There’s no doubt that being a teacher is challenging. Sure, others envy your great job because you get all the vacation time! But it comes with having to deal with several hardships associated with the job. Attending regular faculty meetings and brainstorming, checking assignments, preparing for the next day’s class, and most importantly, managing a large group of students while trying hard to keep them engaged in what you’re teaching can all be very stressful.
Over the years, the job can take a toll on your health, unless you actively look after yourself. Here are a few tips to get you started with your self-care routine
- Drink lots of water
Keeping hydrated is the first step towards a quick health boost. If you find it difficult to drink plain water, you can drink it in the form of green tea, (which also happens to be rich in antioxidants) fresh fruit juice or flavoured water. Keep an eye on the sugar content on beverages that are not water. If you find getting into the habit of drinking water regularly difficult, keeping a bottle of water at your desk will help.
- Do not skip meals
Teaching can be hectic. And teachers sometimes try to compensate for the lack of time by skipping meals, especially breakfast, which is a bad idea. Skipping meals can leave you weak and exhausted, and could contribute to other health issues like headaches and reflux.
If you find it hard to squeeze a full meal into your tight schedule, eat smaller snacks through the day. Fruit, nuts, energy bars, trail mix etc. can help you stay nourished and energized through the day. Try to focus on having one full meal later in the day if you do this.
- Exercise everyday
Leading a physically active life can not only keep your body and mind strong, but it can also give your immune system a boost. But how do you find time to exercise everyday? Here are some ideas:
- Use a fitness tracker to keep track of your steps and activity levels
- Walk around the classroom while teaching
- Participate in fitness sessions held at your school
- If you drive, park your car further away and walk to your school
- Maintain healthy habits
Schools can be a hotbed of germs, especially when you have younger students who are prone to falling sick often. This increases the chances of teachers falling sick as well. You can increase your chances of keeping well by following a few healthy habits:
- Use wipes and sanitizers to clean your hands after every class
- Carry your own box of tissues
- Promote healthier habits among your students – for example, teach them to sneeze or cough into a tissue or the crook of their arms, not their palms.
If you fall sick, avoid going to school.
- Get a good night’s sleep
Teachers often report only 6 hours of sleep, while an average adult needs 8 hours. Getting quality sleep is crucial to staying healthy. Try not to stay up late at night preparing lessons. Lack of sleep will leave you tired and you cannot function effectively the next day. It can also make you prone to illness since it weakens your immune system over time. Try taking a power nap between classes on days when you feel extra tired. Listening to some music can also help you relax. It is common knowledge that a teacher isn’t paid much but it is worth investing your money in a comfortable, well-made mattress like the ones at Leesa in order to get the right amount of sleep a night.
Wellness includes a strong financial plan! The Teachers Life blog offers great insurance and financial planning advice, created just for educators. Don’t forget to visit our vibrant online communities on Facebook and Twitter. Please follow us if you like what you see!