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Strategies for Self-Care

Have you come up for air at all yet?  Back to school is such a crazy time of year.  Around here it is our busiest time of year without a doubt.  Everyone has to adjust to a new routine, expectations are high and schedules change.  It can be exhausting when you work in a school setting.  All day long you are expected to manage your own needs and help with other people’s (mostly children) emotions and actions.  By the end of the day, we can feel physically exhausted, mentally drained and emotionally worn out.  We all get so wrapped up in school tasks that we tend to forget about our own well being.  You may need to focus on strategies for self-care for yourself.

Strategies for Self-Care Tip #1 – Maintain structure and routine

Self-care strategy #1 is more of a preventative action.  If at all possible, maintain structure and routine.  This will help reduce your stress level and prevent feeling overwhelmed because you will know what to expect.  It does not have to be extreme structure and routine, just the bare bones of a schedule to help guide you along your day.  Try and be more productive by working smarter not harder to alleviate stress.

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Strategies for Self-Care Tip #2 – Treat Yourself During the Day

Maybe you love coffee, chewing gum, listening to music, reading, or fruit, whatever you enjoy allow yourself to have a moment to enjoy these mini “treats” during the day.  If you don’t have time in the middle of the day, make sure you enjoy your mini “treats” before or after work.

Self Care strategies for your well being

Strategies for Self-Care Tip #3 – Learn How to Say No

As individuals who work with children, we want to be able to say YES to everything.  Most likely, you went into the profession to help children so it can be very difficult to say no to opportunities or new ideas.  You need to learn your limits thought and if you are maxed out, it is okay to say no.  Maybe it is a temporary no and you can help at a later date or maybe it is a permanent no.  Regardless, if you are on complete overload you are not effective at helping anyone.

Strategies for Self-Care Tip #4 – ANY Type of Exercise

Take a break and exercise.  It doesn’t have to be a full blown work out.  Head outdoors and take a brisk walk even for a few minutes just to reset and take a breather.  Try yoga in the classroom to re-center yourself.  Make a habit of exercising for 30 minutes or more per day before or after work to help elevate your mood and improve your health.

Strategies for Self-Care Tip #5 – Use Positive Affirmations or Self-Talk Throughout the Day

Sometimes we need a pick me up during the day.  Remind yourself that you are doing the best job that you can do in that moment in time.  You are trying.  You are helping.  Hang up motivational, positive posters.  Keep notes you have received from students or parents in the past to remind you that you are appreciated. 

Motivational Posters and Cards

Strategies for Self-Care Tip #6 – Make Time for Leisure Activities

Every day make time for leisure activities.  You could read, craft, hang out with friends, watch a movie, meditate, bake, soak in the bath, knit, the possibilities are endless.

Strategies for Self-Care Tip #7 – Learn What Strategies Help You Avoid Stress

Pay attention to strategies 1-6 or any other techniques you have tried to help you care for your own well-being.  Using self-reflection, determine if there is a pattern meaning certain strategies seem to help more than others. 

Using a self-reflection journal helps you analyze your professional and personal growth.  By keeping a record of your ideas, reasons, actions, techniques, and assessments you can plan for your future and facilitate a positive outcome.

Reflective Journaling for Therapists, Teachers, Parents and Students digital download includes the materials to help you analyze your personal and professional growth.  By keeping a record of your ideas, reasons, actions, techniques, and assessments you can play for your future and facilitate a positive outcome.  

Anyone can benefit from reflective journaling.  Professionals can use critical thinking to improve their decision-making skills.  Parents as primary teachers of children can reflect on how to foster independence and growth in themselves and their children.  Students can problem solve assignments to improve academic growth.

Once you have determined what works best for you, move forward to use those techniques more often in stressful situations in order to help you maintain your physical and emotional well-being.

It can be exhausting when you work in a school setting. By the end of the day, we can feel physically exhausted, mentally drained and emotionally worn out.  We all get so wrapped up in school tasks that we tend to forget about our own well being.  You may need to focus on strategies for self-care for yourself.