Saturday, November 4, 2017


October is already over and November is here! How did that happen? That means with Red Ribbon Week, Halloween, Parent-Teacher Conferences, and upcoming holidays, cold and flu season... peak teacher burn-out season is right around the corner. To avoid feeling burnt out and flustered, you need to invest in yourself. Before I get too preachy, I'll admit, taking time for self care is one of the hardest things for me to do. I feel unproductive, silly, and sometimes just straight up lazy to stop and do something for myself when there are so many other things I could be doing. Here's the thing though -- that to-do list will always be there. The moment you check something off, there's about five more things to add. Teachers, we need to be making ourselves more of a priority. I will put lots of things before myself, but the best way I can be a good teacher, friend, family member, etc. is by making time to take care of myself. You can't pour out of an empty cup. So, check out some of the ideas I have on how you can fill your cup throughout the week.

A little peek into my Erin Condren planner. October got really busy out of nowhere, and November isn't looking like it's going to settle down much. I have to make time for me!

Today I'm sharing 55 Self Care Ideas for Teachers. Some of these ideas cost no money, some do. Some of these ideas take just a few minutes, some take a few more. Peruse the list. Save it on Pinterest and revisit it later. But friends, please try some of these things. I'm no expert on Self Care, I'm learning right along side you. Can we partner in trying some of these things out together?

1. random dance party
Blast your favorite tunes and bust a move. Not only is it just fun, but it's a great way to get in a little workout without even thinking about it. 

2. take a power nap
Need a little boost between grading sessions? Power nap it out! Set your alarm for 20 minutes and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. 

3. drink 8+ glasses water today
One of the best things you can do for yourself is stay hydrated!!! As teachers we are on our feet all day and talking all the time. Keep those vocal chords lubricated friends. 

4. work out
Working out releases natural endorphins which is a great way to get energy. It's been hard for me to find the time to work out, but I've realized I just have to make the time! It doesn't have to be extensive, but 30 minutes of physical activity does the mind, body, booty, and soul some good. 

5. recharge 
Recharging can look a little different from person to person. It largely depends on where you get your energy. Are you an extrovert? You might need some time out with friends talking about things other than school. An introvert? A relaxing night in is a perfect way for you to recharge.

6. make your favorite meal
Cooking for yourself can be a hassle some times, but it doesn't have to be! Set aside a night where you have plenty of time to make your favorite meal, enjoy it, and maybe save the dishes to do the next day! 

7. go out to eat-- by yourself
Want to enjoy your favorite meal, but don't want to do any of the work. Treat yourself to dinner out. 

8. color or doodle 
Pull out your Flair pens or colored pencils, an adult coloring book or a blank piece of paper and let your creative side out!

9. journal
Every time I try to get into journaling I get discouraged if I miss a day. Recently I've allowed myself to be okay with journaling when I can get to it. Sometimes I write down funny stories from the day, work out problems, dream and set goals, or share gratitude. It doesn't have to be pretty, it's just good to get it out. 

10. go for a hike
Connect with nature and the great outdoors. Once again, a great endorphin release, but also the chance to focus on priorities, center yourself, have a change of scenery, and relax. 

11. take a bubble bath 
Getting in a warm bath full of sud-sy goodness is a perfect way to unwind, body and mind.

12. buy a yourself a candle
Candles look great, smell great, and would go perfectly with that bubble bath. 

13. read a book you want to read
So many times I find myself in this teeter totter of reading books for Professional Development or reading a children's book. Take time to read a book that you want to read... not one that you have to.

14. treat yourself to a night at the movies
Take yourself to go see a movie that you want to see. Get a snack if you want one. Enjoy some alone time. 

15. read positive notes
I always save encouraging notes from students or colleagues in my Teacher Desk to pull out and read when I'm having a tough day, when I'm tired, or just needing a reminder of why I do what I do. Seeing what someone else see's in you can be so powerful. 

16. have a mini declutter session
Sometimes cleaning up clutter is the last thing I want to do, but also the best thing I can do. It helps to freshen up and clean your physical space at home or at work and your mood somehow becomes freshened right along with it.

17. watch your favorite movie
Maybe you have every line memorized. Maybe you've seen it hundreds of times. Watch it again. I watch my favorite (You've Got Mail) at least once a year and I get all those feel-good feelings. 

18. jump on your bed
Sounds childish? Good. Don't take yourself too seriously! Jump on your bed for a few minutes and thank me later. 

19. have a mini pamper session
Face masks, bath bombs, and foot soaks, oh my! Whether you stay in and do it at home or go out, you are worthy of getting pampered. 

20. throw your bed sheets and favorite jammies in the dryer for just a few minutes right before you go to bed
This is especially lovely in those cold winter months, but hopping into a clean, warm bed any time of year is just the best feeling.

21. write yourself a love letter
Don't feel silly. Stop and think about all of the things you love about yourself. I'm sure you have a lot of material! If for some reason you're stumped... put yourself into the perspective of your best friend. What would they say they love about you?

22. write an encouraging note to someone
It feels good to give. Write an encouraging note and then deliver it -- anonymous or not, it will make someones day. 

23. go outside, lay on your back. look at the sky, stars, clouds
Whether it's day or night, this is a good practice. Do you see shapes in the clouds? Can you pick out a constellation? Lay outside and just be. 

24. try something new
I strive to be a life long learner. Try something new. What's a skill you've always wanted to learn but you've never actually tried? Now's your time. 

25. buy yourself some flowers
Bring them to your classroom, bring them home. Fresh flowers always make me smile.

26. go social media free (for a day, week, month, few hours)
Unplug for awhile! You won't miss anything. If anyone really needs to get ahold of you they can text, call, or e-mail you. Take a break from social media and then reflect on how it made you feel. 

