Teachers' wellbeing guide

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Teachers' wellbeing guide image
Resource type
Teaching pack

Advice, tips and resources on goal-setting and self-care routines to support the physical and mental wellbeing of teachers.

Higher rates of workplace stress and teacher burnout mean that prioritising wellbeing is more important now than ever before. After all, how can you care for others without caring for yourself first? The benefits of wellbeing and self-care practice are widely recognised, but for many teachers, that never-ending to-do list and pressures of both work and home life can make it feel impossible (and even self-indulgent) to find the time for self-care.

If we don't look after our mental health, our bodies suffer as well as our minds. If you’re constantly feeling tired and overwhelmed, it’s time to make some changes. This wellbeing toolkit features practical tips, advice and templates to help you set goals for the changes you want to make and create life-long healthy habits.

How should I use this wellbeing guide?

This practical guide is designed for teachers and other education staff to help improve work-life balance and support wellbeing and mental health. The toolkit of tips, advice and wellbeing resources focuses on setting achievable goals to improve physical, emotional and professional wellbeing.

Learn about the importance of self-care

Begin with a comprehensive and useful introduction to self-care principles to help you better understand what self-care is and how it can help you to become healthier and more resilient. Once you have familiarised yourself with the concept of self-care, you can move on to goal-setting.

Set goals to improve wellbeing

Make goals manageable by starting those with the biggest impact on your own wellbeing. This helps you feel motivated to keep working on your next goals. Identify areas to improve using the physical wellbeing assessment template, then find the relevant pages in the guide for tips and goal-tracking sheets to help you achieve your goals.

Build self-care into your daily life

Once you’re making progress with your self-care goals, think about how you can turn your goals into longer-term habits. We’ve put together tips and tracking sheets to help you create habits that can be built into your daily life.

What’s included?

  • Tips and templates for setting, tracking and achieving goals for physical health and mental wellbeing.

  • Self-care strategies to improve physical health, with a focus on exercise, healthy eating, medical care, and sleep.

  • Support with mental and emotional wellbeing, including advice on getting started with mindfulness, gratitude, and reflection practices.

  • Professional self-care strategies tailored to improve teacher wellbeing, including tips and advice on setting up your workspace, eye care, posture, taking care of your voice, and relaxation strategies.

What you’ll find inside

Defining self-care

  • What is self-care?

  • Why is self-care important?

  • What does the research say?

  • What do experts say?

  • What do teachers say about the importance of self-care?

  • Where’s the best place to start?

Planning your wellbeing and self-care goals

  • Physical health assessment

  • Goal-setting tips for physical wellbeing

  • Choosing your first wellbeing goal

Physical health: Exercise

  • Setting an exercise goal - tips for setting a goal to increase physical activity

  • My exercise goal - tracking and reflection template 

  • Stretches - a guide to stretches for school (or at home)

  • Short workout ideas - easy, practical exercise and workout ideas and an exercise planning grid

  • Other ways to exercise - ideas for exercise when you have more time

  • More exercise resources - links and recommended physical wellbeing resources.

Professional wellbeing for teachers

  • Setting a teaching self-care goal - tips for setting a goal for wellbeing at school

  • My teacher goal - tracking and reflection template

  • Tips for good posture

  • Tips for an ergonomic workspace

  • Tips for eye care

  • Tips for taking care of your voice

  • Tips for relaxation strategies - three tried and tested strategies (deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, and visualisation) with step-by-step instructions

  • More teaching self-care resources - links and recommended professional wellbeing resources.

Physical wellbeing: Eating and drinking well

  • Setting a healthy eating goal - tips for setting a goal to start eating better

  • One-day food log

  • My healthy eating goal - tracking and reflection template

  • Tips for increasing servings of fruits and vegetables and decreasing servings of unhealthy snacks and sweets

  • Tips for increasing servings of water and decreasing servings of caffeine

  • Tips for making healthy eating part of your daily life

  • Healthy snack options - health snacks list and planning template

  • Healthy lunch options - ideas and recipes

  • Make-ahead meal ideas for dinner - ideas and recipes

  • More healthy eating resources - links and recommended healthy eating resources.

Emotional and social wellbeing: ‘Me time’

  • Setting a ‘me time’ goal - tips for setting a goal to make time for yourself

  • ‘Me time’ goal - tracking and reflection template

  • Tips for setting aside ‘me time’

  • Hobbies and other fun activities - ideas for trying something new

  • Relaxing activities - ideas for stress relief and relaxation

  • More ‘me time’ resources - links and recommended emotional wellbeing resources.

Physical wellbeing: Preventing illness

  • Setting a medical care goal - tips for keeping up with medical appointments

  • My medical appointments goal - tracking and reflection template

  • Tips for defending against colds/flu/COVID

  • Tips for dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • More medical care resources - links and recommended healthcare resources.

Physical wellbeing: Sleep

  • Setting a sleep goal - tips for setting a goal to improve sleep

  • My sleep goal - tracking and reflection template

  • Tips for getting better sleep

  • More sleep resources - links and recommended healthcare resources.

Emotional and social wellbeing: Gratitude and reflection

  • Setting a gratitude and reflection goal - tips for getting started with gratitude and reflection

  • My reflection goal - tracking and reflection template

  • Reflection and gratitude journal

  • Tips for showing gratitude

  • Tips for reflection

  • More gratitude and reflection resources - links and recommended reflection resources.

Turning goals into long-term habits

  • Tips for forming lifelong habits to support wellbeing

  • Habit tracker - monthly habit tracker for exercise, posture, eye and voice care, relaxation, healthy eating, medical appointments, sleep and reflection.

Further help

  • Useful organisations

  • Useful books

  • Other helpful Teachit resources

  • Other self-care resources

  • References/sources

Teachers' wellbeing guide
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