It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a season, not a day. Back to school is many things and easy’s not one of them. Taking care of yourself is an absolute must. Read Like a Rock Star suggests weekly wine nights with teacher friends. Yoga followed by sauna on Sundays recommends Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching.

Try these 7 smart ideas and take a look at genius blog posts that will put you — and keep you — balanced and set up for a great year.

1. Swing for Joy

“I have a happy place in my backyard. It’s my swing. I go out there when I get home from school, turn on a station from the 80’s or 90’s, and just breathe.” – Melissa Shutler- Evidence of Learning

2. Plan It Out

“Our school counselor had us do two things that really helped: First, schedule it in. I couldn’t just say that I was going to take a walk with a friend. We picked the day of the week and agreed to stick to it. She also had us choose a self-care accountability partner and schedule a check-in about 3 or 4 weeks after.” – Activated Education

3. Don’t Stop Summer

“Dinner picnics! Our family does these about once a week in the first month of school. We leave school at the actual end of the day, pack sandwiches, and go to a nearby park. It’s a way to extend the feeling of summer a bit and have a midweek vacation.” – Emily Kissner

4. Gift Yourself Time

“Buy a lesson on TpT. Don’t burn out. Seriously, use a tried-and-true lesson and focus on something else that day like time management, classroom management, or making connections with students. You won’t regret it.” – Surviving Social Studies

5. Details Matter

“Tea in the morning is my go to! I drink it it the morning at work and on the weekends I have my own personal tea time at home. Lol. Helps me get prepared for the day and unwind on the weekends.”- ActionJackson

“I like to start the new school year with a new pretty tumbler with a straw to have ice water to sip on throughout the day. I also fill my desk drawer with fun little snacks to have during my planning period!” – Shelly Rees

6. Share Some Love

“As an administrator, I’m planning a special treat/gift each day the first week back for my teachers to brighten their day and encourage them. I think that being recognized will boost their spirits and let them know I’m there!” – Created by MrHughes

7. Yes, indeed. Classroom Decor and Thai Takeout, Please

“For me, there’s something about the process of setting up my room every year. Rearranging the furniture to accommodate a classroom switch or improve the flow, sets the stage. Then I choose a color theme . . . always bold, then rock my walls with eye candy. I use posters, student work, graphic text to create a room that makes me smile! I love creating a space that functions effectively and I like spending the day in. And the Thai takeout. Very important!” – Mary Straw

And don’t miss these super-smart blog posts:

“As we head back to school, that feeling of ‘OK, here we gooooo!’ begins. You know which one I’m talking about: the steam roll, the domino roll, the mind tornado, the non-stop busy teacher stuff. It’s so hard to go from a lovely summer vacation to instant intensity. That’s why it’s so important to…”- Striving for Teacher Balance by The Write Stuff

“It’s 2.5 weeks into the start of school, and I have three to-do lists going (and I can’t remember where one of them is). I’ve already had a migraine, stomach bug of some sort, and I’ve not been getting enough sleep. What’s the culprit? It’s simple.” – A Teacher’s Guide to Having a Stressful School Year by Julie Faulkner

“Hi teacher friends! Since school is starting back up, I want to share my secret to keeping my sanity while teaching. I am a planner, and I figured out very quickly that teaching was a job that needed serious time management.” – How to get your work done during the school day (and leave on time) by Elementary Ali – Teacher’s Workstation

“It’s that time of year again. Teachers and students are headed back to school after a relaxing summer, which can cause their stress levels to sky-rocket.  If you’re like me…” – BTS? Take Care of Yourself! by OCBeachTeacher

“After a long day of differentiating, assessing, managing, data analyzing, and communicating with parents, I’m shocked to come home and discover that my children want to eat dinner. Don’t they know how tired I am?!” – Crock Pot Recipes for the Busy Teacher by Not So Wimpy Teacher