In this new normal where even face-to-face education can be life-threatening, teacher burnout is one of the biggest issues anyone can experience. Apart from getting sick from the pandemic, wellness in school for underpaid and underappreciated teachers can be detrimental to the quality of instruction.
We all face burnouts at several points in our lives; they’re never pretty. There are things you can do to detour this dreaded event in your life and remember how wonderful it is to teach. Here are 5 tips you need to overcome teacher burnout and keep your life happy and healthy.
1. Get Enough Sleep By Managing Your Time
The simplest, best way to overcome teacher burnout is to make sure you get enough sleep every night. As you prepare to work in the morning and prepare your lessons later in the day, many people would think they don’t have enough time to get a full 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Even then, it’s all about the details.
For starters, bracket the things you need to do and segregate tasks from the most urgent to the least urgent. Complete the first five most urgent you need to finish and focus on them throughout your day. Depending on how much time you have after these tasks, you can plan the next day or start another task.
Regardless of the number of tasks you need to finish, you want to have an ample amount of sleep. Restful sleep not only gives you more productivity the next day, but it also solves most of your skin concerns like acne and eye bags. It also helps keep your mood balanced and bright, which is crucial if you want to feel less stress.
2. Prioritize Self-Care
One important aspect of teaching is to make sure you do enough self-care. Taking care of yourself is not an option, rather it’s a must that you need to do. Caring for yourself goes beyond simple skincare but rather creating ways to keep yourself physically strong and mentally healthy.
How do you start your self-care? For starters, it’s best to set mental boundaries for your time. Work should be work, rest should be rest. Set a specific time to do things, including answering emails and grading schoolwork.
More importantly, set an “off the clock” time where you only use that time for yourself and your hobbies. No work. No chores. No family and friends if you can. Manage your mental space and remind yourself that you can’t do everything. You will have your shortcomings and you need to accept things that are out of your control.
Acceptance and the right headspace can be crucial to self-care. Apart from keeping yourself healthy, keeping a good head on your shoulders can go a long way to protect you from burnout.
Read more: Fun Ways to Relieve Stress
3. Join A Local Community
Overcoming teacher burnout is not only a matter of taking care of yourself. Much like how it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes each other to help keep adults happy. Teachers and educational personnel would need to watch each other for overt symptoms of burnout, which include dissociation, apathy, and a generally cynical attitude.
Co-regulation is a system where people build communities to keep each other in check. Teachers, in particular, would want to be a part of at least a community to help watch over their mental health. By doing so, you build a powerful support network that you can discuss issues with, as well as receive sound advice from.
Friends and family can help each other with co-regulation, as well as colleagues and even other members of a community. You can also find hobby groups to spend your time with and help you enjoy your passion.
It can be anything from dog breeding to gardening to D&D groups – as long as they can help you stay grounded and mentally capable, they should be good for you. Reconnect with family and friends and enjoy activities with each other.
4. Learn To Say No
Among the most useful strategies, you can do to avoid burning out as a teacher is to know how to manage your workload. Teachers have always been expected to handle heavy workloads for their students, but there are times where you need to know how much more are you willing to give towards your profession. Learn to say No.
In some cases, school superiors will give you extra work. It can be directing the school play, chaperoning your students, or even working on standardized tests. Not everyone is into school spirit and teachers should know when to say no.
Don’t be afraid to say no to colleagues and superiors, especially when it relates to work or anything that consumes more of your time. You can say yes to things that bring joy to your life. Say no to activities and requests that clutter your life and take time away from things that make you happier.
Choose only activities that make you happy. School spirit doesn’t matter if it weighs you down and puts you in a bad place. Participate only if you can.
5. Keep Yourself Physically Healthy
Within the slew of paperwork, activities, and chores, it’s easy to forget about your physical health. Most dedicated teachers can experience burnout once they start feeling consistent body pains, stress, and fatigue. It’s still crucial for you to squeeze in ways to take care of your health.
For starters, start with eating more wholesome foods. It doesn’t have to be anything special but incorporate more fruits, veggies, and nuts, together with less sodium and sugars. Fast food can be tempting if you don’t have time to cook but see to it to minimize eating it as much as you can.
Make sure to exercise when you can. Stand up and walk around, especially if you’ve been sitting for more than an hour. Go out to nature and go biking, boating, or whatever outdoor activity you can do to help you unwind. Working out your body and keeping yourself mentally sharp can help reduce the effects of depression and other degenerative diseases.
Teacher burnout is a real problem that many teachers everywhere in the world experience. Even if teaching is your passion, it’s easy to fall into the trap of pessimism and constant fatigue. You don’t have to, and it’s important to cut yourself some slack.
Follow our tips and start keeping yourself feeling better and happier. It’s easy to forget how important you are, so always remember that above others, the most important person is you.
Completely agree that teacher burnout is such a big problem but I think the tips you have provided are really helpful. It is so important to remember to love yourself and to say no sometimes (I’m really rubbish at that one!)