Teaching is an extremely rewarding career, but that doesn’t mean it does not come without its demands and stresses. This is why looking after yourself is so important. It is too easy to let yourself become inundated with work that you neglect your own mental health and doing so can have its repercussions. If teaching abroad, these stresses can seem even greater with the added pressure along with the feelings that come while being in a foreign land. Creating time to look after yourself can seem easier said than done, but consider these reasons why it is important to do so and tips on self-care for teachers.
Why self-care is important
Teachers have the incredibly huge job of educating the future. This comes with a lot of pressure and stress. This stress can have a negative effect on one’s mental health. When stress takes over, it makes it hard to work at full capacity because worry is always in the back of the mind.
While worry is a natural feeling we all get, there are ways of helping it not take over your life which can be done through self-care. When teachers take time to look after themselves, it reduces the risk of “burn out,” and when a teacher feels happy and energised, then their students will definitely take notice. Workflow becomes more manageable, and stress doesn’t seem to come as often. Always make sure you have time in your schedule for self-care! It is the best thing you can do for yourself as a teacher.
Don’t forget the small things (which are really big things)
There are several small things you can do for yourself throughout the day that may seem like nothing at first, but in reality, they are positive ways of taking care of you. A cup of tea during a break or a treat like a bite of chocolate may seem like normal things, but if its something you like, then definitely take the time to enjoy it. It will make the day seem much brighter.
Relax at the end of the day
After work should be your time, and before another busy day ahead, the best thing you can do for yourself is to relax. Do something you love to do. Read a book, watch your favourite TV show and make sure you enjoy your evening meal instead of rushing through it. Some people find meditation beneficial. Whatever you like to do to relax, this is your time to do it, so leave any work that can wait until tomorrow at work.
Spend time with friends
There is nothing better than having a good chat and a laugh with friends. If you’re teaching abroad, then get chatting with co-workers and make new friends. You’ll be glad you did! You will probably find you have a lot in common with many, so arrange a time to meet for coffee (away from school!) and spend some time chatting about things other than work.
Be kind to yourself
There are many pressures that come with being a teacher, with some things the biggest source of pressure is coming from ourselves. Never be hard on yourself when things don’t seem to go right. Things happen, and that’s okay. Think about all the positives of the day, no matter how small, and all that you have accomplished.
Take care of your physical self
Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand. When you’re physically feeling great, it can really help improve mental health too. Exercise releases endorphins which make us happy, giving a real mood boost, so find a great park and have a walk or run, take fun classes at the local gym or even join a sports club.
With the right self-care and support from others, teaching overseas can be an amazing experience. Point-to-Point Education works hard at pairing up teachers with the school that is right for them and offer support along the whole journey. We understand some of the challenges Australians in the UK face when they decide to teach overseas, which is why we are always available for guidance and to make sure you are fully enjoying your time abroad while making a difference in young people’s lives. Contact us to further discuss out UK placements and get started on your next exciting teaching journey.