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  • Erica Peterson

Renew, Reenergize, and Refresh

Hand stacking stones peacefully with a happy face expression on the stones

As mom to a newly minted toddler, I have definitely put myself on the back burner. The struggle this past year was immense: juggling career, child rearing, and life during a global pandemic. I think that mirrors the fatigue many educators feel as the 2020-21 school year closes. We all have a sense of exhaustion and strong need to recharge. According to Google, self-care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.” In that spirit, I have curated the following self-care tips for educators.

From the Child Care Resource Center

  • Create an actionable self-care plan now that can be implemented later under a state of duress: This list can include things that are active, connecting with nature or creative (cooking, crafting, writing). After creating the list of activities, weed it down to the activities that are realistic.

  • Create a personal acronym for your plan, like CALM: Cooking, Affirmations, Learning (reading a book), Meditating. That word serves as an easy reminder of ways to unwind in the moment.

  • Some people will benefit from a rush of adrenaline, such as exercise or movement. Others may see the best results from stillness in nature, activities like meditation or simply standing outside in the garden and breathing deeply. Controlled breathing is a very effective way to come back to center.

  • Starting the day with an affirmation, something like “I’m willing to learn new things,” is a great way to enter the day with positive energy.

How to Create a Self-Care Culture in the Classroom from the Resilient Educator:

  • Develop or participate in groups or events where teachers are celebrated.

  • Set appropriate work/life boundaries and support your fellow teachers who do the same.

  • Engage colleagues in your physical health goals.

  • Practice forgiveness.

Summer Reading List:

Illustration of a woman sitting on a giant stack of books while reading a book.

Lastly, I love this teacher self-care toolkit:

Quietly take a deep breath, reconnect inside, and let yourself feel good. :-)

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