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.
- Eat well.
- Get physical—move a little, or a lot. But move!
- Get some sleep.
- Learn to prioritise—set realistic daily goals.
- Take a break 10 minutes out of the early learning space can allow you to breathe and re-boot.
- Maintain your own personal interests.
- Try a mindfulness practice—yoga, meditation or invent your own.
- 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.
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.