Mental Health

7 Self-Care Strategies For Teachers

Th'is is a sampling of ideas for self-care taken from the Edutopia community. Thanks to all those who contributed on Facebook, Twitter and on the Edutopia discussion!

During the day - small ways to stay grounded:

Here are a few items folks keep in their desks for that little pick-me-up during a busy day:

  • Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Protein boost (nuts, granola bar)
  • Floss
  • Healthy snacks
  • Thank you notes
  • Stress ball

Got a few minutes during passing time or prep time? Some two-minute strategies to take care of yourself:

  • Do a few yoga poses or stretches to get your blood moving
  • Get out of the buildling for some fresh air and a change of scenery
  • Take a mindful moment and pay attention to your breathing to center yourself

After a tough day, some ideas for energizing or unwinding: 

Get creative:

  • Knit
  • Quilt
  • Draw
  • Play air guitar
  • Bake cookies
  • Sing

Connect with others to fill your tank:

  • Share projects with fellow teachers
  • Make positive phone calls to parents
  • Spend time with loved ones
  • Spend time with animals
  • Give back to your community by volunteering

Look for the positive and hang on to it for a rainy day:

  • Keep a folder of kind notes or feedback from students and families
  • Keep a notebook of inspirational quotes
  • Record something positive each day in your journal

Chill - here were some of your favorite ways to just unwind:

  • Watch a mindless TV show
  • Take a hot bath
  • Read
  • Listen to music
  • Meditate
  • Take the scenic route home
  • Eat chocolate

Get your body moving: 

  • Run
  • Dance
  • Yoga
  • Crossfit
  • Go for a walk

Everyone's self-care may look a little different, and there's no single way to take good care of yourself. Try some different strategies until you have a full toolbox: something that energizes you, something that helps you unwind, something that helps you manage when you're having a hard time. Finally, encourage students to do the same. Self-care helps us sustain as teachers and as learners. 

This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Due to audience interest, we've preserved it. The opinions expressed here are the writer's own.