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Adult SEL

How to Make Self-Care a Summer Priority


With summer days ahead, now is the perfect time for educators to create a self-care routine that can follow them into the new school year.

As another school year comes to a close, congratulations are in order! Educators do the vital work of positively impacting the lives of so many students, and sometimes it can be hard to focus on their own well-being. Research shows that 46 percent of teachers admit to feeling highly stressed on a daily basis, emphasizing the importance of teacher well-being and greater support from the school community at large (Gallop, 2014). Luckily, self-care is a powerful tool that can be used to navigate burnout.

How to Make Self-Care a Summer Priority

The Power of Self-Care

Self-care involves activities that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It can be as simple as getting dinner with friends, going for a walk in the closest park, or setting aside time for a hobby that you love. Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Even five minutes a day of dedicated time can increase feelings of well-being and overall health (Oberle & Schonert-Reichl 2016). Whatever routine we find ourselves in, discovering ways to make it attainable is key. As these activities become a part of our daily lives, it becomes easier to carry healthy routines into the fall.

Choosing a Self-Care Routine That Works

Routines to foster well-being can look like anything that aligns with your unique needs. Are you someone who enjoys waking up with the sunrise and immediately going outside? Perhaps the afternoon slump is when you need to take an energizing moment for yourself midday. Consider how the strategies below might fit into your schedule over the summer and through the school year ahead!

  • Set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes of mindful journaling.

  • Instead of creating a to-do list of only chores, make a list of five things you’re grateful for or five things you look forward to.

  • Practice saying “no” as busy summer schedules start filling up and set boundaries to prioritize self-care time.

  • Take time for mindfulness, whether you are listening to a meditation (explore our Mindful Monday library of guided meditations) or going for a mindful walk.

No matter how you choose to practice self-care, it’s important to remember that taking care of ourselves is just as important as grading papers and meeting deadlines. By first setting aside time to prioritize physical, mental, and emotional well-being, we can then focus time and attention to the needs of others as our full selves.


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