Work life balance and wellness has never been so important. As we head back to school, that feeling of “Okay, heeeere we go!” begins. You know which one I am talking about: the domino roll, the mind tornado, the non-stop busy teacher stuff.
Why Wellness is Important for Teachers
It’s so hard to go from a lovely summer vacation to instant intensity. That’s why it’s so important to look after yourself and try to focus on work life balance and wellness. I am a big believer in teacher wellness. I have been teaching for 20+ years and I know the effects of stress well. I’ve also written about 10 practical ideas for managing teacher stress in this blog post here.
Just what is work life balance and teacher wellness you ask? Well, I guess , simply put, it’s looking after yourself and balancing your career and family life and anything else that’s important to you. Sounds easy now if you’re still in summer mode! It really can be if you follow these 3 principles and have fun doing it.
I have found after many years (20+) of teaching that teaching is a career that you could spend most of your waking moments on. The trick is to try to make your job easier by teaching smarter and not working harder. That is a whole other topic but looking after yourself so you CAN teach smarter is what we are talking about today. There are 3 things that you need to think about when you are trying to balance your life and add wellness to your “to do” list. You enjoy happy, less stressed days and they all begin by focussing on yourself. You know the old saying, you are no good to anyone else if you are not healthy or happy. Here are 3 things that I try to do to help me maintain some balance.
1. Wellness for Your Mind ~
To cultivate a healthy mind as part of work life balance I take time each day to be still and quiet. I like to take deep breaths, and just try not to think about anything. Once I do that, I can then reflect thoughtfully on my day. Taking care of your brain is the first step to looking after your body according to Daniel Siegel, MD in his audio book The Mindful Brain
2. Wellness for Your Body ~
Taking care of your body is not just exercising. It means fuelling it with healthy, nutritious foods so that you have increased energy and brain power. I like to strength train and walk. Strength training helps me to do daily functional things in the classroom like get out and run with the students or even just be on my feet all day facilitating their learning. 🙂
3. Wellness For Your Spirit ~
This is my favorite part of looking after my teacher self and my mom self. It is just simply so gratifying keeping a positive mind set and using that to help others. I practice gratitude daily whether it is just as I watch life go on or whether I write about it. I make a special effort to help people that need it most. It makes me feel good and the positive nature of it all just elevates me more and gives me more energy. Practicing gratitude helps me to establish the work life balance because I choose to be thankful and do kind things – it’s not just part of the job.
Do you have a good work life balance going on? I know as we head back to school that everyone would LOVE to hear about it! I am always trying to learn more and get new ideas from you friends.
I created this set called Teacher Balance (but it truly is for anyone) based on some of the things that work for me. Those pictures are from Teacher Wellness and Gratitude journal that is included. You can use it on your own or have a wellness party with your friends and do it together! Find the link for this resource here.
Thanks for reading friends and here’s to our good health!