Having two little ones is tiring. Beautiful, but tiring.
And although I don’t have my own classroom this year, I will never forget that there’s no tired like ‘Teacher Tired’. And Term 1 Teacher Tired is like no other. Having up to 20 kids in your care for hours at a time – that’ll exhaust you! Managing varying energy levels, mixed emotions, lessons, interruptions… a day in the life of a teacher can be an absolute whirlwind.
And that my friend, is why we need to have a chat about self care for teachers – both in and out of the classroom.
It’s not to add another ball to the many you’re already juggling. It’s because it’s so easy to put self care in ‘too hard basket’. If you feel like there are literally not enough hours in the day to do something that relaxes you – I urge you to read on for my top 3 tips!
My #1 advice?
#1 – commit to a morning ritual
After years of learning the hard way (!) – give yourself just ten minutes in the morning to do something that calms you. If you’re thinking that might make you run late… cut something out of your morning routine that doesn’t serve you. Maybe it’s scrolling Instagram or pressing the snooze button perhaps?
What could you try instead?
-Listen to a guided meditation on the Headspace app
-Practice some cat-cow poses on Yoga with Adriene
-Drink your coffee slowly and mindfully – enjoy every sip!
Whatever works for you! Just make it a habit. Something that you know will fill your cup in the morning, before you start pouring out to others.
#2 – find some Mindful moments
In recent years, there has been such a beautiful focus on bringing grounding practises into the classroom, like mindfulness and yoga. This is also a bit of a sneaky (but beautiful!) opportunity for you as a teacher to recharge and focus on your own self care while you’re with your students. Try not to waste it!
Bringing the practice of mindfulness into your personal life is bound to have a positive impact on your mood, patience levels and overall satisfaction levels. And no doubt your students will notice the shift too! And like anything, the more you learn about something and practice it yourself, the easier it is to teach with enthusiasm.
What’s more, leading by example throughout the day and modelling mindfulness practices means your students can *really* learn to practise it in everyday situations themselves. Feeling like you’re about to lose your cool? Take a few *visible* deep breaths. Your students will see that something as simple as breath work can help ground you and help you to respond instead of react. They may also take it as a sign that you’re struggling a little, and have some compassion for you!
(Head over to my MJLL Community on IG to check out a beautiful definition of mindfullness.)
The Benefits of Mindfulness
The Smiling Mind website is a wonderful resource for teachers wanting to transform their classroom into a more mindful environment. An independent study conducted in 2016 evaluating their program returned impressive results. The study showed that teachers reported:
Improvements in sleep quality,
enhanced ability to manage and describe emotions,
as well as significant reductions in distress and tension.
How good does that sound??!!
Additionally, students reported:
-improvements in their sleep,
-reductions in the experience of bullying and classroom disruption,
-improvements in emotional wellbeing,
-reduced psychological distress,
-enhanced positive wellbeing,
-enhanced ability to manage emotions and
-improvements in concentration.
This was achieved through teachers integrating mindful moments into their classrooms around three times a week! That doesn’t sound too tricky, does it!
#3 – DITCH THE OVERTIME!
And last but not least – – try to not overwork yourself, and head home at a reasonable time. Putting tools down early for the day means you have more time for you. And *you* should be a priority in your life, not just the beautiful kids you’re teaching.
As teachers, we’re great at following a plan and sticking to a schedule. So don’t forget to schedule in some time to do what you love – exercising, getting crafty and creative, socialising, a bath with candles, shopping, Netflix – whatever it is that lights you up and fills your cup.
Be kind to yourself, friend.
AND NOW… HERE’S A FREEBIE for you!
To help you focus on self care in and out of the classroom each day, I’ve created a freebie that I think you’ll love! It’s called a Brain Dump and it will give you the chance to jot down that to-do list that’s floating around your head and adding stress to your life! The theory behind it is that once it’s all out on paper, out of your brain and released into the world, you don’t have to carry those thoughts around with you! AND, you can return to the classroom in the morning, knowing you have your top three priorities for the day sorted!
Download your free copy below.
Share the love!
If you’ve found a teacher self care practice that has worked wonders for you, comment below and let us know!
Better still, if you have something you do to help you prepare for your day, or unwind at the end of it, why not head over to our MJLL Community on Instagram, and share your go-to self care strategy as a teachers on my latest post? I’d love to know!!