Teacher self-care has become a trending concern for teachers in recent years. It’s unfortunate, but it’s easy to invest all of your free time in your teaching career and lost yourself in the process. In my teacher self-care series, I provide easy steps teachers can take to make sure that they keep their own lives in balance.
Many teachers use planners for their teaching and many times, they add in others aspects of their lives into the weekly planning process. I used to employ this technique. In my own brain, it was most simple to have everything in one place so that I could keep my life organized and under control. Unfortunately, I found that my work life would end up taking up 90% of the space available and that my personal life was often forgotten. Any personal goals, habits, or priorities were squeezed out by an endless to-do list of school-related responsibilities.
Once I began to use a digital planner for teaching and planning my classes, I decided that in order to remember that I HAVE A LIFE, I should keep a separate paper planner for all non-school related activities. I include everything that’s not school related in this planner. I meal plan, I log my workouts, I log vacation time, fun activities, appointments, budgeting, a general to-do list, anything that I want to keep track of for peace of mind. I also keep track of my goals. I find this aspect of planner tracking most important. On the day to day, I often feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. I can go home from work, and despite my best intentions and practices, a negative interaction or moment can just stick with me longer than I would prefer. With my planner, I can look back and have a tangible list of what I’ve accomplished that day, week, or month. I find this process of looking back really calming and it reduces my stress.
I also make sure the quickly reflect on the weeks and months as they pass and write little encouraging notes to myself. It might seem silly, but I’d argue that our inner monologues can quickly turn negative if we don’t channel that energy towards a positive direction.
Altogether, keeping a life planner has really helped me to focus my own time and energy. It also prevents it from being totally consumed by school.
Do you keep a life planner? What do you include in your planner? Have you found it helpful?