Being a teacher can be draining: physically, mentally, and emotionally. You pour your heart and soul into serving students, developing high-quality lessons, and keeping up with the latest trends and best practices. So, how can you reset so you are ready to begin anew in the new school year? The answer: self-care. It is critical for educators to refresh over the summer, to regain their strength and fire up their engines for the next round of instruction. Taking care of yourself is imperative for your overall health, and the many related benefits will help you remain an impactful teacher. Not only can self-care help you in your education career, but it can lead to overall improved quality of life.
What is Self-Care for Special Education Teachers
While all teachers experience obstacles, special education teachers face a unique set of stressors. Writing IEPs, assessing students, differentiating and individualizing instruction, and collaborating with countless stakeholders are just some of these challenges. As the face of education rapidly shifts, it can be trying to keep up with all of the demands required of teaching students with disabilities. As a result, many special education teachers end up overwhelmed and exhausted.
Self-care is more than just an option for special education teachers; it is crucial. If you are not taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing, the risk of burnout is real. Your students with learning and physical challenges need all of your energy, and keeping up with your wellness is an important step.
Importance of Self-Care for Teachers
The education industry is dynamic. Many teachers have unique and varied experiences, separate from what their colleagues experience. However, all teachers need to reset. From the stress of effectively setting up the opening days of school, to the unrelenting preparation for standardized testing in the spring, educators are busy. Holidays, professional development, parent conferences, and meetings all impede instructional time, and education professionals scramble to make up for that lost opportunity. Summer break is a chance to recharge and to unwind.
Self-care can come in many forms, and each individual has his or her way of ensuring wellness. Frequently, teachers tend to put their students’ needs first. However, without taking care of their own mental and physical health, teachers will struggle to meet those learners’ demands. Summer can be a critical period of pausing after going full force for so many months.
Benefits of Self-Care
The benefits of self-care are like a snowball gaining steam as it rolls down a slope. The more you take care of yourself, the more positive results you will see. Teachers can work on their wellness over the summer (and during the school year) to reach their full potential.
One benefit of self-care is an improvement in mental health. As the world’s pace seems to speed up and various problems compound, mental health is more important than ever. Proper self-care can lead to increased positivity and lower levels of anxiety and depression. It can be challenging to take care of others – like your students – if you do not take care of yourself first.
Self-care lowers stress. Besides the discomforts and mental anguish related to stress, it can manifest in physical ways, as well. Some dangers of stress include increased blood pressure, headaches, low energy, body aches, and digestive issues, to name a few. Teachers want to avoid these symptoms as much as possible, and one proven treatment is self-care.
Another advantage of increasing your wellness is recharging your body. Having enough rest is critical to your performance. Devoting time during the summer to self-care will pay dividends when school resumes, and you can face the new year with calmness and confidence. If you arrive physically reinvigorated, you can bring fresh energy and a positive approach to the classroom.
A final benefit of self-care is an increase in immunity. Kids spread germs, and you will want to fortify yourself as much as possible. The more you take care of yourself, the better chance you will have at fighting off infection and sickness. Lowering stress, resting your body, achieving mental calmness, and keeping your body and mind in shape will all help you stay healthy.
The beauty of self-care is that there are many different activities that individuals can partake in to reach their wellness goals. While some may focus on calmness and mental health, others may choose a more active approach. Here are some ways that teachers can improve their wellbeing over the summer.
- Read a book. While reading can provide a mental escape, it also has positive physical effects. It can lower your heart rate, stress levels, and tension in your body. Furthermore, taking a break from the high-speed world we live in can lead to increased happiness and renewed focus.
- Practice yoga. Since ancient times, yoga participants have benefited from an increase in flexibility, a decrease in stress, bolstered immunity, and strengthening of memory.
- Meditate. The practice of meditation provides mental clarity, focus, and serenity – all components that directly benefit teachers. Taking the time to clear your mind and finding a centered mental space can do wonders for your wellbeing.
- Go for a walk. Even thirty minutes of walking, three to five times a week has substantial health benefits. It lowers your anxiety, improves blood flow and circulation, strengthens muscles and joints, and lightens your mood.
- Write in a journal. Many people improve their self-care by jotting down ideas and thoughts into a journal. You can prioritize issues in your life, which can help you deal with the main concerns first. It also allows you to remove negative thoughts from your mind and replace them with positives.
- Go swimming. For more active people, swimming is a valuable way to take care of yourself. Physically, it leads to a healthy cardiovascular system and tones your muscles. It also can benefit your mind, as you rhythmically breathe and focus on one activity.
- Draw. Drawing is surprisingly effective for your wellbeing. It is a form of therapy in which you can release negative emotions while improving memory, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
Self-care is essential for teachers. Whether you are a special education teacher, a general education teacher, or another form of educator, you must reset yourself over the summer. The benefits of taking care of yourself can carry you through the entire school year. There are a myriad of activities that you can do to ensure your wellbeing, ranging from meditation, to exercise, to creative endeavors. Searching for a job during these times can often lead to more stress. However, here at Sunbelt Staffing, we make it as smooth and seamless as possible to transition into your future. Follow these provided tips to take care of yourself, and we will help take care of your professional trajectory. Check out Sunbelt Staffing’s current school job openings today.Search School Based Jobs