Creating Work-Life Balance...for teachers!
All teachers do is teach and live at school right? I truly believe many students, and I am assuming parents too, think this is true. The look on their faces when you mention something you do not school related is rather comical.
Though the stereotype is that teachers work all the time, a teacher’s life should NOT be this way.
There is a balance between work and life and this balance must be maintained in order to effectively do your job. This is especially true when teacher’s have kids and a family at home. If this balance has been a real struggle for you (especially during this 2020 school year), here are some things you can begin doing today to help yourself out.
Have a plan!
For everything! Now I know a lot of people are not planners, but hear me out. Part of what creates stress and imbalance is when we have to make decisions on the fly or last minute. So, if plans and routines can be created then some of stress gets alleviated as well.
One of the best practices is to get in a routine and plan out meals. Take 20-30 one day a week, plan all the meals you will have for that week, and prepare a grocery list. You can then go to the grocery store one day and get everything you need for the week. Or better yet, order it online and then just pick it up! Every day you and your family will know what they are eating and that is one less thing you have to decide on each day.
Other routines to create and stick to can include bedtimes, wake up times, laundry days, cleaning schedules, etc. This is also a great way to delegate chores. Divide and conquer!
Set up a daily work cut off time. This is the time that when you close your school laptop or binder or email or whatever it is, you don’t touch it or read it until the next day. This time can be immediately after work or maybe you add in an extra hour every day. Whatever you want to do is fine, just stick to it and don’t make exceptions.
This will ensure that when you are off the clock, you are for real off the clock. This will also create the time you need at home. You will be able to focus on your children because you are not working on school stuff. Your attention won’t be divided.
So, maybe for you this means you leave everything behind in school once you go home, laptop, binders and all! Maybe you turn off school email notifications on your phone. Maybe you turn off Google Classroom (or whatever you use) notifications and emails. However you need to create this cut off time, do it!
Self care has been a huge word in the year of 2020… and for a good reason! Teachers have been asked to do more than they probably ever have before and it has taken a major emotional and physical toll on them. Therefore, all teachers need to be practicing some type of self care.
How can teachers take care of others, at school or at home, if they are not properly taking care of themselves?
Self care routines can be daily or weekly or both. What you need to do to take care of yourself can look vastly different from everyone else and there is no specific action you need to take.
Some ideas may include:
● Having at home or a salon manicures
● Doing face masks once a week
● Having one glass of wine every night after the kids go to bed
● Cooking or baking (yes, some people find these things enjoyable)
● Daily walks or exercise
● Reading a book before bed
Find what works for you and then schedule time for yourself on a regular and frequent basis!
Let it go!
Teachers too have bad days, and that’s okay. Students, parents, administration, and coworkers can all be extremely frustrating and stressful. Find a way to let the day go before you get home.
This is so much easier said than done.
When you have had a bad day, take the time to think about what went wrong and how you felt about it. Take some time to feel those feelings and then let it go before you get out of the car to walk into your house. So on the way home jam to whatever music fits your mood, call a friend or family member you know you can talk to, or talk to yourself (it’s not that crazy I promise).
And just to clarify, this does not mean that you brush your feelings under the rug and ignore them. This means that you consciously think about why you are feeling what you are feeling and you deal with the issue that has caused the feelings.
By doing even two of the things mentioned you will be able to create more of a balance between your work life and your home life. This means that you will be able to come home and show up for your family and children. You will be able to leave work at the workplace and focus on your own children.
From the founder of Bitesizedessentials.com
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educators, parents and students