Being an educator has always been a challenging job, and this couldn’t be more true today. Many teachers have had to handle both in-person and remote learning, leaving little time for themselves to practice self-care. However, neglecting self-care may lead to burnout and add difficulties to an already demanding job.
This isn’t just beneficial for educators but for their students as well. Practicing self-care for teachers is a way to achieve professional effectiveness and better outcomes in the classroom. By prioritizing their health and well-being, teachers are able to be more objective, maintain professional boundaries, and set good examples for students.
If you’re an educator in need of quick, easy, and practical self-care ideas, then here are some great ideas that you can try:
101 Self-Care Ideas for Teachers
1. Get a good night’s sleep - Doing so will make sure that you are energized for the day ahead.
2. Do yoga - Yoga can help you improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. It can also benefit your focus and concentration in the classroom.
3. Bake your favorite dessert - Baking always feels therapeutic because you are making food with your hands from scratch.
4. Do a puzzle - Doing a puzzle can help activate your mind in different and creative ways.
5. Eat a piece of fruit - Fruits are great for your health because they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber for a balanced diet.
6. Listen to relaxing music - Relaxing music can help you unwind after a long hard day at work.
7. Garden - Not only does gardening help you feel more relaxed, but it also provides mild exercise as you work to take care of your plants.
8. Call or text an old friend - Hearing from an old friend is a great way to reconnect.
9. Play a game - Whether it’s a board game or a video game, having fun is always important.
10. Stay hydrated - Make sure to stay hydrated to improve your concentration, mood, and overall health.
11. Create a vision board - A vision board allows you to explore ideas about your passions and the future.
12. Unplug from electronics - Too much screen time isn’t healthy, so make sure to disconnect every now and then.
13. Remind yourself: I am enough - Sometimes teachers may feel inadequate given all of their responsibilities. It is important to remember that you are enough.
14. Remind yourself: I am worthy - Feeling worthy can improve your self-esteem and allow you to teach with confidence.
15. Remind yourself: I am competent and capable - On days when you don’t feel like you are good at your job, remember that you are completely capable of doing so.
16. Remind yourself: I treat myself with kindness and respect - It is crucial to treat oneself with kindness and respect so that others may do the same.
17. Remind yourself: I treat my students with kindness and respect - Students are also deserving of kindness and respect, and treating them this way will set a great example.
18. Remind yourself: I make a difference in my students’ lives - Whenever you have doubts about the impact you’re making, try to remember that being a teacher makes a big difference in a child’s life.
19. Remind yourself: The work I do matters - Some days may feel mundane or stagnant. It is important to remember that the work you do matters, nevertheless.
20. Remind yourself: I am thankful to have a challenging and fulfilling job - Not everybody gets to have a challenging and fulfilling job; teachers are lucky in that regard.
21. Remind yourself: I motivate and empower my students - Teachers are in a position to motivate and empower young minds, which is vital for a child’s healthy development.
22. Remind yourself: I believe in myself and my abilities - Self-doubt is normal, but continuously believing in yourself and your abilities can make all the difference.
23. Remind yourself: I am peaceful, calm, and greet the day with ease - It is best to enter each day with a calm and peaceful mind to prevent stress.
24. Doodle - Doodling can help stimulate your creativity and even maintain focus during long meetings.
25. Eat some veggies - Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, and healthy teachers can do their work well.
26. Relax and just breathe - Taking a few deep breaths can help you relax on stressful days.
27. Get a smoothie - A delicious smoothie is a nice pick me up that any teacher needs.
28. Light a candle or diffuse oils - Candles and essential oils create an atmosphere that can help you relax.
29. Organize a closet or drawer - Self-care comes in many forms, and one of them is having an organized space. Take some time to clean up a closet or a drawer to feel more orderly.
30. Spend time with friends - Spending time with friends allows busy teachers to socialize and just have fun.
31. Spend time with family - Self-care for educators also involves nurturing their most important relationships.
32. Leave work at work - It can be tempting to keep worrying about work even when the school day is over. To relax and start fresh, try leaving your work at work.
33. Write in a gratitude journal - Gratitude allows us to feel more positive and optimistic about our present and future.