27. make a vision board
Growing up, on New Year's Day we'd always sit down as a family, cut up old magazines, and paste pictures and words onto poster board. I would hang mine up in my room and it would be a good reminder of my goals, dreams, and vision for my life. You can do this any time of year! It could be long term or short term goals. For one specific area of your life, or all areas. Have fun with it! 

28. call someone you love
Pull out your phone and dial up the number of someone you love. Family, friend, or someone you haven't seen in a long time it will make their day (and yours too!)

29. stop and stretch
As teachers we're always moving. Walking around the room, squatting beside little Johnny, sitting on the carpet, etc. Take a break during lunch, on your prep, after school and stretch it out. Be mindful of your breath and the areas where you need to spend more time stretching. 

30. do something spontaneous
I'm a planner, so spontaneity has never really been a strong suit. Sometimes I just need to be spontaneous. Take a drive, pack a picnic lunch, invite some friends over for a movie and snack night... just do something without planning it days (or hours in advance!) 

31. try that pinterest recipe you've always wanted to
I pin things all the time thinking, "Oh someday I'll try that" and I never do. Make today that day! 

32. sleep in on the weekend
I try to maximize my time on the weekends by getting things done, going to church, and spending some time playing. With all that busyness though, sometimes I just get worn out. It's okay to sleep in on the weekends when you need too. That's not lazy, it's self care! 

33. do something creative
Try a DIY project, paint something, go out and take pictures  make music... do something that requires you to think creatively. 

Grab yo' snacks, grab yo' movies, grab yo' jammies and face masks... it's time to have a girls night! P.S. no work talk allowed. Just enjoy one another's company.

35. make a playlist of your favorite songs. drive around until the playlist is over.
I love me some good car jams. Drive out of town and get away. Roll the windows down and enjoy a playlist of all of your favorite tunes. 

36. write down a list of all of the things you love
Family, friends, places, food, etc... list out all of the things you love. It will make you smile and it will be something fun for you to look back at some day.

37. watch funny videos on youtube
It's good to laugh. It's even better to laugh until you snort or the tears start streaming down your face. My go to funny youtube videos usually involve post wisdom teeth extraction car rides. Find what you like and watch until your side hurts from laughter. 

38. create a bucket list
What are some things you want to see, learn, do, or accomplish in your lifetime? Jot it down and keep it somewhere where you won't forget about it. 

39. blow bubbles
You probably have a bottle of bubbles somewhere in your classroom, right? If not you can get them inexpensively. Go outside and blow bubbles and relive your childhood for a little bit.

40. clean your email inbox
"Ugh. How is this self care?" you might be asking. And you'd be totally fair in that question. This is something I avoid doing, but as the inbox gets more full, I get more tense. Take some time to make folders, sort your e-mails. And trust me when you're done, you'll see why it's self care. 

41. set goals
It's good to have goals -- both short term and long term. Think about one or two things you'd like to accomplish. How are you going to get there? What steps do you need to take? 

42. write down a list of things you're grateful for
Get into that Bing Crosby spirit and count your blessings (instead of sheep). This could be a daily practice, weekly routine, or just something to do when you're feeling down. It always feels good to see just how blessed you really are. 

43. go out for ice cream
Of course this had to make the list. Ice cream is my favorite food ya'll. Go out to a little sweet treat and invite some friends to join you. 

44. listen to an album from start to finish
The way I think about it is that each album is a piece of art. The creator intended for it to be listened to from start to finish as a complete work. So don't just jam out to a single, listen to the whole album. (Bonus Points if you listen to it on vinyl) 

45. practice yoga
This is a challenge for me! I always want to hit a specific pose perfectly and hold it, but that's not what yoga is really all about. It's good to take time to be mindful and present and that's what yoga does for me. 

46. try a new physical exercise
Have you been wanting to join a spin class, thought about Zumba, or wanted to improve your swimming? Try a new physical exercise. Even if you're not good at it, it's good to get your body trying new things. 

47. watch a documentary
I love learning about new things or deepening my understanding of something. There are so many great documentaries out there that have become easier to access with different streaming sites. Learn something new. 

48. write a poem
Haiku or limerick
free verse or ode
try your hand at writing 
some sort of poem. 

49. buy a new outfit
It's fun to have some new clothes! Treat yourself to a whole new outfit, or buy a piece that makes you feel good. You'll be feeling good vibes both when you shop and when you wear it. 

50. pick up a new hobby
Is there something you've always wanted to collect? An activity you've always wanted to work into your routine? Try picking up a new hobby. Whether you're working with your hands or taking classes to become an expert, finding a hobby not only to give you something to do, but some thing to enjoy and even share with others.

51. paint your nails
A budget-friendly way to pamper yourself! Find a fun new color and take your time making your fingernails look perfect.

52. go get a pedicure
Pedicures are a bit ticklish for most people, but with as much as we're on our feet all day, we deserve to get some of that dead skin off, get a good massage, and have pretty toes. 

53. meet up with a friend for coffee
Reach out to a friend you haven't seen in awhile or that you need to spend some quality time with. Go to a local coffee shop and relax and catch up with one another. (Bonus Points if your coffee date is also a brunch date. Brunch is the best meal ever, amiright?!)

54. find a statement necklace that speaks to you
Jewelry is a great way to express your style artistically. Find a statement necklace that speaks to you, even if you don't think you'll wear it all the time, it will make you happy when you do put it on. Plus I think every girl needs at least one fun statement necklace in their wardrobe. 

55. sing loudly in the car with a friend
I'm talking James Corden, carpool karaoke style, ya'll. Belt out all the notes, throw in some harmonies, car dance, and let loose. 

Did you try any of these self-care ideas? Share with a teacher friend in your life and get to loving yourself. You are so worth it!

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