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75 Teacher Self Care Ideas
Whether you are a veteran teacher, student teacher, or homeschooling your little ones, these teacher self care ideas are for you. These ideas were generated by teachers who are learning to balance the teacher stress with a personal life.
Along with the teacher self care ideas, you will also find poll results from inside the Teachers on a Budget Facebook group. There, the teachers shared the reasons they are stressed, and ways they have found to de-stress after a long day.
You are an awesome teacher doing amazing things, but teacher burnout is a real thing. From lesson plans and testing to managing student behavior, there are a lot stresses in your life. On top of it all, you can’t stop thinking about your struggling student and the professional development requirement you have to meet.
As a former teacher for 17 years, I know what you are going through. Sadly, teacher stress is continuing to increase post pandemic. In fact, teachers are becoming so overwhelmed, they are leaving mid-year to escape the high-stress job. Unfortunately, the healthy work-life balance is becoming more and more difficult for teachers. And while I support teachers doing what’s best for their own mental sanity; I fear the kids are going to be left with a lack of a quality education.
Next, let’s take a quick look at the different things teachers feel are causing the most stress in their profession.
Causes of Teacher Stress
There is no sugar coating this topic. Being a classroom teacher is rewarding in many ways, yet so stressful and exhausting. Even the best teacher knows how challenging a daily routine can be.
There are good days and bad days throughout the school year. With that being said, let’s look at some common causes of teacher stress.
- Large class sizes
- Not enough time for planning and prepping materials
- Low pay
- Lack of support from administration
- Too much standardized testing
- Lack of support staff
- Not enough behavioral support in the schools
- Excessive amount of paperwork and little time to complete it
- Out of classroom duties taking from planning and paperwork time
- Lack of support from parents
- Extreme behavior issues
- Increase of IEP’s and 504 plans without additional support
- High workload expected outside of contracted hours
- State required teacher evaluations and observations
- Being expected to differentiate for every student
- Unpaid professional development
50 Teacher Self Care Ideas
Clearly, teacher stress reflects the common challenges of education. While I cannot come and do all the little things for you, I can share these self-care ideas that will help you be your best self.
- Drink herbal tea
- Read a good book
- Go for a walk
- Make time for your own family
- Schedule time for self-care activities
- Give yourself the best gift from time to time
- Visit a holistic chiropractor regularly
- Go for a swim
- Deep breathing
- Start a no-till garden
- Try out a new face mask
- Use your personal time
- Listen to your favorite podcast
- Subscribe to your favorite teacher self-care box
- Learn a new mindfulness practice
- Have alone time
- Go for a bike ride
- Get away on a holiday break
- Set boundaries
- Plan for healthy lunches at work
- Invite family members out to dinner
- Have a salon or spa day
- Play an instrument
- Binge watch your favorite shows
- Spend time coloring (there are lots of cool adult coloring books)
- Listen to your favorite music
- Dance like nobody’s watching
- Focus on positive energy
- Have a game night
- Buy yourself fresh flowers
- Limit social media
- Get outside for fresh air
- Hang out with positive people
- Write in a gratitude journal at the end of the day
- Go for a hike in a nearby state park
- Distance yourself from those with constant negative thoughts
- Organize your bathroom drawers
- Meet friends for happy hour
- Get Vitamin D
- Soak in a hot bath with Epsom salt
- Make a vision board
- Diffuse your favorite essential oils
- Go for a drive by yourself
- Bake a new desert
- Take a nap
- Declutter your closet
- Walk barefoot in the grass (there are SO many benefits to walking barefoot)
As you know, not taking time for self-care practices will quickly effect both your mental health and physical health. Next, we will look at the benefits you will reap by taking time to create new habits or a self-care plan.
You will find some of these overlap with the self-care strategies teachers shared in the polls below.
What Teachers Need
I recently polled 14.5 thousand teachers inside the Teachers on a Budget FB group about teacher burnout.
They were asked to choose 3 things they need to help address teacher burnout. In addition the to options, they were allowed to add their own suggestions.
25 Teacher’s Favorite Self-Care Activities
Following the teacher burnout poll above, I asked the teachers to share their favorite self-care activity. I was happy to see that self-care matters to many teachers.
The self-care tips they shared inside the Facebook group bounce off the teacher self care ideas above.
- Leave at your contracted time
- Don’t do school work over the weekend
- Long hot showers
- Doing your nails
- Enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee
- Dinner after school with your teacher besties
- Monthly massages
- Separate your emotions from the stress of the classroom
- Read a good book
- Drink a glass of wine
- Binge watch your favorite show
- Bubble baths
- Listening to your favorite music
- Limit screen time
- Diamond painting
- Only check emails on contracted time
- Go to the gym
- Start the day in The Word
- Turn off your phone and give yourself 1 full hour of off-time
- Get a facial
- Date nights with your spouse
- Game nights with friends or family
- Pool time
- Visit the local library for quiet time
- Go for a walk
Benefits of Teacher Self-Care
The first step to improving your emotional health is knowing your worth. You are worthy of a healthy life. Overall, your mental health and physical health are the last thing you should compromise.
Taking the time out of your days to do some of the self-care activities listed above has many benefits. Call them self-indulgent activities or effective ways to a happier life. Whatever you call it, take small steps to include good things for yourself…everyday!
Teacher; take care of your health! You will see a change once you implement a self-care routine. In fact, here are some of the benefits of regularly doing the teacher self care ideas:
- experience more happiness
- have positive emotions
- improve your personal life
- attract different people bring more joy to your days
- improve your physical health
- see a huge difference in your mental health
- start achieving personal goals
- begin focusing on the best things during the day rather than the typical stresses
- handle classroom management in a more effective way
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