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Back to School Wellness Tips for Teachers

As we roll into the school year this fall, the typical news cycle tends to focus on how to observe the updated COVID-19 guidelines for teachers returning to work, not to mention heightened awareness about social distancing and hand hygiene. Beyond these things, there are other, more personalized wellness tips that can help keep you both physically and mentally healthy this season.  

Proper rest 

Getting the right amount of sleep can be challenging at the beginning of the school year (or all year). With looming deadlines, learning new faces, and the usual reporting/grading, your high-demand career can lead to a lack of adequate rest time. Getting “enough” sleep looks different for everyone, but the typical range that every adult requires is around 7-9 hours per night. Staying up late and scrolling through your phone, checking emails, or watching TV can impact your ability to fall asleep, as well as the quality of sleep. Screentime emits blue light from your phone, television, computer screen, or tablet device, suppressing melatonin levels and delaying sleepiness when exposed in the evening. Remember to shut your electronic devices down 1-2 hours before bed so you can fall asleep more quickly and get a better night’s rest.

Stay hydrated 

Proper hydration aids in boosting your immune system by giving it the support it needs to fight off infections. Depending on where you live, this can be another chronic challenge. Our days can often be hectic, making drinking enough water a goal we lose sight of. When prepping for your workday, remember to pack your favorite water bottle, set up fitness app alerts, or even schedule alarm reminders to go off throughout the day to motivate yourself to drink more water. By making the extra effort to keep hydrated throughout the day, our minds can think more clearly, maintain a good mood, prevent our bodies from overheating, and ward off other health conditions that can stem from dehydration. 

Take a lap around the building (if you can) 

Not only is engaging in physical activity great for your overall health, but it’s also a staple for improving your mental function and well-being. The form of exercise you choose to engage in doesn’t have to be anything of strenuous intensity like running a marathon, high-intensity interval training, or running up and down flights of stairs. Taking a short walk around the building or track while at work is a great way to clear your mind, enjoy the scenery, and get some fresh air and sunshine. It’s no secret that taking a break to walk while at the workplace is good for your mind, but it can also help you to relieve stress, improve your concentration, and boost your mood.

Deep breathing 

Studies show that practicing deep breathing helps slow down and regulate your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure, among several other benefits. In times of high stress, it can significantly aid your ability to work through challenging situations, balance your headspace, and even improve your immunity by keeping your blood oxygenated. You can even do this in the classroom! Deep breathing and meditation do not have to be complicated, and taking just a minute out of your day to practice mindfulness can bring an abundance of value in supporting both your mental and physical health. 

Check out some other wellness tips on how you can stay healthy at the beginning of the school year:

  • Be stocked up on convenient, healthy snacks
  • Make time for yourself
  • Smile/maintain a healthy work environment
  • Regular doctor visits

CDC COVID Guidelines For Educators Returning to Work

The new guidance from the CDC on COVID-19 de-emphasizes certain school strategies, like social distancing, requiring the use of facial coverings, and regular testing of asymptomatic individuals. This has created new concerns about staying safe in highly populated areas. 

In addition to customizing your approach for safe in-person learning, we hope these wellness suggestions will give you the inspiration to take a proactive approach to stay healthy while returning to work this fall.

Supporting our staff of therapists, educators, clinicians, behavioral health technicians, and other school-based disciplines through this ongoing pandemic is at the heart of our core values at Epic Special Education Staffing. By prioritizing health and well-being, we want to keep our staff and clients – as well as the community at large – safe and informed.