Monday, December 21, 2015

How To Take Care Of Yourself When You're Teacher-Tired

Helping Busy Teachers Practice Self-Care - A Word On Third


Hi, Teachers!

There ain't no tired like "Teacher-Tired," am I right?! These past 2 weeks have been especially exhausting for me. Two weeks ago, I was hard at work house hunting with Mr. Word On Third and visiting mortgage brokers, and then this past week, my grandma went into the hospital. I feel like my life has been flipped upside down. This brings me to a very important question. What are you doing to take care of yourself when you are experiencing some serious Teacher-Tired?? I know with the holiday break right around the corner, you are probably as frazzled as I am! I've written a short post today to help you take care of yourself.

1. SLEEP


I know you probably feel like this in the morning when you wake up. It is so important to carve out time for your sleep. When you get adequate sleep AND have consistent sleeping and waking times, you can bet your "Teacher-Tired" will get less and less frustrating. If you can't do anything else in this post, do this. You will be healthier, happier, and more productive. It will help you get out of school faster. Did you go to sleep later than usual? Okay, that's life. So what can you do to shorten your morning?

I accomplish this by delegating when necessary (No, contrary to popular belief, I do NOT have to do it ALL) and preparing everything for work the night before (pack lunch and breakfast, set out clothes, sometimes even get my dogs' kibbles portioned out and stored in an air-tight container). If I'm going to work out, I get my yoga mat ready. I pick out my workout videos and load them on my laptop. If I'm going to the gym, I get my gym bag packed. I even sleep in my workout clothes so I can get started right away. These two tasks will save you time. And I love working out, but if you're not sleeping enough, you can't expect to wake up early and be ready to kill it in the gym. Our bodies don't work like that. I DARE YOU TO MAKE A SERIOUS COMMITMENT TO YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE. You will thank me for it later. You can read an article I found on sleep hygiene after a quick Google search here.

2. PREPARE HEALTHY MEALS IN ADVANCE.




This really saves me. Each week, before I go grocery shopping, I plan my meals for the week. This prevents me from wasting money, but more importantly, I have a simple plan for what I'm going to eat all week. On Sunday, I spend some time cooking for the week. This is as easy and painless as you make it. I like to cook, so sometimes I plan some more involved meals. When I'm experiencing some SERIOUS TEACHER-TIRED, I count on my quick and easy staples. Click on the picture above to be taken to a blog post I wrote about make-ahead meals. That pumpkin oatmeal recipe takes me 5 minutes to throw together in a slow cooker. I double it and have breakfast all week.

Seriously--go get yourself a slow cooker. They are on Amazon for 50 bucks. You can get some that you can program to stop cooking after a certain point, and you can come home to dinner. If you make big batches of things like soups, stews, and chilis, you can freeze them and they will taste awesome when you decide to defrost them. This makes me SO, SO happy. The best part of slow cooker recipes is that most of them take 5 minutes to throw together. Isn't it nice when you have most of your meals planned and made during the week? I also make sure Mr. Word On Third cooks 2 meals per week.

Personally, I find when I rely on take-out, I start to feel really awful. I am a big believer in eating clean, but if you aren't, I doubt you will tell me that you feel energized after downing a burger and fries from Burger King. If they are homemade and healthy, there is a big difference! Healthy does not mean you need to sacrifice on taste either. Food is fuel. Give yourself the energy you deserve.

3. LEARN TO MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY.


Helping Busy Teachers Practice Self-Care - A Word On Third

There are so many little things you can do to make this work for you. I wrote a blog post earlier this year about this topic. There are two things I do to make this work well.

First, I schedule all of my time with my Google Calendar. I can see it on my phone, so I take it with me everywhere. I also schedule reminders for important things so that I don't forget them. This is so easy to manage on my phone. Doctors appointments, social events, faculty meetings... everything I need to remember goes in that phone. That goes for self-care appointments too. If I'm having trouble with working out, I start putting it into the phone. If Mr. Word On Third is a little bit lonely because I have been grading too many papers, I put date night in my phone. This lets me see how busy my week is at a glance and allows me to plan accordingly.

Next, I plan my prep periods. I wrote about that in the previous post which I linked above. It's nothing fancy. I don't have time for that! But here's how I utilize my prep periods this year. I put everything that always has to get done on it. It's not a perfect science, but having a plan makes a big difference. You have to actually do it though. Don't just sit on Facebook and Pinterest for your whole prep.

Helping Busy Teachers Practice Self-Care - A Word On Third


These are my tried and true tips. I challenge you to think about the one you need to work on the most and DO it. Spend a little bit of time during the break to set yourself up for success. And seeing as I've mentioned how important sleep is... it is almost my bed time!!! Off I go to take care of... ME! :) What are your tips for self-care? Comment below!

I've added a part 2 to this post, which you can read here.

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