As Teachers you always have a multifaceted challenging roll to elevate the transforming student community, anxiety of parents, expectations of the management, family members and with your own children. Teaching is such an intensive job, in fact, practicing self-care can be in the best interest of everyone in your classroom. Educators like teachers are encouraged to focus so much energy on others and so little on themselves. Self-care is an important component of a teacher’s mental and physical health. Self-care can keep you at the top of your performance and ready to handle any challenges that come up during your teaching career.
According to the National Institute of Mental Illness (NAMI), there are six elements to self-care: Physical, Psychological, Emotional, Spiritual, Social, Professional. Ideally, a healthy self-care strategy should include an activity that addresses each of these factors every day. That’s why you can make sure that every element of your overall health and well-being is taken care of.
Research studies reflects over 40% of teachers feeling high stress every day as having the highest stress rate of any career. Causes of stress can include lack of resources, class behavioural problems, pressure relating to standardized test expectations etc., But they all lead to the same outcomes: weakened physical and emotional health.
A few self-care strategies for teachers:
- Eat fresh, home cooked foods with locally available resources rich in nutrients.
- Encourage good resting patterns such as sleep (minimum 7 hours a day) which is an important criterion to increase better absorption of nutrients from the food we take.
- Respect your body and attend to its signals and symptoms with periodic health checkups, especially after 40 years of age.
- Find a way to connect with loved ones at least once a day for social support. This could be having dinner with your family, calling a friend, or relaxing with your significant other to ventilate bottled emotions.
- Try to balance your relationship with family members and encourage them to live in harmony with elders, parents and try to adopt a secured joint family system.
- Make sure to plan at least 10-20 minutes a day where you can take a break and decompress by yourself
- Encourage positive associations, thoughts, and self-motivation and do a little yoga to unwind and practice mindfulness together.
- Take deep breaths in between and consider taking a mindful walk around the school campus instead