The idea of self-care is becoming more popular, and while I am a big believer in doing things for self, this doesn’t have to be a big thing.
Too often with teachers, I hear and see them putting everyone else first; their students, their own family, their colleagues. Teachers really are selfless. But there is also a need for teachers to be a little selfish at times.
If you continue to put everyone else first, you are only sending yourself on a path where you will most likely spiral down, and when this happens you can no longer put anyone first except yourself. This has happened to a few teachers I know, and I am sure you know one too.
For some reason, teachers often feel guilty when they are doing something for themselves, when they are not working, when they say no. This is the opposite of self-care.
I know I have been guilty of overworking, not doing what I need to look after myself and saying yes to others when I should say no, and all of this, more than once, has led to me crashing and burning.
After going through this a few times, I knew it wasn’t a good place to be in, and it was a cycle I certainly did not want to keep repeating it.This made me realise a key part of my life was missing – me.
Self-care is all about you – the individual, and I was totally missing out on this. Sadly, many other teachers are too.
So how do you avoid this happening?
Schedule self-care. Just like you schedule in your work hours, drop off for the kids and time for friends, you need to do the same for you, and lock it into your calendar. This can be daily, weekly, or a whenever you need, but scheduling it is key.
Well if you schedule it, you know it is coming so it gives you something to look forward too, it means you won’t feel guilty by taking time away from regular duties as you have been able to take care of everything else before this time and you have given yourself permission to take care of you.
In my house we have a few non-negotiable time in our schedule which are all about self-care; 8pm is time to stop work and have family time, at the start of each new week we plan something for the upcoming weekend, this can be something as small as a nice walk or more fancy and heading out for a fancy meal and we always have a bigger holiday planned in the near future. By doing this I know I have self-care daily, I have something immediate to look forward to on the weekend and the holidays are always just around the corner.
These things are what keep me sane, what keep me going and what make me happy each day.
So what is self-care to you? How can you make this part of your day, week and future? How can you plan this in your schedule?
Schedule in 1 thing this week and see how you feel, trust me, it will make a difference.