Staying healthy and well when you’re a teacher can be challenging at times. From the daily interaction (and potential spread of germs) and the taxing feeling of being on the clock 24/7 to everything in between, being a teacher is a bit of a sacrifice, to say the least. It’s easy for a teacher to overwork themselves for the sake of their classroom, to push themselves to grade a day after a project is due, to respond to emails within ten minutes of receiving them, etc.
Whether we’re talking about mental health or physical wellness (both being equally important), there’s a wealth of tips, tricks, and self-care habits to be shared. Today we’re going over the best health tips for teachers, specifically.
The Best Health Tips for Teachers
We’ve broken down the most essential health tips for teachers into a few groups, not in any particular order of importance. What you may struggle with, another teacher might excel at and vice versa. Needless to say, you should treat your coworkers, teachers, and administrators alike, with care, as you don’t know who might be struggling with their physical or mental health, especially during more trying times.
Energy & Nutrition
One of the best health tips for teachers is to consider a healthy diet, specifically by meal prepping. If you forget a lunch one day, your options may be limited to the closest fast-food establishment or gas station salad rather than a balanced meal you know you’ll enjoy. Meal planning lets you make deliberate decisions about what you’re packing and consuming, rather than opting for easy and empty snacks throughout the day.
You’re also not left relying on the cafeteria or teacher’s lounge to provide some mass meal that may be low in nutrition, like pizza. Of course, you’re human, so you may forget once or twice, but if you get in the habit of making a grocery store list (rather than pulling things off the shelves willy-nilly) and then meal prepping when you get home, you’ll be better off and find yourself getting more nutrition than if you wing it every day.
A proper, balanced diet does allow for indulgences, so you don’t always have to pass on the birthday cupcake or bake sale cookie. Limiting yourself will only make you feel like you’ve failed when you do allow yourself a treat. Eat the piece of candy. Drink the soda. Just, do so in moderation.
Rest & Activity
Getting an appropriate amount of rest and activity is another one of our best health tips for teachers. It can be hard to completely log off and unwind after hours, especially when grading and planning tend to bleed into what should be your free time. Just like you don’t want to overwork your students, you don’t want to overwork yourself. It’s key to get in a routine.
Despite being able to fall asleep by 8 PM, you may end up restless in the middle of the night, negating the benefits of “going to bed early.” Instead, shoot for a realistic time that allows you roughly eight hours of sleep, and stick to that every night to get your body in the routine. Avoid caffeine late at night, and stay off screens for at least half an hour before bed. You’ll likely experience better sleep quality as a result.
Say goodbye to sleep aids like melatonin.
You also need to ensure you get some activity in during the day, and pacing the classroom doesn’t count. This may not mean a rigorous workout every single day, but you should at least go on walks or opt for the stairs rather than the elevator. If you have extra time one day, try lifting some weights to build and maintain muscle mass. It also helps your metabolism, which is essential for a mostly sedentary job like teaching.
Best Mental Health Tips for Teachers
Sometimes, your body is in tip-top shape, but your mind just isn’t there yet. You get enough rest, eat enough food, get sufficient exercise, but it’s not enough. Or, you may not have the motivation to do anything special for your physical health. It varies by person. Sometimes you need to shake it up and try something different to get out of your personal plateau, whether it be related to diet, exercise, free time, or rest.
For instance, you may need to set boundaries and schedule out your time to ensure you’re allotting proper time for yourself, for prepping, and for your students. Redistributing your priorities is an important health tip for teachers as it’s easy for you to want to put your students first, even at your own expense.
You’re allowed to have a life, you know. Maybe that’s through finding a new show, going to see a movie you’ve been dying to watch, taking yourself out to a nice lunch or dinner, or volunteering – anything that makes you disconnect from teaching, from the constant stream of emails, and from doing too much while “off the clock.” Your students understand mental health and prioritizing your personal life, especially because you’ll still get everything graded in time. You’ll prepare your students for exams and the future without having to spend your free time working.
1st Place Spiritwear Understands Teachers
Teachers are as strong-willed and as special as they come. They always keep others at the forefront of their minds, whether they intend to or not. Teachers care for their students, bond with their fellow educators, and continue to learn all the while. We know that balancing it all can be difficult, which is why we salute you.
We make high-quality spiritwear using your school colors, mascot, and name. If you’re wanting to make school spirit easy, 1st Place Spiritwear is the way to go. We’ve made it possible for every school in the country to have an up-and-running spiritwear store, providing a unique alternative to traditional spiritwear for consumers. Plus, we allow schools to easily put on fundraisers through our spiritwear. We want to be there for our schools and teachers across the country since you do so much for the future generation every single day.