Health and wellness tips for educators

Health and wellness should be a priority for all individuals.  Every person needs access to resources that will help them develop a healthy mindset and feel balanced in all aspects of their life. 

Our wellness is crucial to our productivity, creativity, relationships, and overall joy. Wellness will require being balanced and that is something educators often struggle with due to the long list of responsibilities within the field. If we can make balance and wellness a priority, we will be able to enjoy more of our job, appreciate the amazing individuals we are, and positively impact those around us. 

One major focus within educator wellness is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). SEL encourages self-awareness and helps teachers maintain more positive relationships with others. Focusing on SEL in the classroom and in our own lives will help us in these five major areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Addressing these five competencies will help us strengthen our overall wellness.

Here are 3 major tips for wellness:

1. Carve out time for self-care.

Self-care can look different for everyone. Whether that be watching your favorite show, reading a good book, meditation, journaling, a long walk, a special meal, or something else, make time for it. Self-care serves as a reminder that you deserve an opportunity to unplug, clear your mind, and reconnect with yourself. This time will allow you to enjoy peaceful moments that will help keep you energized and focused. Time for self-care will address your SEL competencies of self-awareness and self-management. You will be amazed at how much you will grow as a person and an educator when you take time for yourself. Remember, you are worth the effort. 

2. Be aware of your priorities and boundaries.

Know what is most important to you as an educator and keep those associated tasks at the top of your “to-do list”. Do not take on too much. Know how much you can handle and be realistic about what you can say “yes” to when it comes to extra-curriculars or tasks at your workplace. These purposeful decisions will also enable you to have more authentic interactions with your colleagues. Being passionate and eager to make a difference are wonderful characteristics, but you want to be sure you do not become overwhelmed and exhausted. Setting clear boundaries and focusing on your priorities will help foster your relationship skills and responsible decision-making. 

3. Do what you can to ensure you are best prepared for your specific job as an educator.

Being prepared will help ease your anxieties and nudge you towards a healthier mental space. One way to get yourself in a position of preparedness is to interact with colleagues or other educators in your field. Engaging and flexible professional development will help you stay up-to-date with best practices and offer you insight into a plethora of different scenarios. Remember to find quality professional development that will support you and your goals. You want to be sure it is helping you and not becoming an arduous task that just becomes another thing on your list. Self-guided and collaborative professional development will help you build your social awareness along with self-management skills. Professional development is often the missing piece to educator wellness. You can find diverse professional development options at HiMama Academy.

We focus on many different components of our job daily. We want to be sure that we are educating to the best of our ability and that means we need to be the best version of ourselves. So what does that mean? We need to focus on our wellness so that we can be balanced and healthy educators. Self-care, setting clear boundaries, and partaking in dynamic professional development opportunities are three major steps to getting there! Your wellness needs to be a priority. Being aware of your wellness will help keep you from burning out. You deserve better. Your students and colleagues will be positively impacted also. So take your first step today toward wellness today! 

Linda Valloor

Linda spends her days teaching high schoolers the power of World Literature. She has been a high school teacher for 18 years and has her M.Ed. in Secondary English with a focus on urban and multicultural education. She moved from Illinois to Pennsylvania 15 years ago when she married her wonderful husband, John. She is a mama to 12-year-old twin girls and a younger daughter who is 8. In her spare time, Linda loves to write poetry, cook (and eat) international cuisine, play games too competitively with her family, and snuggle her dog, Rockwell.