Usually we see self-care articles and blogs towards the end of the year as we are all waiting for the summer finish line. Those are times where the year catches up to us and all of us feel we just need an extra moment. However, self-care should be all year. Self-care can start with the first day of school.
Each school year, I start with the ideas and thinking “This year I am going to…” Usually it is about procedures, trying new strategies, something different in the layout of my room, etc. However, this year I told myself I am going to self-care the entire year to help prevent some of the end-of-the-year frustration and countdown until summer. I need to be the best me all year, not just at certain times of the year.
I work in a high needs school and the students’ needs come in with them on day one. Usually, the stories of home challenges begins by the end of the first month. I hear the stories and begin to help them through the challenge. This is usually the start of my self-care decline because the students need me and I am here for them right?! I need to give them my all to help the mentally and emotionally through each day.
Well, what I have discovered over time, is that we all need self-care all the time. Students do not walk in knowing how to self-care. They may not have even heard the word before. We are ingrained with these strategies. Since I know I need to self-care from day one, why not share those strategies with the kids so they can learn how to?
My students are very kind in asking every Monday how my weekend went and I in return ask how theirs went. My focus this year is going to be more of “how did you self-care this weekend?” or “how did you self-care last night?” I want students to feel their own emotional well-being is just as important as their physical well-being. I want to students to learn that when you self-care you are not being selfish, you are instead taking care of yourself just as exercising or eating healthy.
I have noticed when I self-care, I am happier, calmer and better able to approach challenges. I want my students to do the same. I want my students to look at challenges as something they can overcome and not have the challenges consume them.
I enjoy hiking in the summer and traveling around the state with my 3 children and husband.