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 Hope Consulting was established in 2014 and provides a disruptive approach to professional development workshops and teaching that aims to challenge dominant discourses and taken for granted practices. Karen is an early childhood consultant, associate lecturer and freelance writer who has extensive experience in a broad range of services within the early childhood care and education context. Karen’s consultancy practice and writing is strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia project and this is reflected in her work and writing as a point of reference, resource, inspiration and difference. Karen writes and delivers work that is specific to each individual service developed in consultation with you. The delivery of sustainable professional development that results in real change is a key feature of her work. She can be contacted by email or via her website at: karenhopeconsulting@gmail.com www.karenhopeconsulting.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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