As educators, we care for others. Make more decisions than the average joe and still put ourselves behind when life gets going. We make excuses and don’t always treat ourselves the best.
However, this can not go on for very long. It will not end well, trust me. Burning the candle at both ends, not caring for YOU will not end well. Self care, though, is a HUGE umbrella that encompasses many ideas others will tell you to do to be up to educating students and others day in and out.
You will have (well intending) colleagues tell you to get enough sleep, take care of yourself, practice self care, and more. However, at the end of the day, what looks great for someone may not be the other’s cup of tea. Self care is defined as care of one self when you look it up in the dictionary. It’s broad, it’s unlimited, and it really should be defined by each person.
Therefore, I am redefining self care for me. I may not like to run or spend time in the heat if I don’t have to. Others may choose that and it shouldn’t be a popularity contest or competition. But I do have things that fill my cup and make me refreshed such as taking nature photography and spending time with family’s dogs. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s a-okay! It’s for the care of myself that makes it worth it.
The bottom line is that WE must define self care for ourselves. It’s a MUST in our field and we have to do it without accepting our well intending colleagues ideas if they’re not our cup of tea. It’s okay! Take charge of your self care today.
Redefine what self care looks like for you! You deserve it!