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What small things are teachers doing to take care of themselves? TeachTogether Responses

Written By: Cat Scutt
8 min read
Teachers shared things they do to take care of themselves via our text service, TeachTogether

TeachTogether is a free service from the Chartered College of Teaching and The Behavioural Insights Team, which sends one text a week to support teachers’ wellbeing. You can find out more and sign up here. In one week’s message, we asked teachers to tell us what small things they do to take care of themselves – here’s what you told us!



Listening to music. Music can uplift the spirit and strengthen the soul and add a bit of motivational magic!
I have just got round to making my work space at home into a calm and pleasant place where I feel happy – it won’t work miracles of course, but it’s a start. Linda, outreach officer
In the evening, about 30 minutes before I aim to go to sleep, I listen to soothing sounds eg ‘Sleep Bug’ app to help unwind, and I spend 5-15 minutes on Headspace to help focus upon my breathing and relax. It might not always work but it buys me 30 minutes of ‘me’ time.
Paint your nails! Taking the time to file, buff, paint and be forced to wait and do nothing until they dry!!
I love to listen to the birds
I have been watching Disney+ to escape to a time when I have different worries and concerns.
Finding a green space and deep breathing whilst listening to all the sounds around me resets my mind.
A glorious sunset walk on the South downs near Brighton settles my restless brain
Some quiet time, a candlelight aromatherapy bath, to create some space for myself, so that I have space to offer others.
Getting out in the garden and digging clears my head
I can work in spurts and pat myself on the back for every lesson I set.
Be honest with your employers if workloads are unmanageable.
Designing bookmarks for our school library has been very therapeutic. I never realised I was so artistic!
Having a friend who texts me to suggest an early morning coffee by video call while the house is still quiet.
Ringing my sister
Phone a friend for a chat!
Take a break from working xx
Dance to your favourite music while giving yourself a head massage
Short walk before logging on to school emails when I would otherwise be commuting
I have been following the early lives of ospreys in Scotland and Wales on webcams. Great to see them growing each day and the care and attention from the parent birds! 10 minutes is enough to recharge.
Feeding the birds in the garden
I’ve signed up as a volunteer for shopping for the vulnerable and befriending the isolated. They required people with DBS so teachers are perfect. Even if you can leave your house, giving 30 minutes a week to befriend has provided a huge sense of wellbeing for us both; company for the lonely and having that instant impact and sense of satisfaction we are used to getting in the classroom.
Daily yoga works for me.
Headspace is free for teachers right now. It was difficult to start but now the time goes so quickly and really helps quiet my busy mind
Eat good food
Remember you are doing a great job against a background of continual change – and take time to praise yourself for your resilience and dedication!
Switching off from emails and social media for an hour when it all feels too much
Watering plants, especially in the morning before I start my work.
Watch an episode of Friends
Listen to Morcheeba
Sharing problems and frustrations with a colleague has been very supportive and helped work through a problem and decide on how to manage it.
A long hot bath can be very relaxing x
Listen to music .
Listen to one of your favourite songs and have a dance around the house.
Sounds really sad but I spend a few moments in the garden with nature watching garden birds go about their business. It helps me to put things into perspective
I started Second Nature progamme to lose weight and have a healthy lifestyle and I also started a 30 day Home yoga challenge. Both helped me a lot 🙂
Step outside and breathe – take 2 minutes of your day to appreciate your surroundings
Remind yourself -every crisis is also an opportunity!
I’ve found an evening walk with the dog and my husband has helped me escape from the churning in my mind.
Having dinner with my lovely family and laughing about something that has happened during the day!
Listen to mindfulness app such as Calm
Socially distanced walk with a colleague…some one who truly understands
Watching the wildlife in the garden. Putting out food for the birds. Has been a nice distraction.
Cup of tea on a swing chair in the garden
Join in with my virtual choir rehearsal and social afterwards!
Pause. Have a cup of tea and just do that, enjoy my tea and pausing and inviting quiet.
I have found youtube has great workouts that helps me relax. That and a cup of tea with a biscuit.
Making cards
A daily run
Have one special thing to look forward to each week/day. Maybe a new book, or a very nice cup of tea…
Taking 5 mins to do nothing but breathe and close my eyes.
Enjoying a ‘proper coffee’ when I get home – with no computer or distractions, just myself
I am learnt to crochet and have enjoyed the different projects I’ve made. Nicola year 1 teacher.
Snacking on naughties…. Tunnocks chocolate tea cakes with an afternoon break & cup of tea
Read “Stop talking about Wellbeing” by Kat Howard. Brilliant book to help you think about how you do things, rather than what you do
For me it’s been getting out into the garden, planting a few seeds and watching the grow. My first harvest of new potatoes were so special.
Talk nicely to myself.
Dog walking, gardening & yoga helps me relax & be present in the moment x
The start of school has been stressful with so many new routines to adhere to and to be able to constantly remind children to do the same. But when finishing school, take some time out to reflect- have a coffee/tea and maybe read a book. Make time for yourself- look after yourself too!
I have started working out more- using that as me time, something to look forward to.
I have been offering free 30min zumba bollywood classes on Instagram live every Wednesday 19:30, really helpful to distress and do exercise. Zumbollywood. Uk
Taking a break from the news/social media has helped allow my mind to be more present with my children.
Switch off devices, make a cup of tea and relax. I like to watch the outside world; birds, nature, weather. Take a real break!
Making the effort to connect socially with others remotely, is definitely worthwhile in spite of the technology ring a barrier.
My small thing is reminding myself to accept the things I cannot change, like the way I have no set routine anymore.
Social contact is touted as so important for our wellbeing so taking time to have a good chat online or over the phone, or arranging a socially distanced walk/meet-up really helps.
Instead of snacking on food – snack on exercise – short bursts of activity alleviate stress through the day e.g jogging on the spot for a minute after a time at the computer.
Read a good book for 15 minutes before bedtime
Making sure I close my laptop and mute notifications at the end of each working day.
Today  I am going to make time to  do some exercise which I know will make me feel much more positive !
Regular daily routine starting with Joe Wicks to wake me up.
I have swapped 30 mins of my commute early in the morning for some quiet time to read a novel – this is such a calming way to start each day. I am too tired to read at night!
Trying to practice yoga at least once a week! It helps me clear my mans and feel more relaxed, ready for the week ahead!
Think of a song that you loved in your teens and play it ( loudly if possible). Just sit, listen and remember. A great reminder of ourselves and happiness.
Meeting friends on zoom to do a karate lesson 🙂
Meeting my mum and grandma for an afternoon cup of tea on a video call every day at 4pm, it makes me stop working, make a tea and be present with them for half an hour.
I am starting outdoor swimming again when I start to go back into school.
Fresh air is definitely key. Either a walk or working with the window open for a bit of the day is good!
I try to join in with PE with Joe daily even badly, does boost my mood
My daily piece of exercise has kept me going  usually a walk, taking pictures to remind me of the change of season’s. March was the trees in bud. Now we have poppies..just one example. My video chats with my sisters has kept me going too…2 hours 3 times a week putting the world to right…I’m really going to miss that when we return to work…(we all work in education in one form or another).
I take 10-15 minutes short break after every two hours.
During this time, I focus on breathing and a few long stretches followed by a cup of ginger and cinnamon tea.
This has been my routine for 48 years of Science / STEAM teaching. I am nearly 70 and still teaching full time in two schools, interacting with 300 students per week and never been on sick leave during my career.

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