• Meagan Gillcrist

First task of the new school year, take care of yourself!

It is that time of year again! Summer break is coming to a close while the ramp up for an unprecedented year in education quickly begins. Needless to say, but summer was not as relaxing as many of those outside of education would like to think. From the anticipation of what is to come to the ever changing plans for the start of the year, educators have had little to rest about. With that said, it is more imperative than ever for you to have a plan for taking care of yourself before returning to school.

As an overachiever myself, I often fall into the rut that comes with the beginning of the year. For over a decade I typically feel the harsh impact of transitioning my summer routines as my workload increases and the hours of sunlight begin to fade. Over time I have found a few tricks to lessen this shift, but now find it even more important to prioritize this year. As the demands rise and the lines between work and home life are blurred with remote learning, take some time to make a plan for your own physical and mental well-being. There is no time like the present to prevent burnout!

1: Make a list of personal commitments

What are a few habits or routines that you have or have been wanting to create? It could be as simple as making your bed or as intricate as paying off your student loans. Take the time to make a list of commitments you want to make happen during this school year. Only select a few and make them tangible to achieve in a year. Each month set a goal to work on creating a habit to support your commitment. Once it has become apart of your routine add another one. Over time you will realize these are just a part of your regular day!

2: Move your body

Teachers are use to being on their feet all day with kids. The shift to remote learning takes away a lot of the physicality of the job. With that you may find that you feel restless or have a lot of energy built up. Make time to move your body in a way that helps release this added tension. Remember the goal is to move. Do not put pressure on yourself to run a marathon when a brief walk while listening to a podcast is just as good.

3: Have quick and easy meals ready

With so many tasks pulling you every which way it is easy to just run through a drive thru to grab a bite. Overtime though this can make you feel lethargic and burn a hole in your pocket. Plan out and prep a few meals that you can just throw in the freezer. When a day comes that you are too busy to cook you will have an easy meal that doesn't break the bank!

** I love Trader Joe's! They have healthy and portioned out frozen options. I typically have 1-2 of their items in my freezer just in case I need something quick and easy.

4: Set boundaries with your time

Sitting at your kitchen table all day can make it incredibly difficult to shut off work. Unless something absolutely has to get done, shut down your computer at a specific time. You can also set boundaries with others by scheduling an automated message on your email at the given time and communicating with families that you cannot take calls once your day ends.

5: Do things that make you happy, regularly!

Take time to do things and see people that bring you joy. Maybe it is reading a book, taking a bath, spending quality time with your family, or sitting in complete silence for 20 minutes. Whatever it is prioritize these activities in order to regroup and recharge. You have to listen to yourself and offer grace where it is needed.

Welcome back and take care of yourselves this year teacher friends!

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