Teaching can be tough, and that is why it is vital you take care of yourself. Check out this happy teacher checklist for ways to stay happy! How many of these items can you check off?
Taking care of your self or self-care is sometimes billed as selfish, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Without self-care, we can’t be our best for others.
This list is just a few ways you can ensure your health and ability to be there for those around you too.
You can’t take care of yourself without boundaries. Without boundaries you accept everything coming your way in a martyr kind of way. This should not be a goal.
Strength does not mean to put up with everything being thrown at you. Instead, you can define strength as setting boundaries. Setting boundaries does not mean shutting everyone down. Instead, it means setting expectations for how you want to be treated.
When you set boundaries for yourself you signal to others that you are to be respected and you will respect them in return. Boundaries may have to do with personal time, expectations for productivity, or anything else you value.
For example, I set the boundary with my teammates that I needed the morning before we had students to myself. I am NOT a morning person and valued the few minutes I had in my classroom prior to students’ arrival. I had one teammate, who I loved, who began to come to my room each morning. At first, I rolled with the punches. Soon though I realized how much this interruption to my routine was affecting my day. I politely asked my teammate to give me that time. She respected my time and our relationship was the better for it.
Surround Yourself with People Who Inspire You
There are a ton of people who work in each school, and I am willing to bet you that not everyone there is a positive Polly, and let’s just say that negativity has a way of spreading like smoke through a building.
Instead of allowing yourself to be corrupted and brought down the negative Nelly path surround yourself with people who not only stay on the positive side but inspire you to be the best you.
Surrounding yourself with friends and coworkers who are always trying to better themselves is infectious. This will allow you to strive for growth as well. When you are growing you can’t help but be happy, even if there are a few growing pains that come along with it.
Set Aside Me Time
Whether you spend your time working out, walking the dog, reading, or meditating it isn’t about what you are doing as much as it is about doing it.
Setting aside a chunk of time each day to simply take care of you is beneficial to your health an
d your well being.
I know it is difficult to carve out a chunk of time when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. But a few minutes of peace can be a great reset and leave you ready to tackle all your challenges.
For me, I HAVE to set aside time to work out. If I go more than a few days without getting a good sweat going I am miserable and miserable to be around. I know I can’t be my best self without this time.
I cannot tell you the number of times I read some sort of blog post, Instagram caption, or Facebook post and thought, oh yes, this is the secret to life only to fail miserably.
The truth is we are all individuals and what works for one person isn’t a magic answer for someone else. I mean, if I could magically become a morning person and suddenly had more hours in the day because I woke up two hours earlier, of course, I would get more done. BUT, that isn’t going to happen.
Instead, I rigidly schedule my day with a focus on productivity in small pockets of time in between life’s responsibilities and I have learned to say that done is better than perfect. This was a hard pill to swallow for my Type-A personality. Honestly though, I am much happier now that I have accepted it.
Moral of this story? If you get good advice, give it a try, but don’t be afraid to abandon it either. If it isn’t you there is no use trying to fool yourself.
For more ideas and items to add to your happy teacher checklist check out this post on 11 Things Happy Teachers Don’t Do.
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