaining balance in your life. By making time for self care activities, you help better your long-term health.
It’s important not to confuse self care with self-indulgence. While it’s fine to treat yourself every now and then, habits such as splurging at your favorite shop or binging a new TV show are just temporary, short-term fixes. These self-indulgent activities won’t necessarily make you feel better in the long run.
Instead, self care activities focus on slowly but surely whittling yourself into a happier, more well-rounded person. Making small changes or additions to your daily schedule is often all it takes to see improvements in different areas of your life.
Teachers who recognize the importance of self care tend to be more successful in the classroom. They can maintain the energy and enthusiasm they need to make learning fun for their students. In turn, their students are more motivated, more successful, and perform better both in school and beyond.
Burnout is a common problem in educators of all ages and experience levels. Teachers are often swamped with work throughout the day, leaving them feeling both physically and mentally drained by bedtime. Dealing with parents, students, and administrators can also be emotionally overwhelming.
With such a demanding job, it’s no wonder that teachers show such high rates of burnout. As many as 30% of teachers feel symptoms of burnout, often with little to no relief from their school’s support system.
Burnout doesn't just affect you as a teacher. It can also impact your students, affecting their motivation, enthusiasm, and retention. By including teacher self care ideas in your daily schedule, you can help yourself avoid burnout and make sure that you face your students each day feeling refreshed and energized.
Challenges in Teacher Self Care
Many teachers enter their line of work because they feel a deep-seated desire to help educate future generations. It’s a job that requires passion, dedication, and no small degree of patience. Many teachers find themselves pushing their limits on behalf of their students, often at the cost of their own wellbeing.
All too often, teachers neglect sleep, work long hours, and resort to fast food or unhealthy diets to cope with the stress. With such an intensive work schedule, many teachers struggle to find time for basic self care activities such as taking a nap or reading a book.
Parents and administrators often encourage educators to focus so much energy on their students that they have none left for themselves. Teachers must advocate for themselves and learn to take care of their own needs and the needs of their students.
Teacher Self Care Ideas
It isn’t always easy to incorporate self care into your daily routine. Read on to find out some easy teacher self care ideas that will help you improve your physical and emotional wellbeing.
Start a Routine
While it might sound deceptively simple, a concrete routine can make a world of difference for your physical and mental health. Just getting up and going to bed at the same time each day will help improve your sleep quality markedly.
It's necessary to strike a healthy work-life balance, but this can be challenging to do as a teacher. Even once the school day is over, there are still papers to grade, emails to send, and parents to answer. However, it's important to set concrete boundaries to make time for self care. Set a time each day when you stop working, turn your phone off, and transition into relaxation mode.
Enjoy CBD or THC Products
For some teachers, consuming CBD or THC during off-work hours can help to promote relaxation and rejuvenation. According to federal law, CBD is legal in all 50 states, as products containing 0.3% THC or less. While THC products may produce psychoactive effects, CBD Products promotes relaxation without creating the stereotypical “high” associated with marijuana.
Self Care Frequently Asked Questions
Read on to learn the answers to some of the most common questions people have about teacher self care.
What is self care for teachers?
Self care involves promoting long-term health and wellness by incorporating by staying aware of your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.
Why is self care important as a teacher?
As a teacher, it’s important to include self care activities in your day-to-day routine to avoid early burnout. Caring for yourself will give you the positive energy that you need to care for your students.
Why is it so hard for teachers to take care of themselves?
Teaching is a demanding job, and many educators take their job personally. They neglect themselves in favor of their classroom, with work often spilling over into personal time.
Why do teachers experience burnout?
Teachers often burn out early due to the high-stress nature of their job, whether it be unruly students, difficult parents, or an unsupportive administration. Without proper self care, even the most dedicated teachers may find themselves losing their drive.