34. Get some sunshine - Don’t underestimate the power of vitamin D! It can increase your energy and mood.
35. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea - Drinking your favorite beverage, whether hot or iced, can help with routine and start your day right.
36. Send a card or a letter - Not many people write cards or letters these days. Sending one to someone you care about can make you feel good.
37. Spend time in nature - Nature generates positive emotions such as calmness, joy, and creativity. Spending a few minutes in nature can also encourage creativity.
38. Get a foot rub - Most teachers are on their feet the whole day, so getting a foot rub is a great way to relax.
39. Read a good book - Reading an old favorite or a new find can help you stay sharp. It is also a nice way to wind down in the evenings.
40. Connect with positive colleagues - Being around positive colleagues can help you look forward to your work at school.
41. Listen to the birds - Sometimes self-care is all about appreciating what your senses can observe. Listening to the birds is a good way to be thankful for your surroundings.
42. Share your feelings with someone - Teachers also encounter tough times. In this case, it helps to share your feelings with someone you trust.
43. Go for a walk - Going for a walk can help clear your mind and gives you an opportunity to engage in mild exercise.
44. Speak to yourself with kindness - It’s easy to be hard on yourself, especially if you want to be an excellent teacher. Remember to speak to yourself with kindness.
45. Pet an animal - Animals are wonderful companions. Petting a cute animal can bring a busy teacher moments of joy.
46. Paint outside - Doing something creative outside will help generate feelings of positivity and improve wellbeing.
47. Start fresh every day - If you had a bad day yesterday, then make an effort to start the next day with a fresh mindset.
48. Exercise - Exercise is essential in keeping physically and mentally healthy. It allows you to do more things as a teacher, whether that’s keeping up with your students or teaching a complex lesson.
49. Take a warm bath - Tense muscles resulting from a long day of work can be relaxed with a warm bath.
50. Ride a bike - Bike riding is a great form of exercise. It also lets you enjoy the outdoors.
51. Stretch - Stretching can make a tense and tight body feel more limber and at ease.
52. Pray or meditate - Prayer and meditation can help you achieve a sense of calm, which can contribute to better decision-making and feelings of wellbeing.
53. Color - Coloring may seem like an activity for kids, but it can also help adults relax and practice their creative skills.
54. Do a random act of kindness - Doing something good for someone else can also make you feel good as it boosts your serotonin levels.
55. Forgive yourself for making a mistake - Teachers make mistakes too. It’s important to forgive yourself and try again.
56. Sleep in - Letting yourself sleep in can take away the stress of waking up to an alarm early in the morning. Do this more often on days when you can afford a bit more shut eye.
57. Ask a friend to dinner - Bonding with a friend over dinner is a great way to strengthen your relationship.
58. Eat out at your favorite restaurant - Eating good food at your favorite restaurant can brighten up any teacher’s mood and leave them feeling more satisfied.
59. Get a massage - Massages are a form of self-care as they decrease pain, tension, and stress for busy professionals like educators.
60. Laugh at something you did - Learning to laugh at yourself can make you more optimistic when you encounter difficult experiences or embarrassing moments.
61. Dance - Dancing is a fun way for teachers to get their blood flowing and heart pumping, especially after a stressful day at work.
62. Hug someone you love - Hugging a loved one releases a hormone called oxytocin and can produce feelings of calmness and relaxation.
63. Lie in a hammock - Sometimes self-care involves doing next to nothing. Lying in a hammock is a good way to pass the time with yourself after interacting with your students and colleagues.
64. Walk barefoot in the grass - A simple way to connect with nature is by walking barefoot in the grass.
65. Daydream - A little daydreaming never hurt anybody! Letting your mind wander and your imagination get active is great after keeping it focused on lessons all day.
66. Take a nap - Students aren’t the only ones who need naptime. Educators also need to recharge, so taking a nap during an appropriate time of the day can be beneficial.
67. Smile and laugh - Making an effort to smile and laugh can brighten up dull or otherwise bad days. This is especially important for teachers when engaging their students.
68. Watch the sunset - Watching the sunset can let teachers appreciate the beauty of nature while contemplating on what went well at school.
69. Watch the sunrise - On some days it can be good to get up extra early and watch the sunrise. This helps you look forward to a new day with your students.
