Teachers working from can encounter a lot of stress and difficulties they might not face in a traditional classroom. Here are some key areas you can focus on to make sure your lessons go smoothly and to make sure you’re taking care of your own health during the pandemic.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot has changed in the education system. Teachers have had to adapt to different styles of teaching and new routines. Besides attending to the needs of students, a teacher is also expected to keep in touch with his family and friends. It is easy for work schedules to infringe on personal time. All of this can take a toll on a teacher’s mental and physical wellbeing.
If you are a teacher working from home, perhaps you already realize the importance of self-care as you deal with the challenges of making the transition from teaching in a school to distance learning. A physically or emotionally tired teacher cannot perform his duties well. This article will give you some best tips on how to take care of teachers’ health during this pandemic while you teach at home.
1. Get enough sleep
After a tiresome day talking to your virtual students you feel tired and stressed. Getting enough sleep at night will help you replenish the lost energy during the day and also help you manage stress. Adequate sleep helps maintain vital functions of the body and makes it easy for the recovery of worn-out cells and tissues.
Get enough rest after your distance learning sessions to increase focus and productivity. It is important to sleep at the same time each night. When you are consistent, you will feel rejuvenated the following day and be ready to meet your students’ needs.
If you have a hard time sleeping well, you can download Apps such as the Sleep Cycle App. It helps you track your sleep and wakes you up with a gentle alarm, and thereby you can monitor the quality of your sleep.
2. Start your day on a positive note
Begin your day by doing something that lifts your mood. It could be listening to your favorite playlist, reading a book, or enjoying some quiet time in meditation. Say positive affirmations out loud in the morning before you start work. Such positive self-talk will impress it on your brain that you are good enough.
Starting your day on a positive note ensures your day gets started well. This puts you in a better position to deal with your students who sometimes are difficult to handle. Here are some practical suggestions to start your day on a positive note:
- Drink water to help you stay hydrated. Remember you have been sleeping for more than 8 hours without a drink. Water fuels your brain.
- Enjoy simple exercises and stretches. This releases the Happy Hormone.
3. Give your eyes a break from the screens
The best thing about e-learning for a teacher is that you do it from the comfort of your home. But it can also be the reason you feel worn out. Spending long hours in front of a digital screen on Zoom could give you eye strain, and leave you feeling fatigued. Set boundaries and stick to them.
If you decide you will take a break from the screen at a certain time, do it without exceptions. You can teach your students for about two hours and give yourself a break. Step out and breathe out some fresh air. Ensure you stand, stretch, and move about during these breaks to reduce fatigue.
You can also try simple eye exercises to lubricate the eyes. Blink your eyes slowly after every 20 minutes. Another effective exercise is to look away from your digital device and stare at another distant object. These exercises will relax your eye muscles and are good at preventing computer-related eye dryness.
4. Keep in touch with family and friends
While caring for your student’s needs, it is also important to take care of your social health. Call a friend you have not seen in a while. The same platform you are using to teach can be used to keep in touch with family and friends.
Video calls such as Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Zoom meetings have a personal touch when communication than a phone call. You can see their facial expressions and thereby better connect with your loved ones. Talking to your friends adds humor to your life which has been proven to reduce physical pain and trigger creativity.
Make time for your family when you are not working. Talk to them about your work, your students, the challenges you face when teaching from home, and everything else. Sharing updates with family can uplift your spirits and help you combat loneliness.
5. Unwind after work
Doing something relaxing after work is a perfect way to balance personal and work life. After you have finished your online classes, do something that makes you happy, and most importantly helps you to decompress.
Take a warm bath or drink a cup of tea. This will help you take your mind off teaching and focus on enjoying some me-time. Virtual classes can be stressful for a teacher. It is hard to read non-verbal cues from students and they are often distracted by the things or people surrounding them at home. Unwinding after work clears out stress and helps you forget about the negative experiences at work.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand
There is no such thing as a perfect teacher. Trying to do everything by yourself can be overwhelming for you during this quarantine period. If you feel you have had enough, don’t be afraid to reach out to a colleague.
They can be of assistance on how to set practical schedules and the best ways to deal with unexpected situations. You might be surprised at the valuable tips you can learn from them on how to make distance learning more manageable.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed teaching methods. As teachers try to support their students, they also need to take care of themselves so that they can perform their duties efficiently. These tips discussed above will ensure you stay in good shape physically and mentally as you teach from home. Happy teaching.
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