Tips for Self-Care During Stressful Times

By Huntington Learning Center

First semester is coming to a close and it’s time for a little rest and relaxation. This year has been particularly stressful with many students catching up from the disruptions caused by remote learning. If you’re feeling the stress, here are a few self-care tips:

Establish an exercise routine. Exercise has been proven time and time again to be a great stress reliever, and with the new year around the corner, why not take up the habit? There are countless workout videos on YouTube, or if you like getting outside, take morning or evening power walks or runs.

Develop healthy hobbies. Teaching these days has more stressors than normal. Find ways to deal with stress and enjoy life outside of the classroom. Maybe that’s reading, journaling or finding a few new podcasts. Whatever you enjoy doing, make time for it. And if you are hobby-less at the moment, there’s no better time than winter break to start something—like knitting, doing puzzles, photography or writing, for example.

Practice emotional self-care. Don’t forget about your emotional health. If you need to talk, spend time with a friend or family member. When you feel overwhelmed at the end of the work day, try not to take work home with you. And if you find yourself going down the path of negativity, start a gratitude practice where you write down or acknowledge the things for which you are grateful every morning and every night.

Stay organized. It doesn’t sound like self-care, but if there is one thing that will create stress and chaos for a teacher, it is a messy classroom. Take a day or even just a few hours to clean out and tidy up. Revisit those organizational routines you set up at the start of the year so you can resume them after break.

Last tip: don’t feel pressured to do all of the above at once. Start small and make one change. And if that feels good, try something else. But remember to be good to yourself. While you got into teaching for a reason, there’s no doubt that the last 18 months have been stressful. Take good care of yourself, which will help you be the best teacher you can be.