Amidst the apps and digital resources to make remote learning possible, let’s face the facts: you are your students’ greatest resource. While it may not feel like it every day, you are making a big difference in the lives of students and their families. There’s a lot you are balancing emotionally, mentally, and physically, and it’s important now more than ever to squeeze in a little daily self-care. We know you’ve got this!
1. Take a Breather When You Need It
If you are finding your day more packed than when you were actually in the school building, remember that you are allowed to take a break. Whether it’s a trip to the bathroom (because you might actually be able to do that now without yelling at the teacher across the hall to cover for you), a quick stroll to the mailbox, or a 5-minute meditation, it will benefit your mental health in the long run.
2. Get Moving Daily
Yes, teachers deserve and benefit from even a mini-version of recess! It’s more important than ever now that many of us are still stuck inside. Do something you love – even if it is for only 10 minutes. Virtual dance parties with your students totally count.
3. Drink Water
It may feel amazing that you can actually get through a cup (or many cups) of coffee or tea without it getting cold, but don’t forget to stay hydrated with water as well.
4. Remind Yourself of Your “Why”
Whether you became a teacher to change the world, help students fall in love with learning, empower student voice or all of the above, it’s so important to remind yourself of your “why” during difficult times. Write it down on a post-it, make it your laptop background, or stick it on your fridge, so you won’t forget how much the work you do matters.
5. Spend Some Time Away From Screens
Most likely, your time in front of a computer or device of some kind has exponentially increased in recent weeks, and you may be feeling the strain mentally and physically. Don’t hesitate to set boundaries for yourself to make sure you get some time away from screens each day.
6. Reach Out to Your Educator Community
Right now, we need each other more than ever. Whether you prefer Zoom calls, texts, social media, or good old-fashioned snail mail, taking the time to connect with the people that understand what you are going through can make all the difference.
7. Prioritize Things You Love to Teach
We know there are a lot of demands being placed on educators right now. Not only are you trying to teach, but many of you may also be filling the role of family counselor, tech support, social worker, nurse, parent, and more. It’s okay to choose a book you love for a read-aloud. It’s okay to include a game during a virtual math lesson. Your kids will love it, and you, we hope, will have a rejuvenating moment amidst your work demands to remember that you love what you do.
8. Laugh Out Loud
There’s a reason why they say laughter is the best medicine. There’s a lot that can go wrong during the day-in-the-life of a remote teacher, but taking the time to have a good belly laugh at a quarantine meme, failed Zoom meeting, or a silly story from a student can help relieve stress in remarkable ways.
9. Do One Thing for You Each Day
You most likely give all day every day to your students, their families, other educators, and your own family. Don’t forget to fill up your own bucket! Take 5 extra minutes to sip your coffee in the morning. Add a few pieces to the puzzle you have been working on. Read an extra page in your book. Make sure you find a little something to bring you joy every day. Not only do you deserve it, but you need it in order to keep being your best self for others.
10. Be Kind to Yourself
Why is this so hard sometimes? You became a teacher because you care about giving your kids the best learning experience possible. You have the training, passion, and natural talent for teaching. However, “Teaching during a Pandemic” was probably not one of the required courses in your teacher certification program. No one really knows what they are doing, and that’s ok! You are doing the best you can. You are enough.
What types of self-care have been working for you? Let us know on Instagram or Facebook by tagging @epic4educators so we can share with the larger community of #EpicEducators!