George Lucas Educational Foundation

7 Self-Care Strategies For Teachers

7 Self-Care Strategies For Teachers

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A few weeks ago I asked about your favorite strategies for self-care ( Here's a sampling of ideas for self-care 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 post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

Comments (5) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal, Author of Facilitating Authentic Learning, Director of the Antioch Critical Skills Program; Elementary Library Media Specialist

Love this Alex. I'm going to bookmark this to share with our grads in the fall when they start in their own classrooms.

Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT's picture
Laura Bradley, MA, NBCT
Middle school English/Digital Design/Broadcast Media teacher

This is fabulous. It should be included in every new teacher's "welcome to the classroom" file. In fact, it should be boxed to every teacher at the start of every school year -- it's too easy to forget! Thanks, Alex.

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Maker Educator, Google Certified Innovator, Dreamer, Doer. Learning experience designer, workshop leader/speaker, author. Stanford #Fablearn Fellow. #GoogleEI

So. Much. Win.

Thanks Alex!

Brian Sztabnik's picture
Brian Sztabnik
AP Literature teacher from Miller Place, NY

Great list, Alex. There are a few things that I would like to incorporate in the New Year.

One item that has worked so well for me over the years is stepping away each day. I live 2.2 miles from the school in which I work and I come home every day for lunch. That time to "get out of the building for some fresh air and a change of scenery" does so much for my composure, energy, and balance.

DileyTeacher's picture
Middle school ELA teacher

Good list. I would add, ride a motorcycle. Bad days are always gone by the time I'm home.

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