K-12 teachers provide an invaluable service to the students, families, and communities they serve. They deserve all the recognition, praise, and support for the hard work and dedication that they put in every day.
Teachers often go above and beyond to ensure that each child receives the individual attention they need to succeed. They are always willing to provide support and guidance to ensure that their students receive the help they need, often devoting countless hours to developing meaningful lesson plans and resources to help them learn and grow.
Mental Health Tips for K-12 Teachers
As a K-12 teacher, the school year can be a roller coaster of emotions. Not only are you responsible for teaching your students, but you’re also responsible for your mental health. To ensure that you’re able to make it through the school year feeling your best, we’ve put together some mental health tips for K-12 teachers.
Take Time for Self-Care
One of the most essential things for K-12 teachers to remember is to take time for self-care. Taking a few minutes each day to do something that makes you feel good. Some options can include the following:
- Reading a book
- Taking a walk or exercising
- Listening to music
- Enjoying a hobby or extracurricular activity
- Eating a favorite meal
- Engaging in relaxation techniques, like yoga or meditation
Ultimately, self-care is an important part of maintaining mental health and can take many forms; prioritize your self-care and don’t be afraid to take time for yourself.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the demands of teaching. Setting boundaries for yourself is crucial to ensure you’re not taking on too much. This includes knowing when to say “no” and delegating tasks to other teachers or administrators if necessary.
When it comes to mental health, it’s important to stay connected with your colleagues. Whether through an online chat group or an in-person meeting, having a support system can help make the school year a little bit easier.
Seek Professional Help
If you struggle with your mental health, seeking professional mental health help can make a huge difference. Many schools offer counseling services that can give you the support you need to get through the school year. Uprise Health provides various resources on our blog, through the Member Portal and the Member Resouces Hub.
Take a Break
When you’re given a chance to escape the everyday, take it! Whether it’s a long weekend or a few days off during the summer, taking a break from teaching can help to reset your mind and body and allow you to come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the school year.
Practicing Mindfulness as a Teacher
As a teacher, it’s important to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. By doing this, you can become more in tune with yourself and your environment. This can help you to be more aware of how your thoughts and feelings affect your students and colleagues.
Here are some tips for practicing mindfulness as a teacher:
- Take some time each day to be mindful. Spend a few minutes focusing on your breath and thoughts.
- Observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Notice what you’re thinking and feeling without judging yourself.
- Practice self-compassion. Be gentle and understanding with yourself as you practice mindfulness.
- Reflect on your day. Take some time to reflect on the events of the day and how your thoughts and feelings affected them.
K-12 teachers have a significant job shaping the future of our communities, and feeling overwhelmed is normal and expected. However, by following these mental health tips, you can ensure that you make it through the school year feeling your best. Remember to take time for self-care, set boundaries, stay connected, seek professional help, and take a break when needed.
Learn more about taking care of your mental health by visting our Uprise Health Resources section, where you’ll find helpful advice for managing mental health.