21 Helpful Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself

Teaching is a wonderful profession.

But it’s also a very demanding and stressful job. 

Because of this, many teachers burn out and leave the classroom.

So how do you prevent teacher burn out?

The simple answer is self-care.

Teachers often pour themselves into the lives of others but forget to refill their own tanks.

I’m excited to share with you this list of 21 self-care ideas – many of which I’m doing this summer.

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1. Gardening

One of my projects this summer is organizing my succulents into a nice garden. I started keeping succulents years ago but I’m only now planting them in the ground!

It’s really relaxing to spend time in the garden alone (often when my son is napping).

Youtube has great videos with gardening tips.

Lately, I’ve been watching videos by Design by Serenity for succulent tips. So inspiring!

2. Take a Bath

Sometimes after my son goes to bed, I like to draw myself a nice bath.

Add in a face mask and you have a perfect, almost spa-like experience.

A glass of wine and a magazine would also be great additions.

3. Go out to dinner – or breakfast!

Sometimes you need to treat yourself and not worry about cooking or cleaning your kitchen.

May was a terribly busy month for our family.
When we finally had a free Saturday morning, I suggested we go to IHOP for breakfast.

It was a small but nice way for us to relax as a family.


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4. Go on a Date

We adopted our son last August. We had been trying to become parents for years but his adoption moved very swiftly.

It was only 10 days between the time we heard about him and when we had him in our arms.

This also meant that we quickly went from 9 years of married life on our own to having a son.

My mom has been awesome about offering to watch him so we can go on a weekly date.

Admittedly, during the school year, we’d often be too tired as just opted to get takeout and eat at home.

But we’re trying to be better about getting out of the house and going to do something by ourselves.

For example, yesterday, we went out to lunch and stopped by Lowes and Target on the way home.

We totally could have done those things with our son.

But I know that having time with just my husband is so valuable for our marriage.

Disney Day

5. Go for a Walk or Hike

I recently learned that Japan has special forests where people can go to do “forest bathing.”

Basically the rationale behind it is that being in nature has many benefits for your physical and mental health.

Taking a hike through a shady forest can be a nice way to beat the summer heat.

6. Complete a Pinterest Worthy Project

Take some time to actually do one of those fun projects you saw on Pinterest. It’s so nice to step back and admire your handiwork and think, “Wow, I made that!”

For example, when my son gets older, I’d love to make him a lego table like this one repinned years ago.

7. Organize Your Kitchen

I love organizing things. And between family dinners and church socials, we spend a lot of time in our kitchen.

It helps to have an organized kitchen where I can say, “The serving dishes are in the cabinet on the right.”

In my blog post about Teacher Organization, I mentioned my love for this Brother Label Maker.

I used it to create labels for each cabinet and drawer in my kitchen.

The labels are durable and easy to make. So even when I’m not in the kitchen, it’s easy for people to find things by looking at the labels.

8. Declutter Your Home – Especially Your Bedroom!

Go through those old clothes, toys, and books and finally take it down to your local thrift shop.

You’ll feel better after finally taking them out of your house.

It’ll also remind you of how much stuff you actually have. You might even find some treasures along the way.

9. Try a New Hobby

Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Maybe you’ve always been interested in sewing or painting. Take time for yourself and give it a shot.

10. Read

This is a great one especially if you have kids.

Set up a time each day where everyone sits down with a book. This is a great routine to instill in your children.

Everyone can enjoy some peace and quiet while sharpening their minds.

20 Reading Activities to do on the go

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11. Watch a New Series on Netflix

My husband and I LOVE to binge watch shows together.

However, during the school year, and with a 16-month-old running around, this can be a bit tricky.

Pacing ourselves and watching one episode each night is a great mini-reward at the end of a long day.

12. Try a New Bakery

Mmm, fresh pastries.

I am a sucker for fresh baked goods.

Treat yourself by finally stopping at that new bakery you’ve been eyeing.


13. Plan a Weekend Getaway

Staying at a hotel for the weekend can be a great way to relax.

And you don’t even have to go far.

Simply getting out of the house and your normal routines can help you hit that reset button.


14. Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles can be a fun way to do something semi-mindless. It always gives you a sense of accomplishment when you’re done.

Don’t want 1,000 pieces sprawled out on your dining table?

There are actually puzzle apps you can get on your phone or tablet.

Now that’s one way to make sure you don’t lose any pieces.

15. Soak in Some Sun

Hit the waves and get some sun.

Look up some beach hacks on Pinterest to help make it a stress-free experience.

And don’t forget your SPF!
Me and Joshua at the pool picture

16. Daily Dose of Chocolate

Have a stash of chocolate on hand and treat yourself to a piece every night before bed.

Having a small treat like this to look forward to can be a big deal. Especially when you’re counting calories like me.

17. Splurge on Something You’ve Wanted For a Long Time

I love a good deal. So this usually means I delay purchasing larger items until they’re on sale.

But sometimes, you need to treat yo’self and finally click the “Purchase” button.

Just like that pair of Bluetooth wireless earbuds I’ve been researching for months…

18. Start Saving for Your Next Trip

Anticipation intensifies the experience.

When you start to see your saving account getting plump, you know you’re getting closer and closer to your next getaway.

19. Try a New Recipe

Now that I’m a mom, I have a strange desire to master all kinds of tasty dishes.

I’m currently trying to build my cookbook with personally tried and true recipes.

20. Leave Your Work at School

As teachers, we know that our jobs can be neverending.

But it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s just that, a job.

Yes, teaching is a wonderful profession and a great calling. But at the end of the day, when you’re home with your family, you’re so much more than a teacher.

At the beginning of my career, I worked long hours, often bringing lots of paperwork home.

But I also brought home a lot of emotional baggage from the classroom.

One of the best ways to care for yourself – and your family – is to leave as much of your work at school as possible.

21. Sleep

Sleep is so important for both your mental and physical health. In spite of this, sleep is often the first thing sacrificed by busy teachers.

Go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Your work will still be there when you wake up the next day.

And you’ll be better refreshed and ready to bring your best self into the classroom.

Self-care doesn’t need to take a lot of time, effort, or money. 

Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to overlook and neglect. 

When life is full of other “must-dos,” it’s no wonder our self-care is placed on the backburner.

But remember, you can’t pour into others when your reserves are empty.

So which self-care idea are you going to try today?

Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

And don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date with my latest blog posts 🙂

Work smarter, not harder

Stay up to date with my latest blog posts by subscribing.

Words to Live By 

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: 10 Tips for New Teachers - Teaching with Mama Owl

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