Coronavirus Resources for Schools

School Staff Self Care During COVID-19

Contains resources from school districts and public health agencies.

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SCHOOL STAFF SELF-CARE DURING COVID-19 THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE FOR EDUCATORS Districts across the country were able to quickly transition to distance learning as a result of COVID-19 related school closures but remain concerned about the social-emotional well-being of their staff members. Because districts value self-care for staff and believe self-care has become particularly important during the pandemic, Hanover Research prepared the following info-brief to support staff self-care as educators navigate the current crisis. 1 While self-care should be a priority in every profession, it is particularly important for those in caregiving careers. Teachers, like nurses, doctors, firefighters, police officers, and other caregiving frontline professionals, often experience stigma surrounding self- care; caregiving careers encourage, or require, service providers to focus considerable time and energy on the communities they serve, often leaving not have enough time for themselves. Many teachers, in particular, are at risk of stress and burnout, and self-care is therefore necessary to maintain good mental health and overall well-being. Over 40% of teachers report feeling high stress every day during the school year. Teaching is tied with nursing as having the highest stress rates of any career. CAUSES OF STRESS AMONG EDUCATORS INCLUDE: LACK OF RESOURCES CLASS BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS PRESSURES OF STANDARDIZED TESTING When teachers' stress and burnout are left unaddressed or unacknowledged, teachers' physical and mental health can deteriorate and result in greater turnover in the profession. CREATIVITY AS SELF-CARE FOR EDUCATORS WHAT ARE COMPONENTS OF SELF-CARE? Self-care is any action that you use to improve your health and well-being within six components: PHYSICAL PSYCHOLOGICAL EMOTIONAL SPIRITUAL PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL To evaluate your own stress, click here for the stress assessment from the United Federation of teachers. SELF-CARE STRATEGIES FOR EDUCATORS Teaching can be socially overwhelming. Take at least 10 to 20 minutes a day to have a break and decompress. Have as much compassion for yourself as you would for your students. Prioritize a positive self image and self confidence. Always keep a self-care "emergency pack" with you with creative and mindful activities to destress during breaks. Click here for more ideas from Kansas Technical Assistance Network. Creativity and the arts help people process problems or situations, make connections between experiences and feelings, and gain new and meaningful perspectives. Creative activities stimulate alpha waves, which are signals in the brain that correlate with relaxation and raise serotonin levels. The arts also help people deal with trauma, illness, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. IMPACTS OF THE CREATIVE ARTS ON HEALTH AND WELLNESS ART THERAPY ACTIVITIES Search for writing prompts online. Draw or sketch in a notebook or your planner. Take photos on your camera or phone. Prepare a meal and spend time creatively plating. Dance to your favorite song. MUSIC ART MOVEMENT WRITING Music has been proven to decrease anxiety, calm brain activity, and help to restore functioning in the immune system. Dance, movement, and non-verbal physical expression relieve stress and anxiety and improve physical health. Visual arts help people express difficult emotions, facilitate communication, and reveal one's subconscious thoughts or feelings. Expressive writing increases health and wellness and improves immune system functioning. Writing is a positive form of reflection. Click here to learn more about the importance of self-care for all school stakeholders.

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