Resource 1: "Self Care Matters Part 2" Handout

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Resource 1. Self-Care Matters Part 2: Handout

Self-Care Brainstorm


Already do

Would like to do


















































Self-Care Action Plan

Choose 3-5 things; Commit to doing them in the next month. What are they? When will you do them?






Pause video, put them in your phone, calendar, planner now.

Resource 2: Advice from the Teacher of the Year


Resource 2: Advice from Tennessee’s current Teacher of the Year, Kami Lunsford

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Check out her video here.


  • "Teachers wear a lot of hats at school and at home - even before the pandemic.  You can't be everything to everybody if you aren't taking care of yourself."


  • "It's like driving on I-40 - you can't refill your gas tank going 100 miles an hour. You have to slow down and STOP. Just like a car will break down, if you don't listen to your body and pick a day to recharge, your body will pick it for you. "


  • "Major on the Majors & Minor on the Minors.  As teachers we want grace during this time, so we have to give it, too. Things that used to be pet peeves of mine are now small picture.  I have extended student deadlines and given more "brain breaks" than ever before - - because I need them as badly as the students!"



“It was a while before I felt like I could begin to think about self-care. (last week? 🙂) How can I think about doing something fun when there is so much to do? Just recently, I remembered how I handled big projects at home during quarantine:

  • Take breaks from technology. Do things with your hands. I would be maxed out on ideas or solutions, so I would go clean out a closet & suddenly my mind would clear. 
  • Mind racing? Learn how to lose yourself in an audiobook, music with a walk, etc.
  • Protect your eyes. Break out the notebook and pencil. Invest in good eyedrops. You only have 1 pair and this season is hard on them.
  • Hydrate as much as you can. 
  • Communicate to coworkers when you need a break - physically or emotionally. “I need to step out and get air” or “give me a second...”  
  • Communicate at home so your home team knows how you're feeling.
  • Herd Mentality: When I notice people doing amazing things, tell them. At work, at home - everyone needs to be noticed and supported right now. Everybody is on a different level of "okay" daily. Sometimes I'm the weak one and sometimes I need to be the one to help someone else up. Uplifting someone that needs it strengthens us as a support system.”



Resource 3: Self Care Ideas and Resources

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Resource 2. Self-Care Matters: Ideas and Resources

Self Care Links/Resources

Self Care Strategies by Domain


  • Mindful breathing
    • reduces stress
    • improves immune function
    • increases focus and attention
  • Meditation
  • Taking walks
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Eating a healthy lunch
  • Hydration


  • Focus on positivity
    • Intentionally take in the good
  • Recognize inner strengths
  • Strengthen resiliency
  • Remain a life-long learner
  • Healthy routines
    • consistent bedtime
    • reduction of screen time


  • Control the stress response
  • Recognize the difference in good stress vs. chronic stress
  • Identify major stressors
  • Practice patience
  • Incorporate activities that help process emotions


  • Mentor teachers
    • 81% of those who participated in a mentoring program said the program was helpful or very helpful to their professional work
  • Put time and effort into relationships
  • Positive relational “bank accounts”


  • Spiritual self-care fosters a sense of connection to a higher power and helps one find meaning and importance in life
  • There are many different spiritual paths; this is a very personal self-practice
    • Prayer and/or meditation
    • Spend time in nature
    • Journaling
    • Reading
    • Connecting to a community

Work place self care

  • Set short and long-term goals
  • Focus on positivity
  • Take breaks and find quiet time and reflect
  • Set boundaries
  • Turn off notifications outside of work hours
  • Avoid email during the weekends
  • Play relaxing music even during class
  • Keep your space organized and tidy
  • Communicate with your coworkers, supervisors, and employees about job stress.
  • Talk openly about how the pandemic is affecting your work.
  • Identify factors that cause stress and work together to identify solutions.
  • Ask about how to access mental health resources in your workplace.
  • Remind yourself that everyone is in an unusual situation with limited resources.
  • Identify and accept those things which you do not have control over.


Self Care Strategies by Time Required

5 minutes

  • Make a cup of tea/ coffee/ warm cider
  • Light a candle
  • Listen to an upbeat song
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Give yourself a foot massage
  • Step outside into the fresh air
  • Text someone you love a compliment
  • 5 minutes of deep/ focused breathing
  • Write down what you are grateful for
  • Dance!
  • Buy or pick flowers

15 minutes

  • Take a shower
  • Use a face mask
  • Go for a walk
  • Make a smoothie
  • Strectch
  • Take a short nap
  • Call someone you love
  • Do a short meditation
  • Journal
  • Watch a funny video clip
  • Write down positive affirmations

An hour or more

  • Watch a funny show
  • Spend time with friends who lift you up
  • Create a vision board
  • Do a workout
  • Read a book
  • Listen to a podcast
  • GO on a hike
  • Unplug from technology
  • Cook a meal
  • Paint a picture
  • Go to a movie


Real Self Care

Fake Self Care

  • Fueling your body with food that gives you energy and helps you improve mentally and physically.
  • Drinking water.
  • Being kind to yourself.
  • Setting boundaries.
  • Spending time with people that enrich your life.
  • Moving your body because you can.
  • Negative self-talk to try to “motivate” yourself.
  • Saying yes to everyone because you are a “nice person.”
  • Socializing because of fear of missing out.
  • Buying anything that promises to make you love yourself more.






Resource 4: More Teacher Self Care Advice