5 Ways for Teachers to Take a Self-Compassion Break

While working nonstop to help their students thrive, educators often end up neglecting their own well-being. High-school counsellor and Mindful Self-Compassion teacher Lisa Baylis offers a toolbox of simple practices for educators to offer themselves the same compassion they show in the classroom.

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A new year often becomes a time that adds extra pressure to do more and to be better. While some people find the promise of the first few months of the year energizing and inspiring, for overwhelmed teachers, it can be the tipping point—especially as so many educators around the globe are already exhausted. Of course, we can’t control external pressures like the pandemic, but where we do have more power is in the way we choose to show up for ourselves: with acceptance and self-compassion.

This year, how can we give ourselves as educators permission to lean toward self-compassion rather than self-improvement? How can we work toward creating a culture that supports accepting ourselves as we are and being gentle with ourselves as teachers, rather than getting caught up in the constant battle of judgment, criticism, and resolution? Can we practice listening to our kind and compassionate voice while being fully present, rather than getting caught up in the expectation to do more?

Instead of fighting the things we can’t change now, we can give ourselves permission to tend to our well-being and discover ways to be gentle and kind…