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Self-Care Tips, Please!
Old 07-22-2020, 05:26 PM
 
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I am a second year teacher who hasn't yet developed a set of self-care strategies that come with experience. The pandemic adds another layer to this to my anxiety about the school year coming up, despite my strategy of not speculating and using the time to rest up. I am asking for a list of things that work for you in terms of self-care in general. I am super reflective and learn from others' stories all the time. I appreciate any responses and many thank yous in advance. Also, is there anything that your school or team has done to help promote self-care?


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I am retired but.....
Old 07-22-2020, 07:59 PM
 
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I remember my first VP suggested that you not work long after school. He told me he would come in 45mins. to an hour before school started. His thought was you don't have to work long, just work smart. I wasn't an organized person so I always stayed late and came in early, but then I came to realize I really didn't need to come in too early/stay late to get my work done.

I would give myself a weekend free at least once a month if not every week.

Good luck as you continue your teaching journey.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:13 PM
 
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So some of these things are things I do now and some Iíve done in the past and wish I started again.

1) set a timer for when you want to leave and LEAVE when it goes off even if youíre not done because youíll never be done
2) drink lots of water
3) exercise, even if itís just a short walk after school
4) splurge on yourself now and then; a mani and pedi, a massage, new clothes, whatever. Do something for you once a month or so.
5) make time for friends. Itís going to be really easy to hole up and be too tired to go out, but go out.
6) make time to do nothing but veg out, watch tv and eat pizza. Teaching is mentally and physically draining. Give yourself a weekend here and there to do nothing but veg.
7) be kind to yourself. If you wouldnít say it to a friend, donít say it to yourself. Not everyone is a Pinterest teacher, not everyone lesson will be Academy Award caliber, you wonít be 100% every minute. You might be short tempered now and then. You might pop in a movie on. Friday afternoon and call it science. Itís fine. Itís ok. The kids will live.
8) Seek out advice from others, but in the end do whatís best for you.
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Self care
Old 07-22-2020, 08:13 PM
 
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Iíll try but not quite sure how to answer. Retired now.

It always helped me to have all of my clothes placed out the night before along with any jewelry that I might be wearing. That would include having my school tote packed, keys and purse ready, and lunch made the night before. That made me feel my best and not frazzled or scrambling in the morning.

My first number of school years I always arrived at school before anyone else did. That gave me quiet time and having time to do any last minute things that came up. I always left the classroom the day before with everything left out for the following day.

I always have my SmartBoard ready as well as the assignments written on the assignment board. In later years I arrived later and stayed later because my faculty were early arrivers and talkers.


That to me is personal care in the fact that I was as relaxed as any teacher could be when the day began and throughout the day.

If you can listen to a favorite audio book or music on the way home that can be a way to decompress.

Little treats in your desk for after school can be nice to look forward to. Sometimes I had popcorn.

These are just some ideas. Hope they help.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:45 PM
 
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Something that helps me is going to school early, but then going home as soon as school is over. I have energy in the morning ; by 3:50 i am drained and ready to leave.
I also go straight to the gym. Its a 40 minute drive, so i listen to a cd or some peppy music, and also pray.
After the gym, i have dinner, take my shower, and i am done for the day by 7. The last two hours of my day are purely for rest and doing something fun.
I also go to bed right at 9. I need a good nights rest to function again the next day.


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Mental self care
Old 07-23-2020, 07:52 AM
 
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For me, a big issue is that I'm overly critical of myself.

SO- My most emphatic advice is "BE KIND TO YOURSELF!" You will make mistakes. You will have bad days. You will try a strategy, and it won't work. You will... (You get the picture.)

Find a picture, a meme, a saying, or a verse of scripture (if you're religious) that you can put right where you will see it multiple times a day. Use this item to focus on relaxing.

The last thing- I worked in movement breaks for my students and found that I needed them, too. We do them between lessons or between subjects. The kids are especially fond of Nintendo Just Dance videos on YouTube. When you think of something like that for your students, join in. You might need it, too.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:09 AM
 
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Exercise. I cannot emphasize this enough. You may feel so exhausted and that you have so much to do that you don't have time to exercise, but you will feel so much better if you do. Endorphins are real, and I often use exercise time to mull over a problem at work and gain clarity about it.
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Honor your off-duty time
Old 07-23-2020, 11:17 AM
 
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Don't answer emails after hours. It can be really hard sometimes, but wait until you're at work again. Those concerns can sit, trust me. Nothing ruins a night like a back-and-forth with a negative parent. Even when it's a basic question (What page is the math homework?) they can contact friends like we all did in the days before email existed. Being too available depletes teachers quickly.
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