Every parent knows that when a kid in their child’s class gets sick, everyone gets sick. Classrooms are basically germ farms, but while parents can tell their children to stay home and drink lots of fluids, things are different when you are a teacher. You simply cannot take sick days whenever your nose starts running and, on the other hand, working while you can barely breathe can be torture. Luckily, with some helpful tips and tricks, you can maintain your health and happiness.
Hand sanitizer is not as effective as you may think
Although hand sanitizer can be useful, keep in mind that it is not as effective as washing your hands. Therefore, make sure you go to the restroom between classes and get those hands clean. If washing your hands will easily slip your mind, go ahead and buy some fancy soaps and creams you love, so they can motivate you to maintain your hygiene. Although hand sanitizer should not be your first line of defense, antibacterial wipes can definitely help you fight those germs and keep your classroom clean.
Don’t forget to hydrate
Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day is the key to staying healthy. Since you spend your whole day speaking, you will definitely need more than those recommended 6 glasses of water. Maybe you are afraid that due to increased fluid intake you will need to visit the bathroom more often (and leave your class unsupervised) but staying healthy is worth the trouble. If needed, try to establish some type of class-monitoring arrangement with your colleagues.
Exercise on a daily basis
It is a known fact that regular exercise can boost your mood as well as your immune system and help you fight off germs. Therefore, make sure you incorporate workouts into your busy schedule. When you are in the classroom try to move around as much as possible. This is not just good pedagogical practice, but it will also boost your health. Before or after school try to practice yoga, go to the gym or run around the block. Nowadays you can buy high-quality running watches that will not only help you keep track of time so you are not late for work, but will also measure your heart rate and track your sleep patterns.
Don’t ignore the warning signs
If you feel a bug coming on, don’t ignore the symptoms. Instead, make sure you eat well, drink plenty of fluids and go to bed early. If you manage to keep your body and mind strong, those germs won’t be able to infect you as much as they would if you were weak.
Plan your meals
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is important for your overall health, so try not to end up in the teacher’s cafeteria eating shepherd’s pie every other day. Instead, go grocery shopping and pick up veggies you can prepare in a slow-cooker or turn into salads. When you prep your food ahead of time you are less likely to eat unhealthy meals and gain weight.
Get enough sleep
Sleeping is not just important for your students, you need to get plenty of ZZZs as well if you want to function properly and maintain your health. After all, lack of sleep can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, obesity, stress, depression, and lower sex drive. Therefore, try to maintain a healthy sleep pattern and go to bed at the same time every night.
Practicing meditation can help you cope with the stresses of day-to-day life and increase your focus. If you have never tried this before, you can easily download apps that will help you relax and meditate.
With these strategies, you will be able to maintain your emotional, mental and physical health and become a happier teacher your students will adore.