It’s getting close to the end of the year which means teacher burnout is at an all time high. The stress of making it to the end of the school year, finishing all of your curriculum, worrying about the progress your students are making, and maybe even state testing can all pile on us making these last few weeks exhausting.
When it comes down to it, you want to try and avoid that teacher burn out as best as possible. Here are 10 strategies you can implement to help you prevent teacher burnout.
Tips for Avoiding Teacher Burnout
Setting boundaries can be anything from not checking your work email and/or messages outside of work hours, to only working contract hours as often as possible. We get it, things come up, meetings happen, school events are scheduled, but if you can help it, don’t come in before you are supposed to, and don’t stay any later than you are required to.
Find a Hobby
Having a hobby can be very effective. Not only is it good for your mental health to have something you enjoy doing, but it could be something that you look forward to each day. It can be as simple as reading, working out or even crocheting, or as complex as art, dance, and sports. Give yourself something to do on a regular basis that will help you keep your mind off of work.
I know it’s hard to stay healthy when you work around kids and all of their germs. But it doesn’t just mean your physical health, but your mental health as well. Staying healthy means doing all the things – eating right, staying hydrated, taking your vitamins, exercising (even if it’s just walking around your neighborhood), and getting a good nights sleep. If you can stay healthy and well-rested, you won’t feel as rundown throughout the year.
Is it winter/spring/summer break yet? Thinking about planning a vacation during one of those times? Just do it. Even if it’s a stay-cation at a local hotel or spa. Go somewhere with your family and/or friends. Create new memories. Truly enjoy your time off.
Visit With Your Colleagues
Have a free minute or two? Have a duty free lunch? I know most of that is unheard of, but when you have the time, go talk with your colleagues. Eat lunch with them. Laugh with them. They are the only ones who truly know what you are going through, so it’s good to have their company.
Use Weekends for You
This goes hand in hand with setting boundaries. Take your weekends to spend time with your family and friends – like a mini vacation!
Recognize Your Strengths
It’s easy to always pick out what we struggle with in our careers – what we think our weaknesses are. But just know that you are an amazing teacher. Remind yourself daily of the strengths you know you have (fun interactive lessons, building relationships, organization, etc) and build on those strengths.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Making sure you are prepared ahead of time will not only help with your stress in the moment, but in the future as well. As long as your schedule allows, use your planning time to truly plan and prep so you can create those boundaries and stick to them.
Make Yourself a Priority
Two words – Self. Care. When you get home, make yourself a priority. Do you like to take a bath? Take a nice long relaxing bath. Do you love dancing? Dance around the house to some fun music. Do you meditate? Find a time every day to put on some meditative music and relax your mind. This will also keep you healthy in terms of your mental health and well-being.
Healthy Work Life Balance
All of the above strategies come together to show that it is so, so important to create a healthy work life balance. What happens at work stays at work, and what happens at home stays at home. When you start to let one effect the other, your mental health and burnout will become a big struggle.
Battling IEP Writing Burnout? Check out this blog post.
What are some of your favorite ways to destress and avoid teacher burnout? We’d love to hear your strategies in the comments below!