Hey teachers, thanks for stopping by. Today I wanted to chat with you about self care vs. self love. Literally up until yesterday I had assumed that they were the same thing, but I was wrong. I was listening to the Manifestation Babe Podcast and had a huge ah-ah! moment when it came to these two things. Hopefully sharing them with you today can help you understand the difference and also help you be the best teacher, wife, momma, sister, aunt etc that you can be!
Self Care for Teachers
Self care is 100% on everyones mind right now. As teachers we are stretched to the limit. Many of us have a side hustle along with our full time teaching jobs. It is not uncommon to have piles of paperwork that we are working on, or grading papers on Saturday night instead of going out with friends. Self care is something that is really important to us teachers and something that we need to focus more on. To be honest, I needed all the self care when I was going through daily stress and anxiety. It was something that made me feel like a human again. I also learned that self care isn’t something that needs to be expensive. I did not have to go to the spa everyday, it could be something as simple as going into Starbucks and drinking my coffee there instead of driving with it.
Defining Self Care
Self care is simply taking care of your self as a whole. Ensuring that you are well taken care of both physically and mentally. It is a time for you to feel relaxed and in tune with yourself. It can be done in several different ways. Some teachers need to get out with their friends for happy hour, while others need pajamas on at 2pm and Netflix. They are both acceptable too! Remember that we are all different and need different things. We spend so much time discussing differentiation in the classrooms, differentiating our lesson plans, ensure every child has a modification that they need to succeed, and then we forget about ourselves.
Why teachers deserve self care
I have also learned through this journey that I have been taking that we need to know as teacher that we deserve certain things. I used to feel guilty when I would do self care anti made me feel like a bad person. Then I would stop the self care and feel really bad that I was behind on lesson plans, or I didn’t prep everything and I would feel like I wasted my time. Rather than going into self care knowing that I need to take care of myself to take care of others. As Rachel Hollis says you can’t pour from an empty vessel. You need to fill yourself before you can fill those around you. When it comes to self care, know that you deserve it. Take the time to take care of yourself and I guarantee that you will see a difference in your mindset, your classroom and your overall well being.
Self Love for Teachers
Self love, on the other hand, is about truly accepting yourself for who you are, physically and emotionally. This can be something that is SO hard for teachers. I mean if you think about it we are in a career that literally has us go up against test scores to validate our self worth. What does that do to the brain? It can really mess with your head. Knowing that you are more than a test score can be so hard at times. I know that I used to love to compare myself to other teachers as well. This is so easy to do with Instagram now.
How can teachers practice self love?
For some people, it is so easy for them to know they are a badass. The energy they radiate is something else and we all know they love themselves. For others it can be tough. So what are some things that you can do as a teacher to show some self love?
- Let the little things go
- Look at the whole school year, not just one day
- Do not compare yourself to other teachers
- Know that you are doing the best you can
- Allow yourself to use the mantra “I am in the process of…”
Let me talk about that mantra for a minute. “I am in the process of…” This was something that I took away from the Manifestation Babe Podcast and I LOVE IT. Everyday I wake up and I journal. I write down ten dreams that have not happened yet but I am in the process of manifesting and creating. It can be really hard to think something about your life when it isn’t happening yet. For example, every single day I write down “I am Teacher of the Year.” Now, we don’t have this award at my school. And to me, it isn’t about the award or the recognition. It is about how the Teacher of the Year is viewed and respected. It is about how that Teacher of the Year talks to her students and how they respond to her. There are days where I am dar from the teacher of the year. So what I do is allow myself to accept that not everyday is going to be great and I say to myself “I am in the process of becoming Teacher of the Year.” By saying this I can accept my day and my attitude but also move away from it and become a better person.
Why do we need both Self Care and Self Love?
Although I learned that these are two different things, I also learned that I need both to lie a lifestyle that is happy and healthy. Self care will allow us to recharge ourselves and be ready for what comes next. Self care allows us to stop making us think that we are not worthy of special things. Teachers will feel like they are not “worth it” since they pour so much of themselves into other people. Self care allows us to take a step back and really see that we are human as well, and we need some self care. Self care isn’t something that will help you get over depression or anxiety alone, but with a routine set in place it can really help you.
Self love is reminding ourselves that we are awesome. It gives us the confidence that we need to be the best teachers. Self love is looking in the mirror and saying one positive thing about yourself daily until you start to believe it. “Hey sis, this tan you got during yard duty makes you look amazing!” “Look at these thighs, I love that they are strong enough for me to walk on all day.” It can be as simple as that. Once you start to talk positive about yourself I can 100% assure you it will help you in the classroom as well.
Self love is knowing that you are an amazing teacher. Self care is ensuring that you are full so that you can show up and be the best version of yourself everyday in the classroom.
I want to know, how do you practice self care as a teacher? Have you started self love practices? Tell me what works for you!