Self-Care Tips by Dr. Ee’a Jones ~ March 2020
A few months ago I spoke at the launch of the Urban Educators Network founded by Ms. Averie Hatton. For more information about the network, visit www.urbaneducator.org. My charge was to speak about self-care for educators. I was asked the following questions. What is self-care? Another was how do you do it?
Self-care is the ability to take care of oneself to help improve one’s health. The health can be mental, physical, spiritual, etc. It represents one’s whole self and not just one aspect. Self-care related to mental health can be something as simple as taking time to notice what your needs are versus thinking about what others need. For physical health, getting a good night’s sleep is helpful to your body. For spiritual health, prayer or meditation on a regular basis is helpful.
As far as how one is to do self-care, it is quite simple. Self-care can be anything that makes you happy. If you like music, take time to listen to it. If you like to read, buy a book, magazine, etc. You can also use a public library to check out books, movies, music, etc. There are also library apps available so you can check out books, audiobooks, etc., electronically. Go window shopping, take a quick trip out of town for the weekend, say no to others when your plate is already full. You’ll be surprised how these small things help to rejuvenate and refuel you.
My self-care tips for educators were as follows. Please note these tips are universal and can be used regardless of whether you are an educator or not. You can do either of them. Take a walk around your building while on your break at work. Also remember self-care is whatever makes you happy. No one knows that better than you!
- Pray or meditate
- Download a positive affirmations app to encourage you throughout the day (use Post Its on your desk if you can’t have your phone)
- Journal about your day
- Take a walk around your campus while on break
- Get centered by using the Grounding Technique (Identify and name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste)
- Set short-term goals for yourself in the classroom and celebrate small victories
- Get a massage
- Get a manicure and pedicure
- Find coworkers you can express any frustrations to without repercussion
- Exercise (cardio, walking, yoga, pilates, etc.)