Head into the New Year with 5 Simple Self-Care Tips
Whatever you do, do not enjoy your winter break. Don’t relax, don’t catch up on sleep, don’t enjoy extra time with your family, and certainly don’t eat so many delicious foods that you slip into a warm and cozy food coma. The only acceptable way to spend your upcoming winter break from school is to spend every waking moment reading, thinking, planning, and creating activities for your return to school in January. Because you’re a teacher, after all, which means that your personal life and level of sanity don’t actually matter. Remember, giving every ounce of your energy away to students was something you committed to long ago. And you surely can’t break that commitment now.
Or, can you?
Now that you’ve gotten all of those ridiculous ideas out of the way, it’s time to give yourself permission to rest, relax, and recharge over the upcoming winter break because you absolutely deserve it—and, let’s face it—you desperately need it!
Teacher stressors are a very real thing, and teacher needs are plenty—especially this time of year. But after four long months in the classroom, the demands of your job forced you to set aside all of those healthy self-care habits you adopted over the summer.
Revisiting Self-Care Midway Through the Year
At this point in the year, you’ve completely forgotten how to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Now is the perfect time to revisit self-care goals you set for yourself as the school year first rolled around.
But take heed: you don’t have to wait until National Self-Care Day in April for teacher self-care to become a priority in your life once again. There are plenty of ways to practice self-care over the winter break without committing too much of your precious free time or taking a big hit to your budget.
This list of self-care activities will show you just how easy it is to get back into the self-care swing of things. Because as you know, taking care of yourself is the key to learning how to be a better teacher in the first place. In other words, stop draining yourself now so that you actually have something left to give to your students when school resumes in January.
These 5 self-care ideas will help you get started:
1. Create a Self-Care Action Plan
There’s plenty of self-care inspiration on the internet—but not all of them will work well for you as an individual. As a matter of fact, the best self-care tip for one person may just be the worst self-care tip for you because we all have unique wants and needs.
Creating a self-care action plan helps you make self-care a priority, discover what types of self-care you enjoy the most, and keeps you accountable to yourself so that you don’t put off taking care of yourself.
2. Take Care of Your Body
Without a healthy body, you’ll never feel your best. That’s why taking care of your body must become a part of your daily routine and not just be left for your list of self-care Sunday ideas.
Examples of self-care activities abound when it comes to taking care of your body. But, the most important ones you should focus on now revolve around enjoying the holidays and eating well, staying hydrated, getting active, making quality sleep a priority, and seeing your doctor regularly.
3. Focus on Your Mind
Teacher mental health is crucial, and yet it’s one of the most often ignored self-care topics. So increase the overall self-care statistics of all teachers by choosing to make your mental health a priority over winter break and beyond.
Mental self-care ideas that you should consider include doing puzzles, reading books, unplugging from social media, clearing out your digital clutter, and watching documentaries. Basically, anything that keeps your brain sharp and helps you focus on what truly matters will provide enormous benefits to your mental health.
4. Tend to Your Emotions
Don’t forget to tend your emotions while you’re focusing on self-caring strategies over winter break. Your emotions are a huge part of you, and they greatly impact how you see the world around you.
Emotional self-care ideas include gathering some self-care journal ideas that interest you, reading self-care quotes for teachers that inspire you, practicing gratitude, and speaking with a professional mental health provider about your feelings whenever necessary.
5. Quality Time
Another one of the self-care examples you should really prioritize is to spend quality time by yourself and with those who you love most. As humans, we crave both quiet time alone and social interactions from time to time. Quality time simply means giving your undivided attention and really enjoying the moment you’re in. And this can be done alone or with others so long as you’re intentional about it—it can even be done with your pets!
And once you’re an expert on self-care for educators, you don’t have to stop there. Think about how important self-care for students is as well. Wouldn’t it be great if you returned to school in January so refreshed that you were able to teach your students how to take better care of themselves during the school year?
You could even create short self-care lesson plans for your classroom that focus on things like:
- Self-care activities for students
- Self-care activities for teens
- Self-care activities for groups
- Self-care activities for stress
- Virtual self-care activities your students can do at home
- Mindfulness activities for students
Self-care activities for staff meetings can allow your peers to benefit from everything you’ve learned. Teacher self-care is important. Stop putting it off already and start taking better care of your entire being now so that you can be an even better teacher tomorrow.
Your newfound commitment to practicing self-care on a regular basis will eventually inspire others to do the same. And self-care even makes a great themed gift, so start collecting self-care kit ideas and your holiday gift-giving will become even easier too!