Carrie Grace is a former teacher turned motivational speaker
I think that we can all agree that this past year and a half has involved many challenges, canceled plans, endless pivoting and a lot of emotional stress. People took on more roles than they had expected such as homeschooling children, caring for a sick relative, dropping off food to neighbors and trying to find new hobbies to pass the time at home.
Currently, 47.1 million people are living with a mental illness –1.5 million more than the previous year. It’s no surprise that the mental health crisis has worsened as we’ve been forced to juggle more plates over the past year and a half than ever before.
It’s safe to say that we all need to get back in the practice of self-care in order to fill our wells. We cannot pour from a place of emptiness. It is critical that we find ways in our own lives to fill up. Our wells get filled when we care for ourselves, and then we can better care for others.
3 Self-Care Tips for Educators:
1. Establish Boundaries
It is incredibly easy to say yes to things that fill up our tanks, but often times we say yes far more than we say no to. And then we wake up one day and wonder how we’re going to juggle all the roles and responsibilities that we agreed to. It’s important to establish your limits and stick firmly to them.
I travel quite often for work, so I like to imagine seasons of life as luggage you travel with. Some seasons are simply carry-on bags while others are full-to-the-brim checked bags, often teetering on the edge of the weight limit. It’s important to sit down and identify what season of life you are in, so that you are able to know how much you can take on. Once you’ve determined your limits, it will become far easier to say no to opportunities—even good ones—in order to protect your well-being.
2. Look for Fun
It is easy to get bogged down in the everyday mundane tasks of laundry, dishes, cleaning and much more. The pandemic forced many of us to pick up new hobbies and try new things. Fun is an important aspect to make life more enjoyable. We often push fun to the side as we bog ourselves down with our daily responsibilities. But fun can make a world of difference for both our physical and mental health overall.
Places to Find Fun:
- Eventbrite: lists all open events in your area
- Groupon: offers great deals on excursions
- Airbnb Experience: learn how to cook a meal, play an instrument
- Thumbtack: great way to find teachers for a hobby you may want to pick up
Ways to Add More Fun:
- Read a book
- Listen to a podcast
- Go on a walk
- Hang out with friends
- Host a dinner party
One of the perks of volunteering is that, as we are using our time and talents, we are benefitting from more connections, bettering our community and boosting our own sense of self-worth. Simply put, giving back not only does good in the world—it also feels good. There are approximately 63 million people in the USA volunteering each year. They are all using their time and talents to make the world a better place.
Not only does volunteering help others but it also instills more gratitude for our own lives. When volunteering we often meet people from all walks of life and are able to better appreciate all that we have in our own lives—food, shelter, family, and much more.
Places to Volunteer:
- Animal Shelters
- Nursing Houses
- Food Banks
- National Parks
- Homeless Shelters
Better Self Care = Happier and More Balanced People
The act of practicing self-care is hard because it can often feel like you are being selfish in asking for time to do things that are most pleasing to you. But we forget that self-care fills up each of our tanks and allows us to go back into the world as the best possible versions of ourselves. If we pour into ourselves, we are able to become healthier, happier versions of ourselves. This, in turn, allows us to encourage others and creates a happier and more balanced world.
Watch our May Empowered Educator Event and learn how to reclaim the joy of teaching.