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Twenty Self-Care Tips for Teachers to Do N.O.W. (NOT ONLY WEEKENDS)

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired of my little bubble, sitting here trying to figure it all out myself.  As teachers, in the past weeks, we have spent time figuring out how to set up our schedules, taking care of our families, setting our schedules while creating boundaries.  Some of it worked, some of it doesn’t.  There’s no one size fits all approach to any of it.

And as a person who has been teaching and taking courses from home off and on for the past five years, different things work at different times under certain circumstances. 

So instead of thinking I had all the answers, I reached out to some people I admire, respect, and trust to get their best tips for how to “make it work” as an educator in the midst of all this change. 

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a list of twenty self-care tips for teachers to do NOW (not only on weekends) with some links to other resources that may be helpful during this time.

From Danielle Nuhfer of Teaching Well

  • Have set work hours and keep them as best you can.
  • Designate a daily highlight, regardless of how simple it might be.
  • Plan for at least three minutes of focused breathing during your day.
  • Leave a note to yourself with tomorrow’s plan when the day ends.
  • Find time to check in with yourself and your family about your daily wins, gratitude, and/or anything you’re struggling with.  

Check out The Teaching Well Member Site created specifically in response to the Covid-19 Crisis. http://www.teachingwell.life/membership/

From Amber Harper of Burned In Teacher Podcast

  • Encourage healthy and realistic habits and expectations for everyone during this time.
  • Visualize  what an ideal work week looks like.
  • Create what you will do with the time that you gift yourself by planning and showing discipline to reach that vision weekly, daily, and hourly. 

Check out Amber’s free webinar about how teachers can achieve balance, workflow, and connection while working from home during Covid-19 at www.burnedinteacher.com/crisistocalm 

From Jethro Jones of Paperless Principal & Transformative Principal Podcast

  • Call or text to check in on your staff or students regularly. 
  • Encourage everyone to establish a startup and shut down routine to ensure that you are starting work and leaving work each day. It’s easy to fall into checking email all the time! 
  • Take the weekends off! No email, no lesson planning. Use that time to regenerate! 

Check out this episode of Jethro’s Transformative Principal Podcast, Keeping Calm in Times of Crisis for some great ways to be a support in times of crisis.

From Cindy Goldberg of Mindfulness with Cindy

  • Be easy on yourself and take some breaths throughout your day.
  • Stay present and focus on “what actually is” instead of what may happen in the future.
  • Celebrate small wins with gratitude.
  • Take a “themed” walk individually or as a family (listening, five senses, or rainbow walk)

Contact Cindy Goldberg mindfulnesswithcindy@gmail.com

GET YOUR DOWNLOADABLE PDF HERE TO HANG UP AS A GREAT REMINDER OF WHAT YOU CAN DO N.O.W. FOR YOUR OWN SELF-CARE

From Margaret Sargent Meyers, Principal at Chesapeake Bay Academy

  • Try Dan Siegel’s practice “Name It to Tame It” by allowing time for anyone who wants to name whatever they are experiencing during this time.
  • Model for others the challenges- anxiety, overwhelm, impatience, taking things personally – and work through with whatever arises. 
  • Check in with each other regularly and reflect on what is working and what needs to be changed.
  • Take some time for a digital detox while trying to spend time outside.

From Danny Baur of Better Leaders, Better Schools

Send a “Weekly Check-In” Survey

The survey asks four simple questions:

  • Name
  • 1-10 how are you right now (1 is “I’m in crisis” and 10 is “Everything is great.”)
  • Do you have a problem? (optional)
  • What do you need? (optional)

This survey takes people less than 5-minutes to complete and the teacher and/or administrator can look at the responses and get a pulse for what’s happening with their community.

Anyone who rates a 3 or lower needs to be looped back with.

For more great resources, check out https://www.betterleadersbetterschools.com/

What about you? What’s working for you during this unprecedented time? Jump over to We are Teaching Well and join us as we are always looking for ways to empower teachers to prioritize and nourish themselves so that we can be our best both inside and outside the classroom (no matter if our classroom is in our homes OR our schools!)

If you want to remember this list, please get the downloadable PDF to print out/hang up and reference as you move throughout your week. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and push off the things we know can benefit our own health and well-being.

GET YOUR DOWNLOADABLE PDF HERE TO HANG UP AS A GREAT REMINDER OF WHAT YOU CAN DO N.O.W. FOR YOUR OWN SELF-CARE

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Danielle Nuhfer
danielle@teachingwell.life

Here are a few titles I go by...teacher, student, gardener, runner, nature-lover, writer and meditator. I care deeply about my own journey to wellness and want to inspire others to walk this path. Inspiring others to discover the value of mindfulness, positive psychology and other holistic health practices is my life's work.

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