TeacherLists Blog

Taking Time for Yourself in Back-to-School Craziness

Credit: nenaddd/123RF

We know you don’t want to think about it just yet…but the back-to-school season is just a few short weeks away. Before you get stressed thinking about everything on your to-do list for the upcoming year, take a moment to add these methods of self-care to your routine so you start the year off feeling refreshed from your summer break. 


Take a beach day right in the middle of your back-to-school shopping week. Stop by your local bookstore to grab a breezy beach read and take your mind off the stress! 


Organize a cluttered space, even if it’s just your desk. Simply seeing a cluttered space can make you feel stressed out. Alleviate that stress in just 15 short minutes. You’ll be happy you did! 


And hey, while organizing, why not dance a little? Studies show free movements such as dance release endorphins that are a sure way to boost your mood, and a little extra movement while cleaning will make the chore feel not so bad! 


Grab coffee with a friend and ban work talk. Talk about your summer, your life, the things that make you happy! 


Have you ever tried writing down both your positive and negative thoughts over the course of a week? Here’s a self-care exercise to try–write down your good and bad thoughts whenever they strike, even if that means writing them in the Notes app on your phone. At the end of the week, read them again and observe what you’re feeling the most. This can make you aware of some negative thinking patterns you didn’t even know you had, allowing you to make a healthy switch!  


While getting your classroom ready, reflect on the teacher you needed as a child and pledge to be that for your students this year. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important when you’re stressed. We all do it. So, take some time to think about who you were as a child and the teacher that shaped who you are today, or the teacher you wish you had. Write down a mission statement to keep on your desk to remind yourself of this goal all year long. 


Watch your comfort show for the thousandth time or finally start watching what everyone has been recommending.  


During the lead up to back-to-school, limit checking your work email to 2 or 3 times a day. Allow yourself to enjoy the rest of your summer. Obsessing over work will only add to your stress! 


On a beautiful summer night, take some time to prepare a nice dinner. It may sound counterintuitive, but cooking doesn’t have to be a stressful chore! Finding a new recipe and giving it a try is supposed to be a fun, thoughtful activity. Turn on some music, open some windows to let in that fresh summer air, and dance your way through the recipe. 


When you’re a busy teacher, it’s easy to let the basics of self-care fly out the window. Keep it simple and track your water intake, get 8 (yes, the full 8) hours of sleep, and eat 3 nutritious meals a day. And remember, coffee is not a meal! 


And if none of these sound like your cup of tea, remember the 3 R’s of self-care: Reflection, Regulation, and Relaxation so you can work them into your back-to-school season routine. What do the 3 R’s mean for you? 

Originally posted 2023

Monthly tips, ideas, giveaways, and help.

Bonus: Get free teacher-theme Zoom backgrounds when you subscribe!

Wanna say something?