Three Steps to Holiday Self-Care for Teachers

Have you asked yourself, “Is it winter break yet?” No? Just me? Allow me to remind you to take care of you!

Have you heard flight attendants tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before your child? The same holds true when you practice self-care.


If you are tired, stressed and strung out on holiday cookies and candies (just me again?), stop and think about some alternatives. Here are a few relaxation tricks that work for me:


1. Sleep

Sometimes you need to leave work at work and go to bed.


Can you go to bed at 5:30pm? If your body is exhausted and you need to go to bed, then go! If you turn off your phone, curl under the covers, grab the cat and sleep, your body will thank you for it. And when that means you can make it through 4th period without snapping, your students will thank you for it, too!


2. Food

You can’t just eat cookies and candies and expect your brain to function. You need actual lunch. Actual dinner. Perhaps even at a table! (Yes, a coffee table totally counts.)

No time? No energy? No recipes? Here you go.

Will it take some prep-work on the front end? Yes, a little bit. Will it take some planning and freezer space? Yes, it will, but it will be worth it in the end! Can you imagine going to the teachers’ lounge and having actual FOOD to heat up for your lunch instead of a microwaveable Chef Boyardee or a bag of chips? Pure bliss.

(Looking for other recipes? Maybe not necessarily “clean” eating? Go to All Recipes and you can even do a search by ingredient! You can tell what ingredients you have, what you want to exclude, and it can even match a recipe with your paltry pantry contents the week before payday.)


3. Exercise

Gym membership? Sure, if you can afford it. How about walking the school hallways during your prep period instead?

Immediately after school, before your IEP meeting? Do you have a colleague you can walk with? A little chat, a little stroll, a little re-centering goes a long way towards both mental and physical health this time of year.

Did you play volleyball or basketball when you were in school? Join an adult league at the Y or somewhere local! Students make you frustrated? Take a boxing, kickboxing, or martial arts class! Take out your frustrations and get ripped while doing it.

Are you not big on organized sports? Try a workout video. You can get them on Netflix, you know. Then you can work out in your very own home without anyone watching. (Except the cat. And he’s judging you. Ok, ok, I know this is just me. My cat is a brat.)

It is so important for teachers to take care of themselves. No matter your students’ ages, no matter your class size, no matter how cold it is outside, you MUST take care of you to best teach them.

You are valued, you are important, and you can make it until Christmas break!