8 ways to take care of yourself

The early childhood care and education sector has a workforce that often places the welfare and needs of others above their own. Because of this, in the face of ever competing demands and responsibilities, we, as educators, do not pay due diligence to our own wellbeing.

Educators often overlook their own physical, mental and emotional needs, resulting in a state of exhaustion, stress and anxiety—particularly as the year draws to a close and our internal toolboxes are somewhat depleted. As 2017 draws to an end, how do we find our joy, our renewed interest, our enthusiasm and our excitement for the possibilities that the New Year holds when we are tired and worn out?

Educator wellbeing should be a career-long focus. This requires you to be alert and constantly ‘checking in’ to endure that you are taking care of your own needs first. To ensure that we have a workforce that reflects wellbeing, it requires each early childhood educator to have his or her own strategic plan.

  1. Eat well.
  2. Get physical—move a little, or a lot. But move!
  3. Get some sleep.
  4. Learn to prioritise—set realistic daily goals.
  5. Take a break 10 minutes out of the early learning space can allow you to breathe and re-boot.
  6. Maintain your own personal interests.
  7. Try a mindfulness practice—yoga, meditation or invent your own.
  8. Look out for each other—try to establish a culture that places educator wellbeing as a shared responsibility.

Early childhood educators are influential in the lives of young children, and the messages we send either overtly or covertly may have far reaching and lasting implications.

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This article was taken from ECA’s Voice newsletter. To receive your copy of Voice, click here to become a member of Early Childhood Australia.

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Karen Hope

Karen is an early childhood consultant, academic and freelance writer who has had extensive experience in a broad range of services within the early childhood care and education setting. Beginning her career as an Early Childhood Educator, Karen has worked in sessional Kindergarten programs and Long Day Care programs. Karen has a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Education. Karen established Karen Hope Consulting in 2014. This consultancy practice specialises in professional development training and coaching to the early childhood education and care sector. She aims to provide services with a 'disruptive' approach to professional development that aims to challenge the dominant discourse. Karen also works in the higher education sector and is a senior lecturer in play theory and pedagogical documentation in the Bachelor of Early Years. Karen has a strong interest in the delivery of pre-service teacher training and is skilled in delivering innovative and flexible learning resources. Karen has had worked published in Every Child magazine and The Challenge -The Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange Journal. Karen is also a regular contributor to The Spoke, Early Childhood Australia's Blog and Early Talk, Early Learning Australia's Blog. Karen's consultancy practice and writing is strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia project. She can be contacted on karenhopeconsulting@gmail.com.

2 thoughts on “8 ways to take care of yourself”

    Laila says:

    Yes I agree with this thing as a educators we should take care of our mental, physical and emotional health. These 8 ways help us to keep our self healthy and happy to continue our wonderful journey of our life long exercise of taking more education and giving education to children.

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