Making Time For Yourself as a Teacher

At the start of the school year, my district was lucky enough to hear Carrie Stack present to us.  Carrie is the founder and face of the Say Yes Institute.  She travels the country as a motivational speaker, inspiring others to be positive.

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.

During her presentation, Carrie shared this (look up!) quote with us and it has stuck with me all year long.  Teachers have one of the most draining jobs in the world.  By the end of the day, our tank is empty.

Sometimes it feels like the work day never ends.  In the past, if something wasn’t addressed during the school day, it waited until tomorrow.  Now, almost all of us have our work email connected to our phones and check it often.  We feel compelled to address everything right away.  There are even some of us out there who will send work emails during vacation.

Why do we do this to ourselves?  It’s vacation!  We are supposed to be refiling our cups! We need to separate ourselves so that we can come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the new daily challenges.  Teachers care so much about their students and want to do them right.

But as Carrie pointed out to me and as I’ll point out to you: if we don’t refuel our tanks, we are going to break down completely.

This post is to remind you that it is OKAY to unplug and detach yourself from work at some point each day.  You need this! It will fill your cup!

I’ve compiled a list of 25 (free!) ways to make time for yourself below.  So turn off that phone, put away those lesson plans, and let the world know that for the next half an hour, “It’s all about ME!”

Me! Me! Me!.png

  1. Spend time outside
  2. Play with your pet
  3. Cook a healthy meal
  4. Paint your nails
  5. Leave work at work – grading in front of the tv is NOT the same as relaxing in front of the tv!
  6. Listen to your favorite music
  7. Take a nap
  8. Cuddle with your cutie
  9. Take a bubble bath
  10. Start a blog to express your thoughts (like I did!)
  11. Listen to a book on tape
  12. Go to the gym
  13. Cook a dessert to bring to your co-workers (you’ll be filling their cup while you fill your own, it’s a win-win!)
  14. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while
  15. Meditate
  16. Pray the rosary
  17. Go for a run!
  18. Take a drive
  19. Start a new hobby!
  20. Take a mental health day
  21. Go to bed on time
  22. Start a journal
  23. Read a book – for fun!
  24. Listen to a podcast  (Inspired Proficiency by Ashley Uyaguari is a great one for language teachers)
  25. Take a walk with a special someone


Thanks for reading!  Do you have a way that you spend your ME time that’s not on this list?  Share it in the comments below!

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