With September right around the corner (and 4 weeks into this Distance Learning adventure) I find myself tired and needing some extra self-love. While I love and enjoy my job, this year I have felt overwhelmed by the amounts of learning required to be an effective teacher. What’s worse is I feel like I’ve been so busy, that I have been neglecting myself.
In general, I feel like teachers care so much about others, that they often neglect themselves. That is why I was very happy to discover that September is National Self-Care Awareness Month! Excited, I decided to look for some 30 Day Self Care Teacher Challenges that would put my Self-Love to the test this month.
However, I soon realized that there were not a whole lot of 30 Day Challenges for Teachers. Hence I decided to make my own!
If you have read “3 Things to Consider While Distance Learning As A New Teacher” you might recall how I mentioned the importance of Self-Care. Especially for new teachers or teachers going through Distance Learning. We are learning so much this year as a community, that it’s no surprise that teachers can expect early burnout this year.
That’s why I think this month is a great opportunity to prioritize your well-being and to put Self-Care at the top of your list. But first, let’s look into why Self-Care is important.
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Why is Self-Care Important
I personally always struggled with the idea of Self-Care from the beginning of my Teaching Career. As a new teacher, I always felt that Self-Care meant putting myself first meant that I was selfish.
The longer I teach, however, the more I realize how important Self-Care is. Here are some important reasons why you should practice Self-Care:
- When we don’t practice Self-Care it shows.
- We may feel more tired and less enthusiastic about work.
- We may become fatigued and dreading helping others.
- There may also be a lack of motivation in general in your work life and personal life.
- Our students may notice we are less patient or emotionally aligned with ourselves.
- We can’t help others as effectively when we are burnt out.
- When we practice Self-Care we build our Self-Esteem and Confidence as people in general and as teachers.
- Self-Care Prevents burnout.
- It allows us more room to be Present in the moment and more effective.
I feel a huge difference when I am practicing Self-Care or not. When I practice Self-Care, I feel more happy and excited about what we are accomplishing. However, if I have been neglecting myself I often feel more frazzled and stressed.
It’s important to be able to identify your state of mind because, as many of us know, our students often feed off of our state. For instance, if we are enthused about something, our students will be too!
On the other hand, if we are stressed and just trying to get through the day, our students will feel that way too.
If you notice that you seem a little extra stressed lately, incorporating a little Self-Care into your routine can go a long way. I created this Challenge because I want to give back to the community I so deeply adore. And remind us that it is okay to put yourself first sometimes.
How the 30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Educators Works:
For this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge, I decided to break it up into 4 parts: mind, body, soul, and connection.
Mind– For this section, I decided to incorporate things that are mentally rewarding for our Self. This may include: reading a book, taking a mental break, making goals, etc.
Body– This section is focused on our physical health. This may include healthy meals, exercise, sleep, etc.
Soul– As far as the soul section, I wanted to incorporate things that would appeal to our inner self in a rewarding way. This includes lists of positive things, positive goals, self-love, gratefulness, etc.
Connection– By nature, humans are social beings. That is why it is so important to incorporate that social aspect. I also know that when we reach out positively to others we may feel more positive about our inner self. This section might include: writing a positive note or email, spending time with a colleague, doing a random act of kindness for a peer, writing/giving positive feedback to a student, etc.
Now let’s talk about what you will be doing in this challenge.
DISCLAIMER: I wrote this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge with Distance Learning in mind. You can participate if you are working from home.
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What You Will Be Doing:
Without further ado, Here is break down of each day so you know exactly what to do:
Day 1- Fill out the “30-Day Self-Care Challenge for Teachers Reflection Page.” This allows you to figure out how you are feeling before the challenge and what your goal is throughout the challenge.
Day 2- Write down or say 3 reasons WHY you are a great teacher.
Day 3- Go for a walk on your Lunch/Prep or sometime throughout the day.
Day 4- Write a note (or email if you are distance learning) thanking a staff member for something.
Day 5- Don’t bring or Do any work after school today. Give yourself a mental break!
Day 6- Write or say 5 things you are grateful for as a teacher.
Day 7- Drink AT LEAST 2 Bottles of water.
Day 8- Send a positive note home (Email or Message if you are Distance Learning) with a student today.
Day 9- Write about (or talk about) 1 positive thing that happened during school today.
Day 10- Read a book for 10 minutes sometime throughout the day.
Day 11- Make 3 goals that you want to accomplish at school.
Day 12- Organize a part of your classroom or home office.
Day 13- Do something nice for a coworker. (This can be sending an email, helping them with something, or bringing something.)
Day 14- Get Dressed up today!
Day 15- Buy or make yourself your favorite drink today!
Day 16- Plan out next week in your planner. (What you are going to teach or what goals you have.)
Day 17- Listen to your favorite music during Prep/Lunch.
Day 18- Write down 1 thing you learned today.
Day 19- 10 Minutes of Quiet Time during Lunch/Prep.
Day 20- Compliment/write a note or email to a support staff member. (Secretary, cook, custodian, etc.)
Day 21- Do a morning or afternoon workout.
Day 22- Bring a healthy lunch to work.
Day 23- Write one thing you want to work on as a teacher.
Day 24- Tidy up your desk or counters.
Day 25- Make your favorite treat and have it with lunch.
Day 26- Wear your favorite outfit to work.
Day 27- Send an email to a coworker to thank them for something.
Day 28- Organize a cabinet that is cluttered.
Day 29- Write 1 thing you learned about yourself this month.
Day 30- YOU DID IT! Reflect on how you feel after the 30-Day Self-Care Challenge.
Let Me Know What you Think!
I am so excited to take this journey with you! Want to do this Challenge with someone or share your progress? Tag me on Instagram @thepresentteacher or use #30DayTeacherChallenge.
I look forward to seeing all Self-Love next month. Follow me on Instagram to get daily updates on how my 30-Day Self-Care Challenge is going!
What do you do for Self-Care? Anything that I missed that other teachers should be doing? Comment your thoughts in the section below.
The Present Teacher