Feeling Burnt Out? Tips from Teachers on Practicing Self-Care

Teachers, we know that in response to school closures and distance learning, you’ve been working harder than ever to learn new technologies, communicate with parents and students, and adapt your entire curriculum — all in a matter of weeks. With so much going on, it’s more important than ever to carve out time for self-care (even when it seems impossible). If you’re feeling stretched too thin or completely burnt out, here’s some advice for self-care and words of encouragement from other teachers in the TpT community to replenish your cup. 

Take a break.

The Fancy Counselor

“If you can, take time off. Self-care is paramount. You are no good to anyone else if you don’t care for yourself. If you find yourself stressed in the middle of a work day, it is okay to communicate that to your students [. . .] Model for your students how to breathe slowly, take a break from the task at hand, look out the window and be present with nature—all coping skills that help deescalate anxiety and stress.” — The Fancy Counselor

“Schedule in time for yourself. It may take some reworking of your schedule, but it’s SO important to create boundaries since work and home are the same place.” — Allie Szczecinski With Miss Behavior

“Stop spending too much time on the computer, and do something that feeds your soul. There are several factors completely out of our control: just do your best, and then let go of the rest.” — Forkin4th

“Don’t be afraid to take a break and do something you enjoy, work will always be there.” — My Day In K

Talk to other teachers.

Upper Elementary Antics

“Utilize your school community, you may find that you are not alone plus it can be a great support system.” — Upper Elementary Antics

Mr Mault's Marketplace

“Talk to other teachers, whether they are your coworkers or teachers in online teacher groups. It’s just nice to hear what others are doing. It has been amazing for me to meet so many teachers from across the country going through the same thing and having the same struggles. As a teacher author, I have also been inspired to create resources based on new needs [. . .] Simply talking to other teachers can make such a big difference.”— Mr Maults Marketplace

Maintain a routine.

“With distance learning in full swing, one small way I practice self-care is simply getting up, getting showered, and getting dressed. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it is so easy to just want to hang around in PJs or sweats all day long. Getting ready for the day, makes me ready to take on the world. It gives me a sense of calm and makes me feel good.” — Carol Miller the Middle School Counselor

Practice giving yourself grace.

Simpson Superstars

“It’s ok to not have all of the answers. We are all trying to maneuver through uncharted waters right now. You are going to have situations arise where we don’t know what the right decision is and that’s ok. When you get to that place stop, take a breath, and think about what is best for kids. If It’s best for [your] kids, then it’s the right decision.” — Simpson Superstars

“One of my favorite sayings is: ‘Guilt is only legitimate when you have done something wrong.’ Don’t feel guilty for not being able to do ALL the things during this time. Practice setting boundaries, letting go, and feeling at peace with your decisions!” — Edukate And Inspire

“For educators who are feeling stretched thin and burned out, I would recommend giving yourself grace. This is an unprecedented time and you are doing the best you can. Try not to worry about your lack of technology skills or digital resources. Instead, focus on showing up for your students and being a consistent, positive presence in their lives during this time of uncertainty.” — Bright Futures Counseling

“You don’t have to do it all and be it all for your students. Setting boundaries for yourself will allow you to do more in the long run and not burn out.” — Natalie Lynn Kindergarten

Celebrate the small things.

“Take notice of all the new skills you are learning when it comes to distance learning — you are amazing!” — StudentSavvy

“Everything feels heavy right now. I’ve been taking time each day to notice #SmallJoys in my day — from kid mail to a tree blooming to perfectly-timed couch naps. These #SmallJoys make my world feel a little lighter. (I have a collection of #SmallJoys of mine saved on my Instagram stories. If you need a smile, “meet” Julie, my new Jade plant, or see the best set of notepads ever.) — Catherine Reed The Brown Bag Teacher