Pampering Yourself as an Act of Self-Care

Acts of Self-Care for Educators: Pampering Yourself

Teachers, you’re dealing with a lot right now. You always have, but you’re facing more stress and more challenges now than ever. In fact, experts say that educators in the United States are facing a mental health crisis. Teachers are leaving education in droves, and the number one reason is stress. For teachers, practicing self-care is vital. Self-care helps you feel better and more energized, ward off burnout, and improve your mental and physical health. So, over the next few months, we’re sharing simple ways educators everywhere can practice self-care. Last week we focused on exercise. This week, our focus is pampering yourself!

We recently sent out an e-mail asking our readers (teachers) to name an act of self-care they had done for themselves in the past week. Of the 273 replies, 37 mentioned self-pampering. In this post, we’ll explain why pampering belongs in your self-care toolbox, and we’ll share a few ideas to jumpstart your pampering process! Next month is all about Reading as an act of self care! We have also written about the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th most popular ways teachers practice mental health.


Why Self-Pampering = Self-Care

Most teachers are givers by nature. You may find it hard to prioritize your own needs and invest time in self-care. Some forms of self-care, like exercising and hydrating, are easier to buy into. But many teachers struggle with indulging in self-pampering.

Pampering yourself is a legitimate form of self-care. Research shows that self-pampering can act as a buffer against depression, particularly in women. And any type of focused, intentional relaxation can reduce both the mental and physical effects of stress, improving your quality of life.

So, pampering yourself absolutely counts as self-care. And self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. It’s also incredibly healthy! In addition to reducing stress, purposeful relaxation boosts your mood, improves your confidence, relaxes tension in your muscles, lowers blood pressure and improves digestion, enhances energy and concentration, and helps you sleep better.

Many of these benefits will even translate to better teaching. When you feel happy, healthy, confident, energized, and focused, you’re in the ideal mental state for effective teaching.

You deserve self-care, and you deserve to pamper yourself. But if it’s hard for you to justify, remember that your well-being directly impacts the well-being of your students and loved ones. When you have nothing left to give, you can’t show up as the best version of yourself in the classroom—or anywhere else. Self-care is for you, but it’s also helpful for your friends, family, and students.

What Is Pampering Yourself?

So, what exactly is pampering yourself? It’s a broad term that can include just about any activity that makes you feel happy and relaxed.

You can treat yourself to a nice dinner, a massage, or a pedicure. Or you can enjoy inexpensive self-pampering from the comfort of your own home, like reading a book under a cozy blanket, soaking in the bathtub, or giving yourself guilt-free permission to nap. Candlelit meditation, stargazing, or simply soaking up some sunshine are other relaxing forms of self-pampering.

  • “I took an hour to myself and got a manicure. It felt great!” -Christi M.
  • “One of my goals for this school year is taking time for ME! My self-care act yesterday was treating myself to a back massage.” -Sarah J.
  • “I finally sat down yesterday evening to watch a TV show I wanted to watch. I also gave myself a acupuncture treatment (I’m an acupuncturist).” -Leslie M.
  • “My idea of self-care this week was doing my own nails with ColorStreet. Made me feel fancy!” -Stacy W.
  • “My husband gave me a shoulder and foot rub.” -Hope S.
  • “My act of self-care: I made an appointment to have my hair cut and colored.” -Cathy R.
  • “I painted my toenails, and they look so pretty!” -Tracy M.
  • “My self-care that I have done in the last two days is getting myself a manicure and sleeping in.” -Claudia J.

So, take the time to enjoy relaxing activities that bring you peace and joy. Whether you want to paint, listen to music, read, head to the spa, or take a rejuvenating nap, any act of pampering yourself will provide a healthy dose of self-care.


How to Make Time for Pampering Yourself

You’re a busy teacher likely juggling family life, parenthood, or other responsibilities too. You may wonder how to fit pampering yourself into your already jam-packed schedule.

The key is planning! Add pampering sessions to your calendar and treat it like booking an appointment. If you tell yourself, “Hopefully I’ll have time to fit it in,” self-care may fall by the wayside. Scheduling your self-pampering makes it far more likely you’ll follow through.

You can also try to free up more time for relaxation. Leave schoolwork at school at the end of each day. Consider meal-planning on weekends, ordering groceries for pick-up instead of shopping at the store, or occasionally paying a “mother’s helper” to watch the kids while you relax for a bit. Mother’s helpers are typically teens who babysit while a parent(s) is home, and they usually charge less than babysitters.

Remember that pampering yourself isn’t a luxury or a waste of time. It’s an investment in your physical and mental health, so schedule it into your routine and follow through!

Final Thoughts:

The bottom line is that pampering yourself is good for your physical and mental health, and it’s good for the people around you too. Putting yourself first for just a few hours a week allows you to care for, nurture, and inspire others more effectively. You do an incredibly challenging, incredibly important job, and the entire community benefits when you’re at your best.

So, wear the fuzzy robe. Light the candles. Open the book. Schedule the pedicure. You deserve it.

I am Kirsten Tulsian, an elementary educator with 18 years of experience as a teacher and counselor. My passion lies in empowering students to discover their inherent brilliance through the use of engaging, rigorous, and meaningful activities. I look forward to connecting with you!

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