It took me a long time to prioritize and understand how important self-care is as a teacher. For the first eight years of my career I burned through hours of grading, planning, rearranging, and constantly making myself available to students. Those eight years were rewarding and I sure learned a lot about my profession, but I also felt (and still feel) the physical and mental health consequences of making y life 100% dedicated to teaching.
While many self-care practices DON’T require buying anything at all, I wanted to share just a few of my favorite small indulgences with you! These are some of the products I’ve found that I look forward to using regularly. Some of these I actually have a subscription for, so they show up on my door once every two months as a reminder to SLOW DOWN and TAKE CARE OF MYSELF!
Some links shared below are affiliate links (which means I may receive a small compensation if you choose to purchase an item linked).
1. My Jade Roller
I actually first saw these on Season 1 of Queer Eye when Jonathan gave them to a couple of his clients. I thought it was kind of hocus pocus - rolling a rock on your face to help your skin feel better. But then I gave in and bought one. Let me tell you...this thing is a GAME CHANGER. On both stressful and normal days at school, I simply pull out my jade roller from my desk and give myself a little cool down. It’s like a mini-face massage in the middle of the school day! Here’s the one I have, but there are so many more to look through. The quartz roller seems to be good, too, but it’s pricier than the jade one!
2. Oatmeal Mask
This oatmeal mask was actually recommended to me by a fellow Instagrammer friend of mine last winter. I had my son in November, and after childbirth in a Chicago winter, I had the worst dry skin I’d ever felt in my life. This oatmeal mask was a total lifesaver and I still order it to this day! It goes on thick but only takes ten minutes to feel refreshed and renewed -- perfect for the busy teacher life!
3. This Yoga Music YouTube Channel
I try to grab at least five minutes of my day in peace. I’m not really one for meditation exactly, but I do just like to enjoy quiet and a little soothing music in the background. For me, this is usually right when I get to school. I put my things down, get my coffee, keep the lights off, and just sit at my desk with something from this channel playing in the background. It’s such a calming way to start each teaching day, which as we know will inevitably turn to chaos as soon as kids walk through that door.
4. Mint-Shimmer Lip Gloss
This is a Bath and Body Works favorite of mine, and honestly, I usually can’t walk out of that story with ONLY this. When it comes to treating myself to lip care, this is one item that I splurge on: the mint-infused shimmery lip gloss. Normally, I’m a drugstore Chapstick and Revlon lipstick kinda girl, but I love the refreshing treat of this lip gloss when I’m treating myself. It smells and tastes so good and has just enough shimmer to make my lips be a slightly different color from the rest of my face.
5. Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate
Not too far from our house is an epically large and amazing outlet mall. Besides all of the shopping there is to do, they also have a GHIRARDELLI OUTLET. Free samples galore and at the back of the store, they have a small little cafe. The hot chocolate from there is out of this world. I always order one to go and grab a few packets to take home so I can enjoy them during my “me time”, especially in the winter.
6. Aloe Socks
If you’ve never tried aloe socks before, it’s seriously time that you tried! These socks (there are tons of different brands - check Kohls, too!) are not only crazy soft, but they’re infused with aloe, so while you wear them and relax, they’re actually moisturizing your feet. Put these on while drinking your hot cocoa, listening to yoga music, wearing your face mask, and NOT thinking about school! :-)