Self-care is, without a doubt, one of the most important habits of a teacher if they plan to be in the profession long-term. Finding what makes you feel less stressed is essential to being productive and happy in the classroom. Yet, for a long time, the media has made it seem like teachers just need to sleep a little more and drink more water. Self-care is much deeper than that.
By the time we get into our mid-twenties, we need to start preparing for the next stages of our lives. We no longer than get away with treating our bodies like we did in high school and possibly through college. We need to start looking further than next month or even next school year; what do we need to start paying attention to so that we can be living our best life into our 40’s, 50’s and beyond?
Go get blood work for nutrient levels in your body
Once you get into your mid-twenties, it’s crucial to start paying attention to the nutrient levels in your body. This is a proactive way to be sure that all of your organs are operating at optimal levels. While it may not seem dire at this time, if your levels are even slightly off, within a few years you could be facing critical issues.
Women who plan to have children should especially get their blood work done during this time. Women are more susceptible to certain diseases, especially diseases dealing with the thyroid gland. Getting levels checked even when you’re feeling great will ensure that you continue to feel great down the road.
Start surrounding yourself with positive people
People become comfortable once they spend a good deal of time around the same people. If you have been around friends or co-workers who have consistently been negative about teaching, life, or your aspirations, know that eventually you will start to lower to their frequency over time. Make sure you surround yourself with uplifting people who are going to skyrocket you towards greater things; do not continue to be around average people who pull you back into the “average bucket” so that they have company.
If your life isn’t where you want it to be now, take a look around you. Who are you surrounded by? Don’t like what you see? It’s time for change.
Find the one thing that keeps your fire burning
You did not become an educator to use that teacher salary to pay the bills and be a slave to small children. What is the one thing in life that sets your heart on fire? The thing that, when you are doing it, time flies by and you are ENERGIZED afterwards? Go do that. A lot. Find the driving purpose of your life and start to incorporate it as often as possible into every single day.
I know you love teaching and kids, but there is more to you than being this rock star educator. Don’t forget that you are a person too who has a higher purpose for being put on this Earth. Go do all of the things that make you feel alive beyond the routine of work.
Always have one thing you’re looking forward to
Why is youth so enthralling? There are SO MANY THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO! Turning 16 so that we can drive, graduating high school and being independent, turning 18 so that we can vote, going to college or getting our first job, turning 21 and legally being able to drink, graduating college or getting promotions at work, buying our first home, getting engaged/married, starting a family… life is just a giant storm of wonders!
However, once we get to mid- to late twenties, things start to calm down. We no longer have these built-in milestones to look forward to and many people lose their sense of wonder about life. Make a point to schedule something a few months out such as a vacation somewhere with loved ones or friends, even if it is only a weekend trip. Get tickets to that awesome band you’ve always loved. Pre-order that wonderful book you’ve REALLY been wanting to read. Always have at least ONE thing to look forward to, and keep reminders of it in sight. Life is meant to be lived in anticipation of the next great thing!
Don’t discredit eating healthy, exercising in a way you love, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep and trying out meditation as ways for self-love. Just understand that self-love should be seen through a lens that projects far into the future, not just a lens that sees to the end of the school year.
Take care of yourself so you can live your best life, for the rest of your life.