70. Watch a really good movie - One of the best ways to wind down is to watch a really good movie, especially if it’s an old favorite.
71. Stargaze - Teachers often need activities that will ease their minds. Stargazing is a great way to do this as it is calming and can feel rejuvenating.
72. Be optimistic - When practicing self-care, it is always good to have an optimistic outlook. Not only does it reduce stress, but it also helps teachers be happier, more successful, and healthier.
73. Buy yourself flowers - Flowers can brighten up any space. No matter the occasion, having these in your office or room can lift your mood with very little effort.
74. Take a day off chores - Teachers are responsible for many things, so chores can sometimes feel like an extra burden. It can be a form of self-care to take it easy on chores for a day and just relax instead.
75. Take a bubble bath - Sometimes it helps to pamper oneself every once in a while. Bubble baths are a great way to do this.
76. Practice saying no - As teachers, you may often be expected to say yes to many things, but looking out for yourself can also mean saying no.
77. Take a mental health day - Everybody needs a mental health day now and then, especially teachers. On such days, focus on relieving stress, having fun, and preventing burnout.
78. Go on a picnic - Going on a picnic gives busy educators a chance to enjoy fresh air and some vitamin D while having a delicious snack.
79. Take a scenic drive - Many people go for a drive when they are feeling stressed. To get the most benefits from this activity, try driving along a scenic route so you can enjoy the view.
80. Binge watch a series - Binge watching series regularly may not be considered healthy, but when done occasionally, it can help promote positive feelings.
81. Set short and long-term goals - Self-care also entails staying organized and making plans. Teachers can try setting short-term and long-term goals for themselves and their students.
82. Take some “me” time - Many teachers may not feel like they have enough time for themselves. Setting aside a few uninterrupted hours each week for activities of your choice can help you reset.
83. Sing - Even if you aren’t a good singer, belting out a few lines of your favorite song can make you feel better instantly.
84. Ask for help when you need it - Even teachers need a little help sometimes. Show yourself some care by asking for help when you need it.
85. Listen to a self-help podcast - Podcasts are great ways to learn something new, including self-care strategies for teachers.
86. Make time for play - Yes, adults need to play too. Schedule something fun over the weekend to release your inner child.
87. Look through old photos - Flipping through old photo albums or your camera roll from last year can help surface good memories and the emotions associated with them.
88. Engage in a hobby - Whether it’s journaling, gardening, or a sport, teachers are happier and healthier when they take time for their hobbies and interests.
89. Read inspirational quotes - Reading a few inspiring quotes can help you refocus and appreciate your role as an educator.
90. Go for a hike - Hiking is a fun yet challenging outdoor activity that can encourage busy teachers to test their limits and improve their health.
91. Declutter a messy space - Decluttering a messy space can clear one’s head and leave room for newer and more important things.
92. Go out for ice cream - Having an ice cream cone is a simple and enjoyable activity that will add something positive to any teacher’s day.
93. Practice mindfulness - Being a teacher requires having good memory and attention, especially when handling a big class. Mindfulness can improve these skills.
94. Don’t be so hard on yourself - Part of self-care is being able to go easy on yourself, especially during difficult times.
95. Go to a museum - Immersing in art and history is a great way to nurture one’s creative side.
96. Forgive others - Caring for yourself also means letting go of unnecessary negative feelings, such as grudges. Forgiving others can have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
97. Go to bed early - Teachers may be tempted to stay up and grade papers all night, but doing so can lead to burnout. Where possible, take care of yourself by sleeping early.
98. Pamper yourself - A pampering session is a great way to practice self-love and care.
99. Use your favorite lotion - Small actions like using a favorite lotion can instantly make a busy teacher feel better.
100. Buy a new outfit - Teachers may run out of outfit ideas. Buying a new one can show that you care for your appearance and how you present yourself to students and colleagues.
101.Leave school on time - Lastly, drawing a healthy boundary between your work and personal life by leaving school on time can do wonders for your wellbeing.
Download our 101 Self-Care Ideas for Teachers
These self-care tips for teachers can come in handy for busy educators and other professionals. It can be dull to look at a list of activities, so having a colored printable version to tack onto your bulletin board can be a useful and fun reminder. Download our 101 Self-Care Ideas for Teachers here.