Being an educator requires an enormous commitment of both time and energy to your job. However, as with any profession, creating a good work-life balance is essential for teachers’ mental and physical wellbeing. Working too frequently and pushing yourself to do more than you have time for can often lead to burnout, which can be detrimental for teachers and their students. Here are some tips to help educators create a sustainable work-life balance that ensures they stay in good health.
Create Firm Boundaries
It’s easy for teachers to spend unpaid time helping their students out after class, grading papers, or answering emails, but allowing work to encroach on personal time can make you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. It’s advisable to create a hard boundary between work and school, letting your students know that you won’t be available after a certain time to answer emails or take any questions. You should also try not to spend excessive time on extra, school-related activities.
Don’t Take on Too Much
Many educators find themselves taking on extra commitments out of an admirable desire to help their students, colleagues, or institution. In these situations, it’s easy for teachers to agree to attend or assist with too many events. Be considerate of your own time and health by politely refusing commitments you don’t have time for; most administrators will understand, especially if you explain that you are extremely busy.
Carve out Time for Your Health
It’s easy for many teachers to end up spending all day indoors, sitting at a computer or behind a desk. Part of effective self-care is getting enough exercise, sunlight, and having a proper nutritional balance. Try to schedule time each day to walk around outside and commit to exercise and prepare yourself good meals. While it may seem like a waste of time in a schedule that is already packed, taking care of yourself will help you be less stressed, and increase your focus and productivity.
While it can be tempting as an educator to dedicate your entire life to your work, it’s essential to take time for yourself and to adequately separate your work from your personal life, in order to stay healthy.