Teachers working remotely – How can they maintain work-life balance

Teachers are considered as the most underrated and under-appreciated, yet most strenuous job profiles where striking a balance between work and personal life is hard to achieve. Teaching is one profession where one can see the teachers bring home piles of work back home. The pandemic has made the situation even worse for these professionals. With education system having shifted completely online and remote, the teachers are managing the hardships of drastically changed work environment as well as almost no work-life balance. Closed schools have made online classes by teachers the only pivot to continue education for students around the world.

An elementary school teachers took to Twitter to share her experience regarding online teaching and work-life balance. She tweeted, “work life balance during remote learning was eaten by a wolf, barfed out, put in a blender, then chucked into a ceiling fan.”

Teachers who are accustomed to physical classrooms and interacting with students, are now finding themselves trouble-shooting technology, learning the digital jargons and managing their students’ needs – both learning and emotional. The anxiety among teachers is real at this time. The absence of any “me time” or balanced work and personal life is only building up the stress and anxiety.

So, how can teachers work towards maintaining the much needed balance in their lives. Psychologists share some workable and efficient tips for teachers for these challenging times.

Self-Compassion is very important

During the busy and stressful day the first step towards self-care is self-compassion. Acknowledging the difficult situation and reminding yourself that you are not alone in this is important. Be kind to yourself.

Move your body

Simple movements like stretching and yoga can do wonders to relax the mind and clear out the fog, thereby helping you think and work clearly.

Organize and make your working environment more inviting

Trying to keep the workplace as organized and similar to the classroom teacher is habitual to, can help focus and relax the mind a lot. A feeling of familiarity is essential. Simple items like a white board, stationary case, a desk and chair are practical things. When you focus better you become more productive. It also helps in staying calm and relax post working hours.

Set your boundaries

Set a time to mark end of your working hours, and stick to it. Post that don’t engage in work mails or correspondences from parents or students. Respect your work routine as well as personal space. “Unteacher” yourself as you leave the workspace and move out of that room. Setting boundaries lets you achieve that very important work-life balance.

Simple tricks can go a long way to achieve a balance work and personal life, making teachers, any country’s essential asset, a happier self. A happier and stress-free teacher can only pass on that happy flame to students who will carry it forward.

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Dr. Neha Mathur

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