9 Astonishing Teacher Self-Care Ideas for Back to School


So it’s that overwhelming time of year that many teachers know as… Back to School.

It’s that time of year where teachers come back from summer break and start decorating, organizing, planning, and eventually welcoming their new students for the year.

In the midst of all that chaos it can be hard to remember about incorporating self-care.

So that’s why today we are going to tackle some teacher self-care ideas for back to school.

In this post we are going to cover:

  • What is self-care?
  • Why is self-care important?
  • 9 teacher self-care ideas for back to school

So grab that coffee and let’s get started!

What is Self-Care?

Before we talk about teacher self-care ideas for back to school, we need to get super clear on what self-care actually is. 

Self-Care is the action 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. 

Basically, self-care is the healthy habits that help you maintain an optimal state of health.

Okay, but why is self-care important for teachers?

I am so glad you asked! Scroll down to read the next section.

Why is self-care 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:

  • Build stronger relationships with your students.
  • Allow you to better serve your students and show up for them in a mindful way.
  • Feel more fulfilled in the profession.
  • Create priorities and boundaries that allow you to work in the profession you love while honoring your self-worth. 
  • 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.
  • Help create a movement where teachers take back control of their lives in a way that helps better serve education.

Teacher Self-Care Ideas for Back to School

Now that we talked about what self-care is and why it is important, let’s talk about some teacher self-care ideas for back to school.

Silence or Meditation

The first self-care idea for back to school is to meditate or sit in silence. 

This is extremely helpful I find at the beginning of the day.

Whether you use this for prayer or to meditate, it’s a great practice to be mindful of your breathing that you can refer to throughout the day. 

If you haven’t tried meditation, but would like to try, I highly recommend downloading the app “Simple Habit.”

I am not an affiliate but I find them extremely helpful and recommend them to anyone who wants to get started.

They do have an upgraded version but I just use the free meditations available on the app.


Another great teacher self-care idea for back to school is to exercise. Physical self-care is one of the first things many people will neglect.

That’s why it is so important to schedule this out intentionally at the beginning of the school year.

One way you could do this is to go for a walk around your campus during your lunch. 

This allows you to maintain your physical health while also helping your mental and emotional health.

If you want, find another teacher to walk with you as an accountability partner.

Track Water Intake

The next teacher’s self-care idea for back to school is to track your water intake. 

I realize that there are apps out there that can help you with this, but let’s face it, it can be nearly impossible to take out your phone during the work day.

That’s why I recommend getting one of these water accountability water bottles.

They are easy to track and give you a great visual reminder on where you should be at certain times of the day.

Get Enough Sleep

Much like the last teacher self-care idea for back to school, sleep is another thing that teachers will neglect during back to school.

One way to combat this is to set a bedtime that you can be consistent with.

A hack you can use to keep yourself accountable is to set an alarm on your phone to let you know it’s time for bed. 

Once the alarm goes off write down on a sticky note anything you didn’t get done for the next day and get ready for bed.

This will also help you go to bed without having a million things in your head that you need to get done the next day.

Read That Fun Book You’ve Always Wanted

Back to school time can mean a lot of planning and prep work. That’s why the next teacher self-care idea for back to school is to read a book for fun.

Your intellectual health is important too. That’s why you should read a book that you have always wanted to-just for fun!

Set an alarm on your phone for 30 minutes or a reminder that you should be reading.

If you have kids make this “Quiet time” after school and have them read books too!

You can make a goal to read a certain amount of chapter(s) a day or for a certain time period.

Write a thank you note

Social health is also something many teachers neglect over back to school.

That’s why writing a note for someone can help you socially and doing something nice for someone else.

This can be a note to your spouse, children, a student, a coworker, a custodian, administration, another teacher, etc.

Try to point out something specifically that they did to make it more meaningful.

Spend Time With Friends and Family

As I mentioned before with teachers neglecting social health, another great teacher self-care idea for back to school is to prioritize spending time with friends and family.

It’s easy to get wrapped in work the first couple of weeks during back to school.

That’s why I recommend to my Present Teacher Members to schedule outings with your friends and families to keep you accountable.

You deserve time away from work. Whatever you are working on can wait. Trust me!

Bring a Healthy Snack or Meal

The next teacher self-care idea for back to school is to bring a healthy snack or meal.

Let’s be honest, the first couple of months of school can be so hectic that our diet can often be neglected. Or worse, we don’t eat at all!

That’s why you should prioritize making or buying yourself a healthy meal or snack for the day.

Just because you are in a caregiving profession doesn’t mean you need to neglect yourself!

Journal/Grateful Journal

The final teacher self-care idea for back to school is to journal. 

With all of the emotional and social neglect we may face, it is extremely important to journal about our days as reflection.

One way you can do this (while also gaining a positive mindset) is to start a gratitude journal.

A gratitude journal is writing down things you are grateful for everyday. This helps you go from a scarcity to an abundance mindset.

You can just start writing 5 things you are grateful for everyday or grab this downloadable PDF I created with 30 Days worth of gratitude prompts.

For journaling you can set a timer and journal for that set amount of time. 

I personally like to journal in the mornings so that I start off my mornings with a positive mindset. But you could also journal during the evenings.

Whatever works for you and your schedule!


You made it! You have now discovered all 9 teacher self-care ideas for back to school.

To sum it all up, in this article we talked about:

  • What self-care is
  • Why self-care is important
  • 9 teacher self-care ideas for back to school

Since you made it to the end I want to secretly invite you to an exclusive membership I will be hosting for teachers.

The TeacherCare Community is perfect for teachers who:

  • Are tired of getting burned out.
  • Can’t be consistent with their self-care plan.
  • Don’t have the time for their self-care.
  • Have a hard time making boundaries and priorities during the school year.

So if this sounds like you, I want to formally invite you to our exclusive TeacherCare Community. You can join the waitlist by clicking here.

I am so excited for you, and can’t wait to see you inside!

Happy Teaching!

The Present Teacher