It’s really easy to feel burned out as a teacher, after all most of us juggle a full time load at home. Little ones, household chores and a full time teaching position to boot. It’s important that we do take some time out to reflect or even just do nothing.
I, for one have struggled with that last bit above – doing nothing. Each time my husband sees me overworked and tired. He tells me to do nothing. As hard as that is for me – when I get around to doing just that I feel better.
Today, I will share some tips with you that hopefully can help you zone out and take it easy before you get to that burn out stage.
- Do something you enjoy: EVERY night before going to bed. I read, whether I’ve got a book on Kindle on my phone or I’m enjoying the latest book buy. I read every night, even if it is just for 5 minutes. I find it relaxes me and I enjoy it. I’ts now a habit and I do it every night (no matter how sleepy I am) – it’s like I don’t want to miss out on reading for sleep. 🙂
- Each morning take 30 minutes to yourself: this means that grocery lists, household chores and even teacher planners need to be put away for that first part of the morning. Have a coffee, read the news, or watch a show before getting dressed for work. I struggled with this because as soon as I am up – I’m making lists in my head for my day. It’s unhealthy, and it makes us feel on edge from the start oft he day which makes our productivity levels lower throughout the day as you’re rushing to get through them all! Now granted that you won’t be able to do this every morning because let’s face it – we all hit that snooze button a little too often – but when you’re up early, use it for yourself. 😉
- Take time during your work day to write a list of the things you need to do for the end of the school year, that way you have them all in one place and tick them off as you go. This helps you calm down in knowing that you will get through them all one way or another by the end of the year.
- Eat healthy and keep hydrated: this is an important point because without this – your body will make you feel more exhausted then you actually are. Granted this might be hard to do when you have a screaming toddler or clothes falling out of your hamper. But it’s essential to ignore those trivial chores (not your toddler of course!) to keep the big picture in your mind – of a well hydrated and healthy teacher/mother.
- Set one – and only one major goal for the day: for example, if you have to mark assessments for class A, print posters and help your child with their homework. You choose the goal that is the most urgent first and and celebrate that you’ve completed it before getting on to your next goal (if you do). My husband actually taught me this. He used to look at my list and literally roll his eyes! So he told me I will never get through that list in a day. He said put one goal on your list for the day and you will most likely complete the rest without having to force yourself or feel out of time! It worked! It actually took a few goes, but I’m still working on improving that. I still write longer lists lol.
Check out this daily planner I use everyday. I printed it, laminated it and stuck magnetic tape to the back and placed it at work and at home. It helped me prioritize tasks!
Download it HERE or click on the image below to grab it!
- Find/make time for your hobbies: I know this is hard, especially juggling being a mother and a professional. Women these days have a lot more responsibilities on them then ever before and it’s becoming even harder with recessions and 2 income families. Finding a hobby not only is a type of therapy (from going insane), but it also shows you to appreciate the finer things in life.
- Sleep enough: ok, that one might be hard because sometimes – we just can’t. But, it’s essential that you try to at least get 7-8 hours of sleep. Some mornings, especially during the crazy end of term/year I become an insomniac overnight. I won’t be able to sleep till 2am (oh, I’m in bed alright) but just awake. So in other words, the brain wants to be awake and think but the body is tired and needs to sleep. I still struggle with this sometimes, but mostly I will head to bed at about 10.30 and read till 11 then sleep.
- Get support: this part is essential, we need support from our mothers, fathers and extended network. I can’t tell you the number of times my sister bailed me out or I did with her. For instance, picking up kids from school when you’re stuck at work or even sending a portion of a home cooked meal. These small things make all the difference – even if they are just once a week!
- Try to enjoy the end of year chaos with your kids: because next year you will have a new group of kiddos and you will miss these ones! It’s an emotional time – no matter how much you look forward to your summer break.
- Indulge in your favorite ‘girlie’ activity: that could be getting a manicure, a spa bath, a getaway with your hubby, a massage… Anything that’ll take you ‘out of this world’ even for just a short time.
I hope these ideas will help you end the school year positively this year! 😉