Happy Teachers Practice Self-care
So often we forget about ourselves. Teacher wellness starts with being kind to you and practicing self-care. As teachers you are busy caring for others and may not feel supported or even remember to take time for yourselves. Remember to look after yourself. Find balance in your life, eat well, be active, get enough sleep and take time to connect with others.
Practice self-regulation techniques:
- Be able to know what you are feeling and name it, you don’t have to tell anyone but yourself. Notice where your emotion sits in your body. You can acknowledge it, notice it where it’s sitting in your body and help it move through you.
- Just like your students – be aware of your biological functioning: Are you feeling hangry/sleep-angry/hormone-angry?
- Respond to things with thoughtful awareness or mindfulness – this is much different than reacting – try being curious.
Recognize the contagion effect:
- Be aware of how relationships affect you (e.g., is there a person/student who can set you off?)
- Be aware of how you affect your students (e.g., the more regulated you are, the more likely they are also to be regulated.)
- Try different breathing techniques
- Reach out to colleagues
- Take a 5 minute time out
- Get physically active
- Get out in nature
- Eat well
- Disconnect from technology
- Forgive yourself
- Reflect on little things you are grateful for
- Nurture your creative side
- Pamper yourself to something special
- Learn about emotional regulation
- Try something for your spirit
Self-care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, prevent and deal with illness. It includes the activities and experiences that bring us pleasure. It does not have to be big things that take a lot of time; small things like deep breaths or a quick walk are helpful. Self-care also includes making tough decisions and asking for help. Consider how saying no to some things may allow you to say yes to other things.
Amanda is a Health Promotion Coordinator with Alberta Health Services.