Prioritizing your own needs

How taking care of yourself helps you care for others

You’ve probably heard the saying: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” It means that, while you have family, friends and students who depend on you, it’s essential to take care of yourself first. Teachers are natural givers. And that can take a toll on both your physical and mental health.


78% of teachers feel physically and emotionally exhausted, according to a 2015 survey by the American Federation of Teachers.


That survey was done well before COVID-19 entered the picture. Without question, COVID-19 has made things more difficult in almost all aspects of our lives.


While It’s normal to feel stress during uncertain times, there are things you can do right now to feel better. Start by making a commitment to prioritize your own needs. It’s not selfish. It’s vital to invest in your own well-being so you can continue to help others. Advocating for yourself can help you to:

  • Teach sustainably

  • Prevent burnout

  • Keep your passion alive

Here are three things you can do now to start taking better care of yourself:

  1. Set clear boundaries. Doing this creates respect for yourself and the people in your life. It helps you stay grounded and true to yourself while also showing compassion toward others.

  2. Get rest. Rest might mean adding “me time” to your calendar (using the Karla Synchronous app) to block out time for yourself. During that time, you can do whatever you want. You could read a book, go for a walk, meditate or take a bath – whatever reenergizes you.

  3. Reach out. Remember, caring isn’t a one-way street. There are plenty of people out there who are willing to help you, too. Try asking for support next time you feel overwhelmed. You might be surprised how much better you feel and how happy someone else is to make a difference in your life.

If you could use some additional support to establish healthy boundaries, find time to rest or navigate the situation you’re in, the Sync Health team is ready to help. To connect with a specialist, visit sync.health/mnps or call 615-748-0625.