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Staying Calm During Crisis: 5 Tips for Self Care

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Thanks to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), teachers all over the world are having to be creative, teach remotely and produce digital learning lessons. Some of us are having to create digital lessons for a month or more. This is causing panic for educators, on top of the panic that already exists. We are left to come up with these lessons ourselves with little to no help. As this situation progresses, websites like PBS LearningMedia are doing what they can to help teachers during this time. In spite of the help, I’ve seen a lot of stressed out teachers trying to wrap their heads around all of this. I want to help relieve the stress as much as I can. 

Here are 5 ways we can find our calm to get us through digital school and the virus scare:

1. Get Enough Sleep

First things first, please don’t stay up late to try and get work done. You need all the rest you can get. When we don’t get rest, our bodies release hormones that make us feel even more stressed. Set a bedtime and follow through with it. Whatever doesn’t get done will be delayed and you have to be okay with that. Understand that this is new to all of us, and if we try to take on too much at once, it won’t be effective for you or your students.

2. Breathe

This is a very trying and stressful time. There isn’t any easy way around that. It’s all about how we respond to the situation. Breathing is a sure way to get your blood flowing and those great ideas circulating. It will calm your racing heart and help clear your head so that you can use this time to do what’s best for yourself and your students. 

A particular breathing exercise that I adore is very simple and easy to do at any time. 

  • Breathe in for 5 counts, hold for 5 counts, and breathe out for 5 counts. 
  • Do this exercise 10 times in a row (you can use your fingers to help you keep track.) 

Try it when you’re feeling overwhelmed and reap the benefits.

3. Take Breaks

I know that we are technically working during these digital learning days, however, you’re at home and in your pjs (you better be in those pjs). If you need to, take breaks! This is one benefit of us not being in the classroom for consecutive hours. Think of this as a time of freedom. Take lunch breaks, snack breaks, and go to the bathroom whenever you want! Oh, the glories of working from home! When we are in teacher mode, we tend to forget that we are humans. Listen to your body and follow its directions. If you know you need a break, take it, you deserve it! 

4. Give Yourself Grace

This is new for a lot of teachers. Many of us are not used to teaching online or making online lesson plans. I promise you are not the only one struggling to figure out how to best serve your students through a computer screen. Give yourself grace. We aren’t going to be perfect. Maybe by week 3, we will have a handle on this. Until then, we have to accept the roadblocks that may come along the way, maybe even laugh about it at times. We aren’t going to be perfect, and that’s okay. 

5. Enjoy the Small Things

Take this time to enjoy being at home with your family. Take your laptop into the bathroom and take a long bubble bath in the middle of the day, just because you can. As teachers, we never have enough time to get what we need done, so take advantage of that now. FaceTime a friend and love on your pets. In a time like this, enjoying the small things we tend to look over is what’s most important. 

Remain calm and do your best

During uncontrollable situations such as this one, I believe that’s all any of us could ever ask for. Don’t sweat the small stuff! If being separated from your students makes you feel uneasy, maybe give them a call at their homes to check on them. Take this situation and try to find the positives as much as possible. Know that you’re not alone and we’re all winging it. We’re all in this together. Now breathe...

Read more on Distance Learning Tips From One Teacher to Another

Kristen Harris

Kristen Harris Educator

Kristen Harris serves as an educator in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Kristen’s philosophy is with the right tools and mindset, any child can learn and any teacher can feel supported. Kristen helps to educate teachers on self-care, mindfulness, and how to manage students. Outside of teaching, writing, and presenting, Kristen loves traveling and spending time with family and friends.

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