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Instructor Wellness and Self-Care


Teaching can be stressful and emotionally draining. Instructors are charged with delivering courses, assessing students, and caring for their students' needs. Instructor wellness is incredibly important, and yet, it garners little attention. We often hear the phrase "You can't pour from an empty cup", but how do we fill our cups when there are so many demands on our time and energy?   

You can't pour from an empty cup

Tips to Focus and Improve Overall Mental Health and Self-Care.   

Remind yourself of your "Why".

You are here teaching for a reason, what brought you here? What gets you excited about your discipline or research topic? Reflect on this jot it down, and share it with your colleagues and students. 

Do what you love.

Do you get energized by a healthy debate? Do you find peace in having some dedicated writing time? Inject your favorite strategies into your teaching. Your enthusiasm for the strategy will boost your energy as well as your students'.

Focus on a growth mindset. 

Burnout is a common force in academia and education. Instructors put pressure on themselves to do as much as possible, whether that is for their classes or for their research. Finding solace in the concept of 'yet' can be a powerful skill. Everyone is learning and growing, Acknowledging your own learning process can help relieve some of the pressure.

Breathe, meditate, and find moments of reflection

The days are endlessly busy and there is never five minutes to spare, but even one minute of closing the eyes or taking some intentional breaths can reduce stress dramatically. Consider downloading the Calm App to guide you through a meditation. 

References

  1. Gail, Kinman (2014) Teacher wellbeing: how to mentally prepare for a new school year. The Guardian.