Gradient Learning teacher

5 ways to spring into self-care

When you think of spring, what do you think of? For many, the word conjures images of spring cleaning, blooming flowers, open windows, and sunshine. For educators, spring represents the homestretch of the school year.

Whatever comes to mind, it’s important for us all to make time for self-care and rejuvenation so we can be at our best in the fun-filled weeks ahead. Here are five of our favorite ways to take care of ourselves this spring season:

1. Get outside and soak up the sun! The days are longer, warmer, and perfect for a quick walk, or a few minutes outside to experience nature and absorb some much-needed vitamin D. Fresh air cleans your lungs, boosts your mood, lowers your heart rate, and increases energy levels. Take lunch outside, listen to music, get into an education podcast, read under a tree, or park further away at work to get a few extra minutes outdoors.

2. Start a garden. Getting your hands dirty can be relaxing and cleansing for the mind. There are several vegetables that you can start seeding indoors at the start of spring, including brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, squash, and perennial herbs. If you want to start outdoors, wildflowers are wildlife-friendly, fast-growing, low-maintenance, and a great way to keep the weeds away. If a green thumb isn’t your thing, succulent or faux plants are easy to maintain!

3. Start with a clean slate. A change in season can be a great time for cleaning, re-organizing, decluttering, or donating items that you no longer need. If a spring refresh feels overwhelming, start small. Purge or clean one thing a day. After a month, you’ll have made a lot of progress!

4. Nourish yourself with spring’s produce! Find a local farmers market and stock up on bright, colorful fruits and vegetables. Asparagus, arugula, carrots, and peas are great in spring. Eating adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced depressive symptoms and higher levels of optimism and self-efficacy. Why not try a new recipe with your produce to get out of a food rut? Try this Spring Vegetable Risotto With Asparagus and Peas recipe that incorporates seasonal bounty.

5. Get that annual physical. If you’ve been putting off doctor appointments, now is a good time to find a primary care physician. Even minor symptoms that seem manageable should be discussed with a doctor.

Whatever you have time for or prioritize this spring, we hope all educators find time for rest and relaxation before the end of the school year. It’s essential to take care of ourselves so we can continue to best serve all students.

Happy spring!