As teachers we spend a lot of time, helping, looking after and supporting others. It is part of the job, but also, for most of us, part of who we are. As a result we sometimes don’t realise that we are not giving ourselves the same level of compassion and support that we might provide for others.
Quite often we don’t realise this until it is too late. By ‘too late’ I mean we are exhausted, overwhelmed or - possible worse - so used to having no time for ourselves that we think this is normal and the only way.
Self care is about recognising the importance of finding time ‘just for you’.
Do you feel like you have no time?
Time is the biggest issue that most people talk about in relation to work life balance and although time is fixed, how we use it, how we appreciate it and how we schedule it are all things we can control.
If we don’t look after ourselves, we can’t look after others
Well, not for long anyway! If you feel that you are sacrificing time with friends and family because of how busy you are with work it is tempting to feel that allocating time out for yourself is only making the problem worse. But it is amazing how much more efficient we are when we are happy and healthy. The work you can achieve in an hour when you are focused is probably several times the amount you can achieve when you are tired or stressed. And you probably know that your happy, healthy self is much better company for friends and family than your tired and stressed self.
Looking out for your own well-being is the most
SELFLESS thing you can possibly do.
Finding time for yourself is all about working out which areas of your life are taking up most of your time and then looking at your priorities.
If you haven’t already, download our Ultimate Guide to Transforming Your Work Life Balance and it will walk you through the 5 Step Process to help you find time and commit. Implement the steps in the guide and start shifting time in your favour and seeing how powerful self care can be for your effectiveness as a teacher and also for finding quality time with friends and family.
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Clare Martin is a the founder of the Positive Teacher Network who specialises in helping teachers to find the ultimate Work Life Balance and supports them with many of the difficulties teachers face today.
The Positive Teacher Network provides practical tips and strategies to busy, tired teachers to help them improve their lives allowing them to focus on being great teachers.