As teachers, we give so much to others, it can be hard to remember to care for ourselves, too. Self-care is the act of taking the time and space to truly nurture ourselves. This isn't just something that's nice to do - I believe it's truly essential to sustaining the level of deep engagement that is required of us when we are doing our best work.
At my school, self-care is an active part of our culture, both for students and staff. When we give students the tools to take care of themselves, we foster independence, ownership, and confidence. When we allow ourselves to do the same, we increase our own sense of feeling grounded and balanced.
I'd love to build a big list with your help of ideas for self-care, and then I'll put the list together into some categories along with links to external resources if you have those too. I'd love then to be able to give that list to new teachers or burned-out teachers or really anyone to help them get through the tough times and sustain through the good ones.
So - what are your favorite self-care strategies? Here are some prompts to get you thinking...
- What activity do you do when you get home from work to create a separation from work to home?
- What two-minute strategy do you use during passing time to center yourself?
- What items could you keep in your desk to give you an emotional boost throughout the day?
- What activities could you do along with your coworkers to create a culture of self-care?
- What might you do after a particularly tough day?
- Do you have any images or words you call to mind in a hard moment?
- Which ways of connecting with others fill your tank?
Can't wait to hear your ideas!
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