Education Technology

A Teacher’s Take on Prioritizing Self-Care for a New Year, New You

Posted 12/31/2019 by Stephanie Yi

As a child, every new year my dad would ask my sisters and me to write down our New Year’s resolutions. On top of my list was always, “get straight A’s and exercise every day.” To this day, that has never happened. Ever.

In 2019, after a lot of life transitions, I discovered that I was frequently neglecting self-care. In 2020 — you are hearing it here first — I want to commit to some more realistic, more attainable goals to take better care of myself. So here we go with some much-needed reminders for me (and hopefully some of you) on how I plan to make self-care a priority. Here’s to a new year and a better me!

  1. Plan out time just for you.

    I like to keep one weekday and one weekend day free every week to do things I enjoy outside of work. For example, during the week I like to make Wednesday my day of rest. On Wednesdays, I try my best to leave school right when school day ends and intentionally do not bring any work home with me. On the weekends, I do the same. If I have work to do on the weekend, I’ll save it for one day and spend the other day doing things that will allow me to decompress and to mentally prepare for the following week.

Jumpstart your self-care routine with this free journal resource on Yi’s TpT store.

  1. Write down what you need to do each day.

    This year, I don’t have my own classroom and am transitioning daily between three different spaces, as well as different teaching schedules daily. When I first started the school year, I would set everything up for my class only to realize I’d set it up in the wrong classroom!

    Previously, I used a notebook to record my to-do list, but I’ve recently switched to one that I can easily update myself. I create my agenda in Microsoft® PowerPoint using tables. I like that I can personalize and add in events that happen weekly into my schedule, and I don't need to rewrite it. Recently, my biggest focus has been building relationships with my students and families. As a result, my agenda has space for me to make note of who I’m checking in with each week and allows me to get a sense of which students I need to check in with more.

    Writing everything down has also allowed me to schedule dedicated time for self-care instead of just hoping it happens.

  2. Remember: Self-care might not always feel good in the moment.

    After a long day, I never want to work out, let alone spend an extra hour to get my annual medical checkup. I frequently think of self-care as something that feels good, like watching Netflix in bed or having dessert after dinner. However, it’s important to remember that self-care isn’t always about treating yourself in the moment, but setting your future self up for success. That may include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, eating healthy instead of snacking, drinking water instead of soda, and sleeping instead of scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed.

    To help you jumpstart your self-care routine for a better you in the new year, grab my free weekly planner here! I’d love to hear what your favorite practices are to help make self-care a priority.

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About the author: Stephanie Yi, a California native, is currently in her sixth year of teaching middle school math. This year she is teaching seventh grade math in Boston. She loves finding ways to make math engaging to her students and is a huge fan of all types of math talk. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook sharing her favorite math moments (spoiler alert: area models and tape diagrams make frequent appearances). For more about Yi, you can also check out her blog and TpT store.