![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/299b27a1-f813-4727-9b30-dd504f1ce8a9/a42e0b8f-bf5f-469f-9796-113733a96ce7Teacher-wellbeing-self-care.jpg "Teacher wellbeing and self-care") Photo by [Emma Simpson](https://unsplash.com/@esdesignisms?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/wellbeing?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) When was the last time you did something specifically to take care of your wellbeing as a teacher? Teacher wellbeing and self-care are so easily forgotten about. You push it back to the next day, then the next weekend and before you know it, half a term has gone by and you're clinging on for the next school holiday when you can take some time for yourself. Your own mental wellbeing should be prioritised as much as anything else. There are a lot of strategies and techniques you can try out to relieve stress and take care of yourself – we’ve gathered together some of the best teacher wellbeing and self-care ideas to get you started. ## Why is teacher wellbeing important? Teaching as a profession is incredibly stressful. Every year, national news outlets cover the very real effect that teacher wellbeing is having on retention in the profession. In 2022, the National Education Union (NEU) revealed that [44% of teachers plan to quit in the next five years.](https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/apr/11/teachers-england-plan-to-quit-workloads-stress-trust) According to mental health support charity Education Support, in March 2021, [82% of teachers described themselves as stressed.](https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/resources/for-individuals/guides/how-to-handle-stress/) These numbers are huge and suggest that focusing on teacher wellbeing has never been more important. ## 7 teacher wellbeing ideas for teachers Use these practical suggestions to support wellbeing and self-care ###1. Vary your social media use This is not to understate the benefit of social media for teachers. The feeling that you’re not alone, the ability to share resources and the opportunity to bathe in the wisdom of teachers far and wide is of huge benefit. But allowing your brain to explore other avenues, to think and create in other aspects of life will help you to relax. So take a look at #catsofinstagram and fall down the rabbit hole of interior design on Pinterest, and definitely don’t feel bad about it. ###2. Take some exercise One of the first commitments to take a dive in a teacher’s life is exercise. If you’re not marking books or planning lessons, you’re too tired to function let alone exercise. But exercising has many benefits including increased energy levels, reducing stress, and keeping healthy. ###3. Try mindfulness for teachers Be mindful. Take the time to be in the moment. In times like these, mindfulness can be really helpful. One technique you can use to reset your mind to the present moment is to concentrate on your breathing and pay full attention to the experience. Notice the sounds, smells and sensations as you breathe. ###4. Read for pleasure Reading is meant to be a relaxing activity and can provide much-needed escapism. For teachers, it is often seen as an opportunity to scrub up on the latest pedagogical movements or to find a great resource to be used in class. Whilst this is okay, make sure to schedule in time where the reading you do is purely for enjoyment. ###5. Enjoy holiday time The school holidays are for you to recoup and relax. It can be so easy to spend significant time doing school work during school holidays, but doing so prevents you from resting your physical and mental self. Practising mindfulness meditation can help to alleviate the panicked guilt that is often felt during school holidays. Rest is integral to teacher wellbeing and self-care. --------------------------- **Related content** [11 ways to celebrate reading all year round](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/waystocelebratereading) [Wobbly Girls Club](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/wobblygirlsclub) [Tips for looking after your pupils’ wellbeing](http://https://www.lbq.org/Blog/pupil-wellbeing) [4 back to school challenges for teachers](https://www.lbq.org/Blog/back-to-schoolhttps://www.lbq.org/Blog/back-to-school) ------- ###6. Take a lunch break This is a tough one because you’re physically at work, but actually taking lunch can be a great brain rest, as well as a good way to socialise with other teachers who are going through the same things as you. Promise to take lunch at least once a week, but aim for every day. In a six-hour working day (9 am until 3 pm), it is the legal right of every worker in the UK to have an uninterrupted 20-minute break… so take it, guilt-free. ###7. Socialise with other teachers Teacher friends can be invaluable support in stressful times: they will have empathy for the difficulties of the job and can draw on experience to provide advice. But when you socialise with other teachers, try to diversify the conversation away from the work that you do as well. Remember, a break is as good as a rest. You can only do what you can do. That includes self-care and activities for wellbeing, too. Take the time to do things that aren’t related to your work and do not feel guilty about them. In the long run, you’ll actually be a better teacher for it. ## 6 teacher wellbeing ideas for leaders and schools Look after your staff with these school wellbeing ideas. ### 8. Ask the staff Before you bring in any teacher wellbeing schemes, ask your staff their thoughts on how you can support their wellbeing. Some educators will really enjoy opportunities to spend time with colleagues, others might prefer more time for themselves and their families. It’s worth asking via an anonymous survey to garner what your staff really want. They might make suggestions you’d never even thought of. ###9. Life administration time A late start or an early finish once a term could help take the stress out of a life admin task your teachers have. Taking their child to their first day of school, surprising them by picking them up, or even just taking a trip to the dentist: just giving your teachers an hour or two a term will help teachers feel valued and take time for them and their families. ###10. A postcard home It’s not just pupils who enjoy personalised notes. Let your staff know they are valued by writing to them. An email or a postcard that recognises their work and demonstrates an understanding of their value to the school could make all the difference to a teacher’s day. ###11. PPA at home Doing work at home isn’t for everyone. But for some, the opportunity to spend PPA time at home could help them get more work done. Being away from pupils and other members of staff allows teachers to really focus on planning and resourcing quality lessons. ###12. Invest in schemes and tech that really work Providing teachers with schemes and tech that can support them in the classroom helps to give back time to teachers. A tried and tested scheme or revolutionary tech has the potential to improve teaching and learning and support teacher wellbeing. What’s not to love? If you’re looking for resources for your classroom, [Learning by Questions](https://www.lbq.org/) contains 1,000s of curriculum-aligned questions that support accelerated progression and take a load off with marking. Find out more. ###13. No emails out-of-hours Sending and checking emails out-of-hours can quickly become difficult to resist, increasing levels of anxiety, decreasing the quality of sleep, and lowering relationship quality. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t mind working out of hours, technology enables you to schedule emails now, so protect the wellbeing of your teachers and avoid sending emails beyond the core hours of the day. Whatever your position in school, make sure you take care of yourself and your colleagues by prioritising wellbeing and self-care. Remember, if you’re struggling with your mental health, there is always help and support out there for you. Below is a list of mental health charities you can turn to. [Mind](https://www.mind.org.uk/) [Education Support](https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/) [Samaritans](http://https://www.samaritans.org/) [NHS urgent mental health](https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/mental-health/find-an-urgent-mental-health-helpline)