The Importance of Self-Care for Educators

The Reality of Teacher Burnout

Recently, I bumped into a former teaching colleague. When I asked how she was doing, her response was telling:

“Busy. You know… that’s just how it is these days.”

This exchange highlighted a troubling trend: the normalization of excessive busyness in education. It left me wondering: What exactly was keeping her so busy? Was it fulfilling work, or just endless tasks?

Why Self-Care Matters for Teachers

In today’s fast-paced educational landscape, self-care isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. The demands on educators have intensified, thanks to:

  • New technologies
  • Evolving curriculum standards
  • Lingering effects of the pandemic on student learning

Balancing these demands with personal well-being is crucial for long-term success and job satisfaction.

Practical Self-Care Strategies for Educators

1. Prioritize and Declutter

Start by identifying your priorities and making choices accordingly:

  • Learn to say “no” politely
  • Streamline your to-do list
  • Create a “to-don’t” list to eliminate time-wasters

2. Maximize Your Time

Try these updated strategies to reclaim your time:

  • Use meal prep services or quick, healthy recipes
  • Implement a digital organization system for emails and tasks
  • Utilize smart home devices to locate commonly misplaced items

3. Schedule Self-Care

Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine:

  • Use wellness apps for guided meditations
  • Join virtual fitness classes
  • Book online therapy or coaching sessions
  • Try digital journaling platforms
  • Plan regular social media detox periods

Fresh Self-Care Ideas

Consider incorporating these modern self-care practices:

  • Mindfulness exercises
  • Nature walks or forest bathing
  • Educational or hobby-focused podcasts
  • Online skill-building courses
  • Virtual book clubs or hobby groups
  • AR/VR relaxation experiences
  • Digital creative activities (e.g., digital art, music production)

The Key to Effective Self-Care

Remember, self-care isn’t one-size-fits-all. The most effective self-care routine is one that you can maintain consistently. As the educational landscape evolves, your well-being should remain a top priority.

Feeling overwhelmed? Professional Learning Board offers 100% online, self-paced PD courses for busy educators like you. Fit professional development into your schedule on your own terms. Browse the course catalog. 

About the Author
Ellen Paxton is a respected expert in education and best known as the Chief Learning Officer of Professional Learning Board. As a two-time National Board Certified Teacher, Ellen has successfully published and customized online professional development courses and Learning Management Systems for 20 years to help teachers meet their state continuing education renewal credit requirements. Through, and Ellen has established solutions and maintained partnerships with several accredited universities, higher education institutions, teachers’ unions and state Departments of Education while setting strategic direction that makes a difference and overseeing implementation of popular online PD.