Self-care is a broad concept that encompasses various practices and activities individuals engage in to prioritize their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It involves taking deliberate steps to nurture and maintain one's health, reduce stress, and enhance overall quality of life. Self-care is important because it helps individuals recharge, manage stress, and build resilience, ultimately leading to a healthier and more balanced life.
Teachers' mental health and well-being: The importance of mental health awareness among educators.
How do you prioritise self-care in your busy teaching schedule?
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How do you prioritise self-care in your busy teaching schedule?2023/09/20 12:16 SAST
As you work tirelessly to educate and inspire, don't forget to educate and inspire yourself to prioritise self-care. Your students and colleagues believe in you and want to see you well. I hope this forum can be of assistance to those who are facing challenges in the teaching profession.
Thank you for the invitation to the platform.
I have come to realise that 'self care' is a about daily disciplines that you incorporate into your life. Things like meditation, spiritual practices, exercise, rest and play only happen if you plan for them and do them when you said you would. These things are also the easiest to postpone or ignore while we get busy with our lives. However, without planning for them and making part of our lives, we do suffer the consequences.
In my own practices I look at what would be a minimum dose that i could do each day that would start to build a habit? 5-10 minutes of mediation/prayer? A 15-minute walk? Playing with my child for 15 minutes?
These are do-able and can be scheduled in relatively easily into the most crowded schedule.
Once the habit is built you can extend the time and experiment with other practices.
Another thing that I do is to find out what others do? That helps not having to make things up myself but to test other practices.
There are many blogs and books on that.
One that has helped me get started was: 5-morning-rituals-that-help-me-win-the-day
Thank you for your powerful message Mandisa and welcome to the community. It's great to have you here and we're excited to hear more of your insights and contributions. Your voice is valuable and we appreciate you taking the time to share with us.
Thank you, Roger, for your valuable insights. Your contribution was impactful. We appreciate you sharing the document and look forward to your future contributions.
Some added ideas that ensure teacher self-care and wellbeing.
1. Research shows that teachers need to use willpower around 1500 per day! By this we mean that teachers have to censor themselves when they see a student who is not making a effort, or receive an email from a parent complaining. The same research talks to the fatigue this leads to for teachers. There is evidence that this kind of pressure leads to a drop in blood sugar.
2. One of the solutions is Quick thinking. Head over to The Staff Room on A Better Africa, where you can watch the video on the session on Quick thinking.
3. What Quick thinking does is that it also relieves what's known as decision making fatigue. There are many strategies to reduce decision making fatigue whether it's about eliminating decision related to what to wear or what to eat, or in classroom decisions on behaviour management. With reference to the latter, once there is a strategy in place, decisions are significantly reduced.
There are many strategies to address wellbeing issues.
Personally i am of the belief that an individual has 6 lives categorically. These include: spiritual life, employment life, academic life, family life, health life and social life. Self care is all about creating a balance to all these categories of life. These are what makes us human, bringing us a sense of fulfillment and belonging in us. In order to balance these, one should commit self to prioritizing each to diferent time intervals a day or week. Employment life should not spillover to either of these other life categories. It is where discipline comes in with dedication and commitment to assign different times respectively to promote each life. For instance in the case of a teacher, work hours are usually from 7am to 4pm in Africa, after that its either family life or social life. Then on weekends and holidays where there is no schooling, then time can be dedicated to health life, spiritual life. Life should be lived in a routine manner, everything arranged in a schedule. This type of planning works effectively to avoid burnout and helps maintain a fine balance between work and personal life to incorporate the concept of self care
Prioritizing self-care as a teacher is crucial for maintaining your well-being and being effective in the classroom. Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or even short breaks to clear your mind can help you manage stress and stay focused. As a teacher, you should look for professional development opportunities that can enhance your skills, reduce your workload, or assist you in changing your approach to teaching.