9 ways teachers can create work-life-balance in the current health crisis
Teachers often carry work home from schools and universities in the form of lesson planning for the next day’s classes, correcting test papers, and speaking with parents’ during personal time.
But ever since the current health crisis intensified and virtual education became the norm for educational institutes all over, teachers have been struggling to maintain a balance between their professional commitments and personal time.
While we tend to the needs of our students and strive towards delivering quality education from home, we must realize that overwork can spiral into physical and mental exhaustion which will make us unproductive for days or even weeks.
The best thing to do right now is to work towards building a schedule that helps you achieve your work commitments and provides you with sufficient time for yourself and your family.
9 Ways Teachers can create Work-Life-Balance in the current Health Crisis
- Have a Routine and follow it: The first step to adding balance to a disorganized lifestyle is to have a routine for all your professional and personal tasks and duties. You can start by listing down all the tasks, official and personal, that you have to accomplish in a day and slot them throughout the day. Also, create some open slots for any unplanned things that may crop up.
- Set a sleep pattern: An adult requires about 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep every night for functioning productively throughout the day. If you find your work creeping into your relaxation or sleeping time, you should consider having a consistent sleep schedule for each day of the week and religiously follow it without fail.
- Physical Exercise: Even though gyms and health centres are closed, one must not compromise on their physical health right now. It’s important to do some basic bodyweight exercise or any other form of physical activity such as dance or yoga. If nothing else, at least walk inside your house for 15-20 minutes per day.
- Pay attention to your mental health: It’s very easy to feel stressed and anxious at a time when the entire world is dealing with a pandemic. While we cannot ignore what’s happening outside, we need to also focus on our mental health and well-being. Limit the time you spend on watching news channels and scrolling through your social media feeds. Take out time for meditation, reading books, and listening to calming music. If required, speak with a professional counsellor.
- Stay connected: With all of us locked down inside our homes, it is very easy to feel isolated and lonely these days. In the current times, we should keep doing the things that we’d normally do like to meet with our friends and colleagues, albeit virtually. Not only will you feel happier by catching up with your friends, but you might also learn a thing or two on how they are dealing with the crisis.
- Distribute the load: Another factor which is causing a lot of distress to families these days is the way the household chores are being carried out, in the absence of external help. To avoid burn-out or an unnecessary argument with a family member, it is better to proactively distribute the household work.
- Less is more: A lot of students have to share phones or laptops with their siblings and other members in their family and internet connectivity is an issue in many Indian homes. Trying to achieve more and more with your students will put them and you under undue pressure. Instead, focus on what’s most important to be taught right now.
- Use online resources judiciously: Instead of attempting to create unique lesson plans, videos and assignments for your lessons, look up for readymade online resources. Also, exchange resources with your colleagues and reuse wherever possible.
- Take frequent mini-breaks: It is very easy to keep sitting at your workstation – there’s always one more email to respond to, one more paper to grade and another recommended website to check out. But to be productive, you need to take frequent mini-breaks. Every 15-20 minutes, get up, walk a bit around your house, sip some water, do some stretches and then get back to work.