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Recently we talked about how important it is to take care of yourself as a teacher, and listed eight teacher self-care reminders.
But what if a pep talk just isn’t enough? What teacher self-care activities can help reduce your stress level?
This week we’re going a step further, listing eight things you can do to help take care of yourself and reduce your stress-level after a hard days work.
1. Get outside
Sometimes, after a long, hard day, you just want to get home and relax. But research into ecotherapy suggests that getting outdoors can help tackle anxiety and depression. Just 20-30 minutes outside 2-3 times a week has proven health benefits. Going for a short walk in nature is ideal, but even just sitting quietly in a green space has great benefits, with nature sounds reducing blood pressure and stress hormones. Going outside can be a great way to relax after being stuck in a classroom all day!
I know that when you’re feeling stressed and tired, exercising is the last thing you sometimes want to do, but getting active has proven benefits for tackling mental health problems. 15 minutes of running or an hour of walking per day reducing the risk of major depression by 26%. If you’re feeling particularly tired, you don’t have to do anything too strenuous. Yoga is a great way to exercise to strengthen your body, mind and spirit and it’s easy to do from home!
3. Go on a solo date
Going to places on your own can be really daunting for some people, but personally I swear by it. There is something really indulgent about taking yourself for dinner or to the cinema, or just going exploring on your own. Having time to sit with your own feelings can help you to process some of the days stresses. I often find that when I am stressed and I go somewhere and talk about it right away, I can get myself more worked up. Taking the time to think it through, with the distraction of a nice activity, can really help. It’s a great self-care activity that really works for me!
4. Pamper yourself
Sometimes, if you have a family and other commitments, it can be hard to take yourself out on a solo-date. You should still make some time for self-care even if you’re at home. When the kids go to bed, pop on a face-mask. Paint your nails. It’s important to realize that you DESERVE small indulgences. You are worth taking the time to pamper. You earned it. An extra bonus is that a quick beauty treatment could improve your confidence. Feeling good about your appearance can help improve your mood. Take care of your fine self!
You may notice that we recommend the Jason Momoa colouring book. Because, Jason Momoa. If there’s one thing guaranteed to calm you down it’s a bit of Jason Momoa.
But in all seriousness, colouring is a great mindful activity that can help take your mind off your stresses so you process them in a healthy way. Taking some time to colour has benefits for your mental health.
One study found that when 115 women were assigned different mindful activities for a week, those assigned colouring reported lower levels of depression and anxiety.
So colouring as an adult is actually good for you and this is an activity that you can do with your kids! Best teacher self-care activity ever!
Plus… Jason Momoa.
6. Keep a Journal
Journaling can be a great way to work through a hard day. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings and let yourself feel them so you can get them out of your system. A journal is great safe space to store all of your thoughts so you don’t have to keep turning them over in your head. Personally, I LOVE bullet journaling. I can jot down my feelings and organize my life all in one place. I’ve been using a Lenome journal (UK) for a couple of years now.
7. Clean up
Hear me out. I know cleaning isn’t exactly a favorite pastime of many, but a cluttered environment can make you feel more stressed. Taking ten minutes to tidy up can help you to feel better about the space you are in and recover from a stressful day. You don’t have to make the place spotless, but a quick tidy around can make you feel that you’ve done something productive and feel calmer about your space.
8. Get some sleep!
I can stress this enough. YOU NEED TO GET SOME SLEEP! Even with all of the strategies above, if you haven’t had enough rest, you’re going to feel a thousand times worse. You’re running on fumes. Getting a good night’s sleep, or even just taking a quick nap, can do wonders for your mental health. Make sure your space is set up to promote quality sleep and that you’re incorporating habits that improve sleep into your day.
Let us know if you have any other suggestions for teacher self-care and please share these tips with your friends if they help you!