SITE UPGRADE COMING SOON: On or around January 31st, 2022, I'll be moving Mindful Teachers to a new, more mobile-friendly platform.

Self-Care Resources

SITE UPGRADE COMING SOON: On or around January 31st, 2022, I'll be moving Mindful Teachers to a new, more mobile-friendly platform.

Tips, links, reflections, and mindfulness practices to help you cope with the common challenges faced by educators and other helping professionals.  

photo by tuelezka for

posted by Catharine Hannay, founder of

I know there's a lot of criticism about teachers and health-care workers being told to practice self-care when their working conditions are unfair and unsustainable. There is also a lot of 'self-care' advice that's unrealistic for anyone with limited time and money.

Here are my thoughts on this:
  • Self-care is only part of the equation. How we are treated by institutions and other individuals plays a big part in our wellness.
  • Self-care involves figuring out what aspects of our work and schedules we have control over and making choices about how to spend our available time and energy.
  • Self-care is far from self-indulgent, especially among those of us who are committed to serving others. It isn’t about being selfish or shirking our responsibilities. It's about maintaining our sanity and energy. 

Back to School Posts:

The Power of Intention Setting for a Mindful School Year, by Holly Duckworth

Five Ways to Begin the School Year with Mindfulness and Compassion, by Ira Rabois

Realistic Self-Care (that doesn't require time, money, or taking away from the care you give to others)

Self-Care Throughout the School Year

Coping with Stress and Burnout

Calm Down and Reduce Your Stress: Tips for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers 
Body-based practices to help us focus on the present and stop ruminating. 
'Check Up from the Neck Up' Relaxation Practice
Evalyn Gaskell of Harmony LifeBalance shares her favorite practice for recognizing and reducing self-induced stress.
Do-It-Yourself Mini-Retreat for Counselors and Teachers
Tips from mindfulness facilitator Jennifer Howd on creating your own, at-home retreat. All you need is a clear intention and some self-discipline. 
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... for teachers 
Six reminders to keep things in perspective, based on the popular self-help book.
5 Mindfulness Practices for Challenging Times

An hour a day of meditation or yoga may be unrealistic right now. There are plenty of other ways you can integrate mindfulness into even the busiest and most stressful day. 

How Burnt Out Are You? 
Are you just having a bad day, or is it time to quit your job?  Or are you in serious need of some R and R (if only you could find the time)?  Answering these ten questions should point you in the right direction... or confirm what you already suspect.

A Mindful Approach to Reducing Stress
guest post by Padraig O'Morain, author of Daily Calm - 100 daily reminders to help you build the mindfulness habit

Mindful Teaching by the Numbers 
This poster/infographic shows a a few important numbers to keep in mind as you 'keep calm and carry on.'
Mindfulness and Self-Care for Caregivers  
Tips for professional and family caregivers (carers), based on my family's experience taking care of my mom during her four-year struggle with brain cancer.
Mindfulness and Self-Care for Teachers
In this interview, I discuss how to take better care of ourselves so we can better meet the needs of our students.
"The purpose of mindfully labeling thoughts and feelings is to recognize that they’re distinct from the person who’s having them.  You are not your thoughts and feelings; they come and go while you remain yourself." 
Quick Sanity Breaks for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers
This poster/infographic shows half a dozen quick ways to clear your head and take care of yourself.
Suggestions on setting limits, work-life balance, and self-compassion.
Relaxed Abdominal Breath: Stress Reduction through Mindful Breathing
"Shallow breathing ('chest breathing') can result in a vicious cycle: We breathe shallowly because we’re under stress, which makes the body feel it’s not getting enough air... Relaxed abdominal breathing ('belly breathing') is one of nature’s best anti-stress medicines." 
Restless Mind: Typical Strategies for Denying Stress 
"Most people have a preferred tactic to avoid painful stress reactions... Becoming aware of avoiding a stressful emotion is often the first step in learning how to do something different."
Should I Quit My Job? 
Have you been feeling frustrated and burnt out?  Maybe you've started wondering whether it's time to move on? Answering these ten questions should help you make up your mind.
Step Back, Then Tackle Your Frustration: Tips for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers
A few strategies for dealing with the frustration that comes from feeling like we don't have control over our work.
A Teacher’s Gratitude Practice To Make It Through Virtual Faculty Meetings 
'Faculty Meeting Gratitude Bingo' created by middle school teacher Erin Bryk
3 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety

Techniques to help you feel calmer and more focused.

What's the Best Mindfulness Practice for Me? 
Interested in mindfulness, but not sure where to start?  Or looking for some new ideas to add to your existing practice?  This quick quiz will help point you in the right direction.

Mind-Body Health

Body Scan: Awareness of the Body  
"The purpose of the body scan is not necessarily to relax or to go to sleep, although it can help with that sometimes.  The important thing is that you stay open and curious to your body's experience."
Five Senses Snack: a Mindful Eating Chart
It isn't a treat if you're not enjoying it.  This chart can help you truly appreciate what you're eating by slowing down and noticing not just the flavor but also the texture, scent, color, and even sound.  

Is Your Mind Connected to Your Body? 
Here's a quiz to help you measure the strength of your mind-body connection, followed by suggestions for practices you might find useful.

Rainbow Walk: a Mindfulness Activity to Move the Body and Rest the Mind 
This is a great activity if you tend to spend too much time sitting around with your mind running in circles.
Trying on Different Shapes: Mindfulness of Mood and Posture
"Changing our shape, in its many parts, can change our mood, our awareness, and what actions we’re able to take."
Wellness Tips for Stressed-Out Teachers
In this interview, fitness expert (and former kindergarten teacher) Debra Mazda gives specific suggestions for how teachers can integrate healthier eating and exercise habits into a busy workday. 

Compassionate Image: a Guided Visualization Practice  
Imagining what complete compassion might feel like can help us access that feeling during difficult times. 
Next Time I'll Do Better: Recognizing and Learning from Mistakes  
It’s uncomfortable to feel guilt or shame over something we’ve done.  But instead of trying to push away these negative feelings, we can use them to avoid making the same kind of mistake again.    

Wise Elder Visualization: a practice for parents and teachers  
Imagining a supportive elder can help you respond mindfully in emotionally-charged situations. 

If you find the resources on this page useful, you may also be interested in Posters, Quizzes, and Infographics About Mindfulness and Self-Care and Resources for Practicing and Teaching Mindfulness, Compassion, and SEL.