Teacher Self Care: Tips for Parents
Teacher self care is vitally important. This is particularly true when you are also a parent. The trouble is that many of the typically strategies listed are more difficult to implement when you have kids. Today I partnered with my husband to reflect on strategies that work for us, and hopefully will help you as well.
My husband is an elementary school teacher. This summer he took a professional development class through Learners Edge about teacher self care. He learned some great information but needed to make some changes to make the suggestions work.
Here are some teacher self care tips that work for our family:
Eat Healthy Food
We try to keep our kitchen stocked with easy to grab snacks and the staples to make a quick meal. Baby carrots, fruit, oatmeal, Lara Bars, and frozen vegetables are foods we always have. My kids also enjoy freeze dried peas, banana chips, and cereal for something crunchy (food that is healthy and quick to feed my children help lower my stress!) Also dark chocolate because chocolate is healthy right?!
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When I had a hour plus commute to my school this was my go to breakfast. I’d eat in the car to get a few extra minutes of sleep. Lara bars are great for a healthy snack as well.
I love that these banana chips do not have sugar or preservatives added to them.
My kids love these freeze dried peas. I buy them in bulk because they go through them quickly. I’m not a big fan of them but love that they are a healthy snack my kids eat.
This is my go to chocolate snack.
My husband I both enjoy group fitness classes. We take LesMills classes. I love Body Pump and Body Combat classes and he likes Body Attack. We are only able to make it to the gym once or twice a week right now. We look forward to that alone time to decompress and exercise. On days that we don’t make it to the gym, we try to take a walk around the neighborhood instead. Using a workout video is another strategy for when time is tight.
I’m grouping meditation, reflecting, and praying together because I think different people find that they are called to one more than the other. Find something that helps you slow down and relax. For some that is something spiritual for others it is listening to music or meditating.
Do Something You Love
This will be different for everyone, but it is important to make time for activities that bring you joy. I enjoy cooking and spending time outside. With kids sometimes the best you can do is to share the activities that you enjoy with your kids. My husband enjoys taking our 4 year old out for a coffee date. She draws pictures and he is able to enjoy time out at a coffee shop. Reading is another activity that I find relaxing. Getting lost in a book helps me to decompress. It also models reading behavior for my kids and helps get the excited about books.
Spend Time Alone
Having alone time is important to decompress. This is more challenging with kids but not impossible. Usually the person that is alone is doing work or cleaning at our house, but this is still a break from being with children. That helps both of us recharge.