“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”-Katie Reed
Self-Care for teachers is so important but can be nearly impossible to be consistent with.
You feel like you are exhausted and tired of staying late. You promise yourself you are going to do something for self-care today because it’s important.
But by the end of the day, you are exhausted, stressed, and drained and the last thing you can think of is going to the gym or reading that book.
That’s exactly how I felt in my 1st year of teaching.
It felt like no matter how late I worked, I was always behind. I didn’t feel like the teacher I was meant to be and if I am being honest, I felt like I was letting my students down.
If this sounds like you, I want to let you know that you are not alone.
Did you know that according to Now Waiting For Superman 65% of teachers claim they are burnt out?
And you see that’s where self-care comes in. Today we are going to talk about:
- What is Self-Care For Teachers?
- Why is Self-Care Important For Teachers?
- Top Self-Care Strategies for Teachers That Take 5 Minutes or Less
That way no matter how busy you are, you still have time to prioritize yourself. So grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up and let’s get to it!
(Also don’t forget to download the Ultimate Guide of Self-Care Ideas for Teachers that comes with this post. It is completely free and it’s perfect for that busy teacher who just can’t find time for themselves.)
(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 Self-Care for Teachers?
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.
Physical self-care is maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy and regularly, drinking lots of water, rest and exercise.
Emotional self-care is the ability to set and maintain consistent boundaries on your time and energy. An example of this would be setting a boundary on how late after school you are going to work.
Psychological Self-Care is when you prioritize growth through reflection and learning.
For instance, keeping a journal and reflecting on your school day would be a reflective activity that falls under psychological self-care.
The Final form of self-care for teachers is spiritual self-care. Spiritual self-care is connecting to your purpose and meaning of life. For example, this could be meditating, prayer or positive affirmations to remind you of your purpose as a teacher.
All four of these different aspects of self-care are vital while maintaining your overall health and preventing teacher burnout.
Why is Self-Care Important for Teachers?
There are many reasons why self-care for teachers is important.
A recent study was done by the Middle-Class Dad found that 41.3% of teachers new teachers leave the profession within the first five years.
That’s almost half of the teachers!
And did you know that about 45% of teachers claim to work more than 50 hours a week?
It’s no wonder that teachers are feeling burnt out at alarming rates!
That is why self-care for teachers is so important.
To have a fulfilling career as a teacher, you have 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 serves education.
Another thing that I absolutely must address is the misconception that self-care is selfish.
I thought this too when I first started on my journey of prioritizing self-care. But the more I prioritized myself, the more I was able to give back to my students.
By prioritizing self-care you are better serving your students.
Self-Care Strategies For Teachers in 5 Minutes or Less
Common challenge teachers face while trying to incorporate self-care in their day is that they feel like they don’t have time.
But what many don’t know is that there are plenty of habits you can incorporate into your daily life that takes less than 5 minutes.
Here are some teacher self-care ideas that you can do in less than 5 minutes!
Physical Self-Care Ideas for Teachers
An example of a physical self-care idea for teachers would be to take a 5-minute walk on your lunch.
Oftentimes teachers do not get enough time in the sunlight since they work inside the classroom.
Taking a quick walk around the school can help you get some exercise, get some vitamin D and take a quick mental break from the school day.
Another self-care idea for teachers is to go to bed on time.
As simple as it sounds, many teachers do not get enough sleep at night. In fact, 37% claim that they get less than 6 hours today.
Prioritizing your rest and setting a consistent bedtime will help you feel energized for the next day.
Check out the Ultimate List of Self-Care Ideas for Teachers to find out more.
Self-care for teachers can be especially hard when it comes to emotional self-care.
It can be so easy to become emotionally invested in your students. Setting boundaries and saying “no” can make you feel guilty for prioritizing your health.
But here are some easy self-care ideas for emotional self-care that any teacher can do.
The first idea for teacher self-care is to leave work on time.
Let’s be honest the to-do list will never end. There will always be something not finished. And to be honest that’s just how this profession works.
The point is it is so important to set that boundary ahead of time. That way you aren’t finishing just “one more thing” until 10 pm.
Give yourself a time that you will stop working every day and be consistent!
It takes less than 5 minutes to set up a clock-out time.
You will feel so much better when you do because you will not feel as overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted, and resentful towards your job.
Prioritizing your growth through reflection and learning is a great way to incorporate self-care for teachers.
One way to do this is to reflect on the end of the day.
Set a timer for 5 minutes and reflect on how the day went. End the journaling session with 3 things that went well.
This helps you leave work on a positive note while also writing anything down that you need to remember for tomorrow.
Towards the end of the session, I like to write a to-do list of what I need to do tomorrow. That way everything I need to do at work is left at work and I can leave the day without worrying about forgetting that “one thing.”
The final idea for self-care for teachers is to sit in silence for five minutes.
Setting a timer and focusing on the quiet and your breathing can help calm the storm going on in your head.
This is especially great for spiritual self-care because it gives you time to refocus on the why and reasoning behind why you are a teacher in the first place.
Sitting in silence is a great self-care idea for teachers because it connects you to your “why” and calms all the noise around you.
Plus it takes only 5 minutes!
Download the ultimate guide of self-care ideas for teachers. I have a total of 40 ideas for you that you can do regardless of what teaching looks like this year. And all of them can be done in less than 5 minutes.
All in all self-care for teachers is so important because it allows you to be the teacher you always dreamed of being.
Teacher self-care is the setting of and maintaining healthy habits that allow you to show up mindfully and teach and serve your students again and again.
In this article we talked about:
- What Self-Care For Teachers Is
- Why Self-Care is Important For Teachers
- Self-Care Strategies for Teachers That Take Less than 5 Minutes
One last thing, download this Ultimate Self-Care Guide for Teachers: 40 Self-Care Ideas You Can Do In 5 Minutes or Less.
No matter how busy you are, you deserve to prioritize yourself. You deserve to be happy and you deserve to be the teacher you always dreamed of.
I hope this article and freebie were helpful and I look forward to hearing from you soon!