7 Astonishing Reasons Why Those Teacher Self-Care Ideas Aren’t Working


So you’ve tried all of the teacher self-care trends.

You’ve tried to be consistent, you’ve heard your administration tell you to prioritize self-care.

But no matter how many professional development meetings you go to, training you to take, or how hard you try you can’t make any of the teacher self-care ideas work.

At the end of the day, you are still overwhelmed, overworked, and burned out.

So what’s the problem?

Hi, my name is Helena Hains and I am a self-care coach. I help teachers create a consistent authentic self-care plan that takes not a lot of time.

Today we are going to talk about:

  • What is self-care?
  • Why is self-care important?
  • Why are none of these teacher self-care ideas working?

So let’s get right to it! 

[social_warfare ]

(This post may contain affiliate or external links. Meaning I get a commision if you purchase anything through my links at no cost to you. Read full disclosure here.)

What is Teacher Self-Care

So if you are reading this article, then I am going to assume that you already know what teacher self-care is.

But let’s go ahead and define it anyways so that we are on the same page.

Essentially, teacher self-care is the act of preserving or improving one’s health. 

In other words, it is prioritizing your health first so that you can better preserve your energy and perform better as a teacher. 

It’s the ability to make habits that make sure all the different aspects of your health are taken care of. 

However, what many people don’t know is that there are four different kinds of self-care. These include physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual self-care.

I talk all about the different kinds of self-care in the article “The Ultimate Guide of Self-Care for Teachers.” So if you want to learn more, click here to read it now. 

Self-care is a healthy habit that helps you maintain an optimal state of health.

If you want to learn more about what self-care is, click here.

Why is Teacher Self-Care Important

Okay so now that we know what self-care is, let’s talk about why it is important.

There are many reasons why teacher self-care is so important!

For instance, did you know that 45% of teachers claim to work more than 50 hours a week?

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that 4 in 10 teachers are leaving the profession in the first 5 years. 

Hence why self-care is so important!

To have a fulfilling life as a teacher, you need to prioritize your health first.

Otherwise, you will continue to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and ready to quit the profession you so desperately love. 

Prioritizing your self-care will also help you:

  • Keep burnout at bay.
  • Stay energized throughout the day with clarity.
  • Model to other teachers that prioritizing your self-care is okay and should be done.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to learn more click here to read more about the importance of self-care by clicking here.

Why These Teacher Self-Care Ideas Aren’t Working For You

Now that we have discussed what teacher self-care is and why it is important, let’s talk about why those teacher self-care ideas aren’t working for you.

Not a Habit

One reason why those teacher self-care ideas aren’t working for you is that you are not viewing self-care as a habit.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions I see when it comes to self-care. 

Many teachers will that treating yourself to Starbucks every once in a while is a form of self-care.

Or having a piece of chocolate on your bad days is self-care. 

But the reality is self-care is a habit you have to maintain your health.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Starbucks and chocolate as much as the next person, but that is not self-care.

However, getting Starbucks every Saturday would be considered self-care if I consistently do it.

In other words, one of the biggest mistakes you are making when it comes to self-care is not viewing it as a habit. 

Instead you might be viewing it as self-indulgence. If you would like to learn more about self-indulgence vs. self-care click here. 

Don’t Think You Have the Time

Another reason why those teacher self-care ideas aren’t working for you is that you don’t think you have the time.

You work all day, come home, have children, and need to clean the house, cook dinner, and before you know it the day is over.

But I am here to tell you that you have more time than you think.

One exercise you can do to figure out what time you do have is to write down everything you do. 

From the moment you wake up to the moment you sleep, write down what your day looks like.

What you may find is little pockets of 5 minutes here or there where you don’t have anything scheduled.

Now I know what you’re thinking, 5 minutes isn’t enough time.

But you see, I have a whole list of things you can do in just 5 minutes. And you don’t have to do these alone.

Want to make a goal to read every day as self-care?

Have your family read their books at the same time as a quiet time.

Once you do this exercise you will realize that you have more time than you think and self-care doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems. 

You’re Self-Care Goals Aren’t Measurable

The next reason why those teacher self-care ideas aren’t working for you is that you aren’t making measurable goals.

Much like when we tell our students to “write it down” or when we create lesson plans, we need to come up with a clear objective to be successful.

For example, you could make a goal to read more. 

But that goal isn’t measurable and doesn’t have a clear way to show if you reached it.

How much more? Once a day, a week, a month?

Get clear on your goals!

Another way to phrase this goal so it is measurable is “I will read 15 minutes every day for 365 days after school at 5 pm by December 31st.”

This goal is measurable, has a clear yes or no, you know when you are going to do it and how.

Also here is a pro tip!

Once you make your goals, keep them out in front of you where you can remember them. 

The worst thing you can do is to make goals in a notebook and never open that notebook again. 

Can’t Be Consistent

The fourth reason why those teacher self-care ideas aren’t working for you is that you can’t be consistent.

Once you make those goals, it can feel impossible to be consistent with them.

One way you can do this is to set alarms on your phone.

For example, if you wanted to use the reading goal, you could set an alarm to go off on your phone every day at 4:55 pm that says “Reading Time.”

This is a great reminder that you should be reading.

And if you have kids they can work as an accountability group.

If you want even more hacks to be consistent with your self-care goals click here. 

You Aren’t Prioritizing

Another reason why those teacher self-care ideas aren’t working for you is that you aren’t setting priorities. 

Before you even set self-care goals, you need to get clear on what your priorities are. 

One way to do this is to list out everything that matters to you.

After you make the list, start ranking things based on priority.

Having a list of priorities will help you keep aligned and prevent overwhelm and overwork.

I know when I did this my family came above my work. 

This was a great reminder for me and kept me honest or not on whether I was honoring my priorities.

When you make your list make sure your actions reflect your priorities.

Not Setting Boundaries

The sixth reason why those teacher self-care ideas aren’t working for you is that you are not setting boundaries. 

And if you are, you are not being consistent with them.

I like to think of boundaries as the fence to your house.

The fence protects things from entering your house that you don’t want to.

The same goes with boundaries.

Once you have your priorities set, make sure you have set boundaries and a way to be consistent with them.

Wrong Mindset

The final reason why those teacher self-care ideas aren’t working for you is you don’t have the right mindset.

Now mindset is huge and something many people miss.

Without the right mindset, you might find that these new trends will work for a little while.

But eventually, you go back to your old habits and continue to struggle with incorporating consistent self-care practices.  

And mindset is one of the first things we cover in the Teacher Self-Care Membership. You can find out more by clicking here.


Alright, Helena, I get that there are several reasons why those teacher self-care ideas weren’t working.

So now what?

Well you see, what I am getting at is self-care doesn’t have to take hours. And it’s not a one-size-fits-all.

It’s a plan that you create for yourself and your schedule that allows you to be your authentic self. It should be fun!

So if you want to create a consistent and authentic self-care plan that is tailored to you and doesn’t take a lot of time join us in the Teacher Self-Care Membership.

In this membership, you will find other educators who:

  • Support one another in a like-minded community
  • Create consistent self-care plans that require little to no time
  • Helps each other be accountable with their self-care goals, priorities, and boundaries

So if this sounds like a community you want to be a part of, get on the waitlist by clicking here.

I am so excited to see you there and I know the Present Teacher Team is too!

Happy Teaching!

The Present Teacher Signature why teachers struggle with making priorities