Teaching through a normal school year is exhausting. Teaching through a school year impacted by COVID-19 is exhausting on a whole different level. Between lesson planning, grading, lesson delivery, paperwork, and data collection, the to-do list of a teacher is never-ending. Now, add in COVID-19 safeguards and teaching becomes more demanding and exhausting than ever. In addition to all of the above items, teachers now have to ensure masks are worn properly, students are social distancing, and desks are sanitized. By the end of the day, there is great relief in being able to sit down in a quiet room and take the mask off. However, teachers need more than this simple relief. Now, more than ever, teachers need to practice self-care in order to handle all of the expectations being tossed their way to help students handle this virus.
Self-care is going to look different for each teacher, but some strategies include:
1. Coffee! Lots and lots of coffee! Whether you are teaching in-person, hybrid, or fully remote, coffee is going to be essential to staying energized throughout the day. This adorable mug will help keep a positive mindset through this difficult year while keeping your body fueled.
2. Wine! Coffee may be the perfect energizer during the day, but something stronger may be needed at night. At the end of a long, stressful day, wine may be the best fix to help you relax. This is an adorable cup where three words summarize the stressful mindset for so many teachers.
3. Daily To-Do List: Let’s face it- the to do list is never ending! We are checking one item off the list while adding three more. This set will not only help you organize your teaching responsibilities but your personal life as well! In addition to listing your top priorities and ideas, it will also help ensure you are drinking water and doing something to enjoy your day.
4. 180 Days of Help: If you are like so many others, self-care is easier said than done. Teachers are so busy teaching all day that they forget to set aside time for personal care. This resource is a great tool to help teach teachers how to actually care for themselves, such as utilizing music, nutrition, and creativity. There are 180 days of positive topics, including something teachers truly struggle with- saying no!
5. New Normal: Covid-19 has created a life of “new normal” that teachers are coping with while also helping students adjust to life. Making some simple modifications can make a huge impact in stress reduction. For example, maybe you pack your lunch and pick out your outfit the night before school. While at school, maybe you set a certain time aside to post grades or meet with your team of teachers. By creating a schedule to follow, a new routine will be formed. It can be a huge relief to have some set expectations in such an unknown time.
While it may be hard, take a few minutes and ask yourself: “What do I need to care for myself?” Some may need time to read the newest juicy romance novel while others need time to go on a long run. Whatever it is, it is more important than ever to set aside time for yourself. While this may be hard to do in the beginning, it will lead to a rejuvenated, calmer teacher in the classroom and a happier person while at home.