In today’s world, we hear the term self-care thrown around a lot. Most of us know that self-care is important, but may not be at the point where we are effectively prioritizing it in our days. It can feel unnatural, counterproductive, and even like a waste of time to prioritize ourselves above our family members, jobs, and friendships.
However, self-care is not selfish. Say it again, and really think about it. Self-care is not selfish. In fact, it is integral to our ability to support others and do our jobs effectively. We have to show up for ourselves before we can show up in any other capacity.
There are so many ways we can take better care of ourselves, so let’s focus today on the following.
- Getting enough sleep
Sleep deprivation exists in both quantity and/or quality and happens in children and adults. As educators, we can impact families by spreading more awareness around sleep deprivation, especially with parents as many are not aware of the trickle effects sleep deprivation can have. The entire family needs to be well-rested to create a safe space for a child physically and emotionally. Sleep impacts your choices, temper, and mood constantly.
- Exercising frequently
This does not mean working out every day or for long amounts of time. Short spurts of physical activity a few times a week should do the trick to get you in a better head space. Walk to your destination instead of driving, try to incorporate physical activities into your lesson planning to accomplish it during your workday with your children if you can. Do not overdo it or strive for more than what is reasonable to fit into your schedule. If you need some inspiration for activities, HiMama has plenty available here!
- Eating nutritious meals
Do your best to eat meals full of protein, vegetables, and fruits. Avoid fast food when possible. Listen to your body and eat things that make you feel good. However, don’t deprive yourself. Be sure to let yourself indulge every once and a while.
- Finding healthy ways to deal with stress
Stress can eat away at you if you cannot get to the bottom of it. Whether it is through breathing, meditation, venting, distracting yourself, or any of the methods above, find what works for you and stick to it! Stress can be just has a harmful for children as adults for their mental health. Since preschoolers don’t articulate their emotions well, spotting anxiety in kids and how stress appears is the first step to eliminating it.
- Pushing yourself to always improve and bring your best self to work each day
As educators, we know how to guide our students to knowledge. We know how to encourage them to expand their perspectives. We know what works best when it comes to fostering their love for learning. It is equally important to explore these same concepts when it comes to learning strategies for ourselves, as educators. Check out HiMama Academy for a wide variety of on-demand topics for ECE professional development so that educators can pick for themselves what they would like to learn and when!
These are all areas of self-care that will support your health and well-being. You are taking such wonderful care of your students, it’s critical to also take great care of yourself.
However, I understand that all of this is easier said than done. Go easy on yourself, and try to make small changes each day. Lean on your colleagues, family, and friends for support when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Christie is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at HiMama. She is passionate about children’s development, parenting, and supporting the child care industry. She has been working to support child care centers with their events and marketing for almost a decade. In her personal life, Christie lives in Stouffville, ON with her husband Kyle and dog Tucker. She enjoys going for walks, baking, cooking, and watching reality tv!