As teachers, we often put our students’ needs before our own. We might not have time for doctor’s appointments or to cook balanced meals. However, it’s important to take care of yourself so that you can be the best teacher possible! So, how can you be healthy as a teacher? Here are 7 easy tips to get and keep yourself healthy as a busy teacher.
Tip #1 Get Enough Sleep!
I know this can be difficult. Between late nights grading and early mornings getting ready for school there never seems to be enough time. That is, until we say enough is enough and go to bed. It’s important to try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. A good night’s sleep will help you feel more alert and ready to face the day. Give getting a good night’s sleep preference over trying to get everything done. . . because there will always be more to do.
One strategy to get more sleep is to stop reinventing the wheel. You have co-workers you can share lesson planning with. There are tons of literacy slide presentations ready-made for tomorrow’s reading lesson.
Tip #2 Eat healthy!
Again, this can be tough with a busy schedule, but try to pack yourself some healthy snacks and lunches instead of opting for unhealthy fast food. Eating healthy will give you more energy and help you stay focused throughout the day. One strategy I began a while back was bringing my own midday snack to school with me. Now, when I take my class out for recess, I have a piece of fruit or bag of almonds ready to go.
Tip #3 Incorporate exercise into your workday!
Finding time to get to the gym, or even work out at home is not easy. You can, however, incorporate 15 – 20 minutes of exercise into your workday! We’re lucky as teachers we’re already constantly on feet. There are a multitude of ways to add physical movement into your lessons. During math, my 1st graders and I often warm up counting by 2’s. We stand up on odd numbers, and squat down on even numbers. Simple tricks like this can be incorporated into many lessons. I also love giving my students Go Noodle breaks, and when they do a workout I do it right along with them. Now, at the end of the workday you won’t have to feel guilty about hitting the gym. You will have already gotten your daily workout in.
Tip #4 Take Breaks!
During lunch, take some time for yourself instead of using that time to grade papers or prepare lessons. Relaxing for even 5-10 minutes can help reenergize you and make you feel more patient with your students. If you can find another time during the day for a 5-10 minute break, use it to rest again. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel tackling your tasks for the day.
Tip #5 See your doctor!
Make sure to stay up-to-date on your vaccinations and to schedule regular checkups with your primary care physician and dentist. Taking care of your health now will prevent problems down the road. I hate taking days off, but I make exceptions when it comes to seeing my doctors.
Tip #6 Put Your Financial Future First
Knowing that you are saving for your retirement takes a lot of stress off of your plate. Stress, you may not even realize you’re carrying. Automating your retirement plan, will also help you with Tip #1
Tip #7 Have fun!
Teaching can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding. Make sure to take time out of your busy schedule to do things that you enjoy outside of school so that you don’t burn out.
Teaching is an important job that comes with many challenges. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day-to-day and forget to take care of yourself, but it’s so important to do so! Taking care of your health should be a priority so that you can be the best teacher possible for your students. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that you’re on your way to a healthier lifestyle as a teacher!
Looking for more great teaching tips? Check out the October Teacher Talk links below!