5 Simple Self-Care Practices for Teachers to Overcome Stress

As educators, we often put the needs of their students before their own, leaving little time and energy for self-care. However, taking care of oneself is essential for maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health. Our days are full of children, questions, decisions, and noise. Once the students enter the door, we are on and the business of the day begins. If you have children at home it likely begins before that. We come home from work and are exhausted and drained. It is crucial to have small daily practices that can improve your well-being. These 5 self-care practices can take less than 15 minutes each, and can help you overcome stress and improve your overall well-being. Whether you are a new teacher navigating the challenges of the classroom or a seasoned educator looking to prioritize self-care, these tips can provide valuable tools and strategies to support your physical and mental health

1. Water Upon Waking

Staying hydrated can help to improve mood, reduce stress levels, and increase overall energy levels.As a busy mom and teacher I have come to rely on caffeine to keep me going. There was a time where I found myself rolling out of bed and making coffee as soon as I woke up. I realized that this probably wasn’t the healthiest choice and started drinking a glass of water upon waking. I leave a glass of water or my water bottle near my bed before I go to sleep each night. It is easy to remember to drink water when I wake up because it is on my nightstand next to my bed.

2. Journaling

Journaling is a tool that has a variety of benefits. Journaling can serve as a therapeutic outlet for self-expression and reflection. Writing down one’s thoughts and feelings can help to clarify and process complex emotions, providing a sense of relief and release. Journaling can also be a useful tool for managing stress and anxiety. My journaling practice has looked very different over the years but I have consistently kept a journal since 2019. I started my journaling practice with Future-Self Journaling. Future-Self Journaling is where you pick one small promise (like drinking water upon waking) and you write about why you need to keep that small promise to yourself. My practice has since evolved and now I write a mix of that, gratitude, dreams, and about the things that are going on in my life. I recommend starting small and using prompts if you are unsure what to write about.

3. Recess Walks

I love recess walks! I recently started walking during our morning recess. I go for a quick walk around the school. It helps clear my head and get me ready for my next class. It provides an opportunity to step away from the classroom or workspace and get some fresh air and exercise. Walking can help to increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, boosting mental clarity and focus. It can also help to reduce stress levels and promote a sense of calmness. Walking at recess also helps ensure that I am moving my body each day.

4. Baths

Baths are literally my saving grace! I take a bath almost everyday after work. It leaves me feeling refreshed and relaxed. Baths can ease muscle tension, alleviate soreness, and promote better sleep. As one soaks in the warm water, negative energy can be released and washed away, leaving one feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. I love adding epsom salt and essential oils to my bath for some aromatherapy. Sometimes I add bentonite clay to help detox my body.

5. Breathwork and Meditation

Breathwork and meditation can be powerful tools for teachers to reduce stress, enhance focus, and improve overall well-being. As educators, we face a range of daily stressors, from managing classroom dynamics to meeting academic expectations, which can take a toll on physical and mental health. Breathwork and meditation are proven techniques that help reduce stress and promote relaxation. These are both powerful practices that deserve their own post. If you are new to breathwork or meditation, or any new habit, make sure to start small with only a few minutes a day. 

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