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 professional who has had extensive experience in a broad range of services situated within the early childhood care and education setting. Beginning her career as an Early Childhood Educator, Karen has worked in sessional Kindergarten programs and childcare. She coordinated the establishment of an Integrated Early Learning Centre Hub and has developed policies and strategies within the Local Government context. Karen has a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Education. Following her work in children’s services Karen moved into Local Government where she worked as an Early Years Adviser providing support, coaching and mentoring to funded Kindergarten programs. Following this Karen moved into the area of quality assurance in Local Government and oversaw the implementation of the National Quality Framework within the Kindergarten, Long Day Care and Out of School Hours care sector. 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. Karen specialises in on-site coaching, pedagogical leadership, and developing programs and practices that support children’s rights to participation. She provides individual service support or group training. Karen also works in the higher education sector and lectures on child development play theory and pedagogical documentation. Her email is 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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