As teachers, we are constantly caring for others and putting their needs first. However, it is important to make sure that our own mental health is taken care of as well. There are many practices that we can implement into our lives in order to improve our mental health. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best practices for improving mental health and how you can start implementing them into your life today!
1. Create A Mental Awareness Culture.
District leaders can help schools develop a mental health and wellness awareness culture in their schools. As a second stage, educational systems must invest in their most important asset–their teachers' mental, physical, and social well-being. Administrators can have a big, beneficial impact on the lives of their teachers by recognizing and thanking them for everything they accomplish, supporting the use of small groups and therapy, and prioritizing mental well-being.
2. Create Healthy Time Limits
Teaching requires working unusual hours, evenings, and weekends to prepare lesson plans, grade school work, catch up on email, and other responsibilities. Many dedicated instructors let their jobs spill over into their personal life at hazardous levels. Setting appropriate limits for yourself and sticking to them is more vital than ever before.
Arrange a time to be "off the clock" in the same way you schedule time for self-care. You might need to be strong about the "office hours" you designate for students or parents to safeguard your time. Remember that you are only one person and cannot control everything and that education is a team effort. Remind yourself to take breaks when feeling overwhelmed, and remember that you're contributing to the greater good.
If you create healthy work boundaries, you will have time to enjoy the things that relieve stress and make you feel good. These can be hobbies or spending time with your own family or friends.
3. Take a Few Minutes Break.
You are a person, not a machine that can work continuously. If you're teaching from home and have family members, you might have to get creative with how you schedule breaks. Take a 10-minute walk around your block, close your eyes, turn off the lights in your room. You can also use this time to listen to a 10-minute meditation on your phone or computer. If you’re very tired, consider taking a timed power nap.
4. Make Friends with Other Educators.
It is critical to maintaining social connections at this time. When necessary, working online from home and being physically isolated from other teachers and staff can add to teachers' stress levels. Attempt to keep connected to the teaching community you used to interact with daily, whether with friends or family.
Plan to check-in with your coworkers at least once a week. This can be a good method for you to encourage one another and talk about common problems you're having, such as how to alter your educational programs or how to respond to parent contacts and concerns. Sharing your grievances with a trusted colleague may assist in relieving some of your stress and discussing alternative solutions to issues.
Work-life balance is something many people are battling with right now, so these check-ins don't have to be limited to work concerns. Forming a teacher support group is another possibility. Gather to share their experiences, challenges, and ideas. Peer support group conversations, according to research, can help to avoid and alleviate burnout.
5. Make Time for A Pet.
Take advantage of your current remote working situation if you have a pet. Consider how much your pet will appreciate the extra care if you're teaching from home. You'll both benefit from the extra cuddling. And it doesn't have to be a "furry friend." Studies show that even pet fish can help to bring you joy and relieve stress.
6. Keep Yourself Organized.
Keeping your finances in order, keeping your home or workspace clean and orderly, and creating schedules, aren't always discussed regarding self-care. But consider it, particularly if you teach from home. When chores are disorganized, stress levels rise. When managing the necessities of everyday life is a challenge, when will you find the time to relax or to be calm? For your peace of mind, it is vital to find the most effective strategies to keep your life in order both at home, at work and online.
7. Appreciate Your Accomplishments.
Being kind to oneself can assist you in reducing anxiety and maintaining a more relaxed frame of mind. Every day, as a teacher, you have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people. You help them with their learning, academics, social-emotional development, self-esteem, and more. Take some time to appreciate yourself for the work you do.
Even simple moments, such as a student/ child who looks forward to class each day or a parent's "thank you" note, are occasions to reflect on and feel good about. You picked this job for a purpose, and recognizing your achievements is well-deserved and beneficial to your mental health. Also, keep in mind that your accomplishments result from your efforts.
8. Get a Teacher Care Crate Box for Yourself.
The gift of a Teacher Care Crate, to yourself or to a fellow teacher, is a great way to improve your mental health. Teacher Care Crate is a monthly subscription service curated thoughtfully and specifically for teacher's self-care and mental health. It is your monthly reminder to practice self-care. Each month's crate includes digital downloads for teacher (and student) use, inspirational art, bath & body items, on-trend accessories, and nourishing treats to make your teacher heart happy! These gifts are a great way to reward and appreciate yourself or others.
It is important to make sure that your own mental health is a priority. You can’t properly take care of others without first taking care of yourself first. Making daily efforts for yourself and introducing these tips into your life will help to reduce some of the stressors associated with teaching. If you are looking for an extra pick-me-up or want to celebrate all of your accomplishments, be sure to check out Teacher Care Crate today!