As a teacher, it is second nature to look after the 30+ children in your care each day – but don’t forget to look after yourself!
With the growing pressures of this career, it is very important that you take care of your own mental health and wellbeing or you risk burning out.
This was where I found myself a few years ago and I came to the realisation that I just hadn’t been looking after myself. Today, I’d like to share with you some of the ways that I began to take care of my own wellbeing. I know it can be hard to find time to put yourself first but it is vital that you do – even if it’s just one of these activities each day.
Not only is it a great form exercise, I have also found yoga incredibly helpful when overcoming anxiety and helping me to relax. Although signing up to a yoga class is a great way to socialise, this does not have to be an expensive hobby. Simply purchase a yoga mat and find some yoga videos on YouTube then you can begin practising in the comfort of your own home.
I had loved reading as a child but never seemed to make the time for it as an adult. Now I have started reading more regularly, I wonder why I ever stopped. Admittedly, it can still be hard to find the time but when I do, it is a true escape! You can be transported to another place, another time… My husband had never enjoyed reading growing up but he took it up last year and he loves it! So whether you would class yourself as a ‘reader’ or not, it is never too late to give it a go. You’ll be a bookworm before you know it.
Something as simple as going for a walk can really improve your mood. You might want to walk alone listening to music, as it can be a great opportunity to get lost in your own thoughts. Equally, I’ve had some wonderful conversations when out walking with friends or family. If you’re interested in photography, take your camera and get some snaps on the way.
I ❤️ a good board game. If you do too, this can be a great way to unwind and relax with friends or family. About 18 months ago, we started hosting a monthly games night where we eat, drink, play games and generally have a good laugh. I’d definitely recommend something like this. It’s nice to have a social event to look forward to every month.
Friends and family
Don’t take your friends and family for granted! Visit them or meet up regularly. Socialising can significantly help to raise your general mood. Don’t be a stranger!
Perhaps pick up a hobby you used to enjoy as a child. For me, this was drawing and colouring. I love art but since beginning my teaching career, I rarely find the time to enjoy this hobby. When I do though, it is extremely relaxing.
This might be a buzz word you’ve heard a lot recently and for good reason. Mindfulness is about achieving a calm state of mind by focusing your awareness on the present moment and accepting your own thoughts and feelings. Several of the activities mentioned above (yoga, walking colouring in) are considered good ways in which to be mindful. For more information, visit the NHS website.
Have yourself a nice candlelit bubble bath and just let yourself relax! Until this year, I had never really taken the time to do this – showers are just so much more convenient – but once I’d tried it, there was no going back. I try to fit in a nice long soak at least once a week. ☺️