Self-care is important even in the best of times. Many of us have a tendency to put off or ignore caring for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs for all sorts of reasons, from over-packed schedules to even simply not having the knowledge and tools to address our needs. During chaotic times such as these, self-care is more important than ever.
For educators, learning about and practicing meaningful self-care makes us better prepared for the demands of our work and gives us vital knowledge we can pass on to our students. “As educators, we have to fill ourselves up before we can help others. If we do not have grace, love, and compassion for ourselves, we will not be able to give those things to our students,” says Program Manager Meghan Lang.
Self-care is much more than its popular reputation as the current buzzy wellness trend. “Self-care is so essential; it goes beyond maintaining, it equates to thriving,” says Instructor Kiki Andriani. In response to a survey about self-care, a KidsTek staff member commented, “Self care isn’t just about taking time to look after yourself and relax. It can be about asking for help when you need it and setting appropriate boundaries both personally and professionally so that you are set up for success.” Another staff member echoed this idea, saying, “Without self-care, I could not do my job well!”
According to the survey, the most common self-care practices among KidsTek staff are engaging in hobbies, exercise, and unplugging from technology. Staff members also reported finding relief from things like meditation, spiritual and religious practices, aromatherapy, journaling, spending time in nature, seeking professional support such as therapy, and avoiding social media.
“Self-care is a very individual thing,” says Tow. “Everyone has different stressors, health problems, and needs in their lives, so it makes total sense that different things work for different people. What matters is finding what works for you and engaging with those things on a regular basis.”
If you’d like to learn more about self-care and explore new self care practices, this interactive “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” Guide from Healthline.com is a great resource for identifying needs, finding support, and developing effective coping skills.
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs help, Colorado Crisis Services can be reached by texting “TALK” to 38255, by calling 1-844-493-8255, or through their website. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 or through their website.