“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley
For the last few years in education, the buzz term “self-care” has been very popular. It has become popular because teaching is a stressful occupation. Many understand teaching is a job with some take-home responsibilities, however over the last few years those responsibilities have piled up. With the increased pressure to try and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic it seems the work load get higher. Student behaviors have become increasingly difficult to manage as well for many. Extreme behaviors that were rare are now happening more frequently. People outside of education have become more aggressive in trying to influence what happens inside the walls of a school, and these individuals are often making hateful remarks about teachers in public and on social media. Now with great teachers leaving education because of this, you see why “self-care” has become important.
I have a few concerns about the self-care movement, but I do believe it is important for anyone in any profession to make sure they take care of themselves. I have learned over the last few years that most employers are not there for you. Many will find any way they can to save a dollar if it means putting you in a financial situation. At the end of day, we have to make sure we are looking out for ourselves. Here are some ways I do it as a teacher.
⏲ When I work at home, I set a time limit. I know that I do need to rest at night in order to be ready for the next day. Once I work that set amount time, I put my computer up and call it a night.
📅 I only work on certain nights a week. There are some nights I have set aside for no work because of family, church, and just the need for rest in general. I remember a few years ago, an administrator at my school became upset with me because I refused to complete something that night to be ready the next day. I told this person I had commitments that night, and I would not be home until late. Sometimes you have to stand your ground in order to take care of yourself.
👨👩👧👦 Putting family first. I work to provide for them, not to ignore them.
📷 Having a hobby gives me a creative outlet. For me, it’s photography and blogging. I love going around my hometown, and taking photos of everything I see. I will try to write at least once a day. I have found this helps me get my thoughts out and allows me to express myself to the world.
Those are just some of the ways I take care of myself. The photos above are an example of that. I took these photos last spring when my family camped in Golden Valley, North Carolina. We camped right by the creek. I loved waking up in the morning, opening the window to my camper, drinking a cup of coffee, listening to the creek go by. One afternoon, I decided to follow the creek into the woods. Some of my favorite photos I took while just exploring where I was at the time.
What are some thing you do to take care of yourself?