This post originally appeared on the blog The Kindergarten Connection.

Self-care is important for everyone, and sometimes it’s hard to not put ourselves last or let our jobs (which we love) consume more of us than is healthy. Recently over on Instagram, I chatted in Stories a bit about teacher-self care and asked for input from our community of teachers there. Several teachers replied with ways they carve out some time for themselves and de-stress.

We believe that we can help each other out by sharing what works for us -because you never know who could benefit from hearing more of your story! Check out my own self-care for teachers tips below, as well as tips from our Instagram community!

Self-Care Tips for Teachers

Self-care doesn’t have to mean a day at a spa or a vacation. It looks different for everyone and can be big or small.

We all lead different lives – some of us are single, some of us married, some of us with children, etc. So what works for one person may not work for another. But at the end of the day, we do have one thing in common: We are teachers who love our profession, and sometimes do need a reminder to take care of ourselves, too!  

My Personal Top 2 for Self-Care

Related Article  – Teacher Guilt: What it is and How to Get Rid of It

My number one way to decompress is by using the Calm app (I HIGHLY recommend it!) 

Many people may feel intimidated by meditating or feel like it would be “too hard” – I promise you that you can do it, and I encourage you to give it a try! 

It isn’t about emptying your mind; it’s about sitting with “what is,” and you will also learn to focus on the breath and come back to basics – which can be so helpful in times of overwhelm.

You can use it as prayer time, quiet time, listen to a guided meditation – there are a lot of options, and in our busy, go-go-go society, I find it so helpful! 

My second way is what I call a “non-negotiable” in my life these days, and that is exercise. I currently follow Kelsey Wells’ PWR program in the SWEAT app because I love training with weights and find that to help me most with anxiety/stress, but you will want to find YOUR favorite way to move your body and what works for you! 

When I switched my mindset to “I work out for my BRAIN” instead of focusing solely on the scale or mirror, things shifted for me. 

Self-Care Tips from Teachers

Our community of teachers on Instagram shared their best tips, too!

Here are some of the ways they de-compress or take care of themselves:

  • watch a fave tv show
  • dates with friends
  • paint their nails
  • color
  • have a little wine
  • allow themselves to nap guilt-free
  • settiing boundaries
  • epsom salt bath 
  • charcoal masks
  • leave the teacher bag at school at least once a week
  • drinking coffee by the diffuser in the morning
  • purposeful grounding when anxious: 5 things I can see, 4 things I can feel, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell, 1 thing I can taste. 
  • setting the alarm earlier to enjoy coffee before kids get up
  • light candles and drink tea
  • skin care
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • read the Bible
  • go for a hike/walk 
  • take piano lessons (or something not related to teaching)
  • get a massage
  • don’t check work email on weekends
  • schedule reading time

What about YOU? 

What do you do to take care of yourself? Do you have anything to add to our list? We would love if it if you left a comment to let us know! 

Want to help your students stay calm, too? Check out this post about Calming Tools and Resources in the Classroom!

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Alex is an early-entry intervention Kindergarten teacher with a passion for making learning fun and engaging. She brought that passion over to the internet and created The Kindergarten Connection in 2014. Since then, it has grown to become a source of fun learning activities for kids and a place of collaboration for early childhood educators. You can find more early learning ideas from Alex on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!