The start of the school year is often a hectic time for educators. Suddently it’s the end of the first week, and you’re not sure you’ve had anything to eat or drink beyond coffee and carbs.
We spend a lot of time building helpful routines with our students in the classroom, but often forget that we need routines to help ourselves too!
So, before you gear up for the start of the school year, we wanted to go through some simple practices to add into your daily routine that focus on taking care of you.
Incorporate a couple of these into your daily grind, to boost your physical and mental well-being.
Here’s four habits that will help you thrive (or at least survive) the upcoming academic year.
1- Find Your Zen with Meditation:
For years we’ve heard that we should try meditation- but the thought of sitting quietly with nothing but our thoughts as company did not seem like the best use of the little time we had to ourselves.
But once we actually tried it, it became a game-changer.
Seriously though, meditation is the secret weapon that has truly helped us maintain our cool in the face of chaos. And honestly, it only takes a couple of minutes a day.
By practicing meditation, we can find that sweet spot of inner calm, making it easier to handle the daily rollercoaster ride of teaching. It’s like hitting the reset button on our stress levels, so we can tackle anything that comes our way.
Plus, meditation boosts focus and concentration powers. We’ve learned some simple strategies of what to do with all the chatter and endless thoughts in our minds, so that we have the space to actually engage with our students and teach
The hardest part of meditating is honestly just getting started.
So where do you begin with meditation?
We recommend trying out Headspace, a popular meditation app, which offers FREE access for teachers. All you need is a few minutes each day to embrace mindfulness, clear your mind, and reduce stress. So, take a breather and give yourself the gift of calmness.
2- Snack Smart, Stay Energized
Picture this: you’re in the middle of a lesson, trying to engage a room full of students fresh out of gym, and suddenly your energy levels take a nosedive.
Instead of pushing through to the end of the day, which for us often means a headache and full-on cranky mode, our second healthy habit is to start the year with a designated (secret) snack spot, just for you.
This could be a drawer, or even better an air-tight container.
While we love a Kit-Kat bar, sugar-loaded, brain-fog-inducing treats don’t usually keep us going for very long.
Here is a list of a few snack ideas to give you a burst of energy without the crash:
- Apples with nut butter (sunflower butter is a great option too!)
- Watermelon slices (hydrating and delicious)
- Carrots and guacamole
- Vafels– Vegan waffles (be sure to use code GRASPhopper25 for a 25% off discount)
- Roasted chickpeas
- Greek yogurt parfait
- Trail mix
Start the year with healthy snacks and let them be your trusty sidekicks. Fuel up, stay sharp, and conquer the classroom like the snack-savvy superheroes you are!
3- Get Ahead with Batch Lesson Planning:
Batch lesson planning can save your sanity and make your teaching life a whole lot easier.
Instead of frantically planning lessons every single day, set aside a chunk of time to plan like a boss and get multiple lessons done at once.
Batch lesson planning is like having a personal assistant that helps you stay organized, saves you time, and prevents those last-minute “what am I doing???” moments . Plus, it allows you to see the bigger picture and ensure a smooth flow of concepts and activities throughout the week.
By gathering year-long materials in advance, you can save precious time and reduce stress. With everything organized and ready to go, you can focus on delivering engaging lessons and having time to check in our students too!
Here are some of our favorite lessons to help start your lesson batching habit! (BONUS– they are available at a discounted price!)
So, dive into the world of batch lesson planning. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re sipping your coffee, relaxed and ready to conquer the day.
4. Outfit Planning:
Mornings can be crazy, especially trying to decide what to wear. But worry not, friends! We’ve got a smart hack to simplify your mornings: plan outfits in advance.
We started this a few years ago, and this small habit has really changed the way our mornings go.
Take a little time on Sundays to pick out your outfits for the entire week, with a couple of options since the weather can vary minute to minute. But seriously, with all the amazing technology we have, why is getting an accurate weather report harder than finding a pair of matching socks?
So, as you embark on your weekly outfit selection adventure, don’t forget to add a dash of humor and a pinch of unpredictability to your wardrobe choices. Because when it comes to the weather, the only thing we can truly rely on is its ability to keep us guessing.
This eliminates the daily dilemma of what to wear and gives you a little brain space to think about other things- like where you put the car keys!
The start of the year is the perfect time to prioritize your own well-being by establishing healthy habits from the get-go. By incorporating meditation, savoring healthy snacks, streamlining lesson planning, and/or planning outfits ahead of time, you’ll be investing in our your well-being this year.