Teacher Self Care Toolbox Ideas

May is the never ending month for me. I have less than 15 days to Summer Break and you’d think it’s 60. Mind you it’s not the only month I teach from the beginning to the end of the month without a day off. But by mid-May I’m fried! My students are fried! My team is fried! Hang tough--It's almost Summer Break. Try these on for size.


1. Do some deep breathing. Did you know you can trick your brain into thinking everything is fine (no need for those stress hormones, thank you very much!) with slow, deliberate breathing?

2. Reach out to your fellow teachers. Vent with your coworkers and hold each other accountable for your self-care contract.

3. Take a 15-minute timeout. Schedule your timeouts as periods during the day when you have no interruptions. Soon you’ll look forward to this mini-recharge.

4. Get moving! Even if you don’t have time for a formal exercise plan, you can see stress-relieving benefits from a minor activity like jumping jacks in your living room.

5. Get back to nature. Teachers don’t have a lot of time for long hikes or adventure trips, but being with nature can be as simple as taking walk or stopping by a park after work.

6. Disconnect from technology. Constant digital stimulation can increase your anxiety or sense that “you aren’t doing enough.” Plan some no-tech time.

7. Reflect on the little things. Think about all of the things for which you are grateful. Even when life is stormy, you can always find one bright moment to reflect on.

8. Nurture your artsy side. Artistic expression is one of the most therapeutic techniques for relieving stress. You might try drawing, painting, photography, or crafting.

9. Create a comfort kit. For those days when you’re feeling particularly defeated, a comfort kit reminds you that everything will be okay. It can include anything you love, from your favorite tea to a note from your BFF.

10. Pamper yourself.  Set aside some time during the school year for something special. It could be a nice dinner, a manicure, or a weekend day trip, experiences that will help you refuel and recharge for the school days ahead.





During the day - small ways to stay grounded. Let’s be honest we know someone who has this in their desks:
  • Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Protein boost (nuts, granola bar)
  • Healthy snacks
  • Stress ball
Got a few minutes-- two-minute strategies:
  • Do a few yoga poses or stretches to get your blood moving
  • Get out of the building for some fresh air and a change of scenery
  • Take a mindful moment and pay attention to your breathing to center yourself
After a tough day.
Get creative:
  • Knit
  • Quilt
  • Draw
  • Play air guitar
  • Bake cookies
  • Sing
Connect with others to fill your bucket:
  • Share projects with fellow teachers
  • Make positive phone calls to parents
  • Spend time with loved ones
  • Spend time with animals
  • Give back to your community by volunteering

Need a positive:
  • Keep a folder of kind notes or feedback from students and families
  • Keep a notebook of inspirational quotes
  • Record something positive each day in your journal
Chill Time:
  • Watch a mindless TV show
  • Take a hot bath
  • Read
  • Listen to music
  • Meditate
  • Take the scenic route home
  • Eat chocolate

Get moving:
  • Run
  • Dance
  • Yoga
  • Crossfit
  • Go for a walk


Everyone's self-care may look a little different, and there's no single way to take good care of yourself. Try some different strategies until you have a full toolbox: something that energizes you, something that helps you unwind, and something that helps you manage when you're having a hard time. Finally, encourage students to do the same. Self-care helps us be us. These suggestions from team help us--what works for your team? I can't wait to add more ideas to my toolbox.

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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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