Your students don’t benefit from your exhaustion. They don’t learn more when you’re spread too thin. And they certainly don’t want you to face burnout.
As music teachers, we spend a lot of our energy serving our students. Caring for their needs, supporting them through difficult times, laying a foundation of knowledge and inspiration that will empower them to succeed – we are caregivers.
But since we are human, we each have a limit to how much care, attention, and support we can give our students each day. And when we run out of energy, we often end up creeping dangerously close to burnout, compassion fatigue, and mind-numbing exhaustion.
Taking Care of Yourself = Taking Care of Your Students
Burnout is a real threat for music teachers.
When we find ourselves consumed by fatigue, a negative attitude, and constant thoughts of switching careers, our ability to serve our students becomes severely limited.
Fortunately, there is a solution: self-care.
And self-care doesn’t have to mean spending a day at the spa…or going to a yoga class every day…or taking a month-long vacation (although each of these could definitely qualify as self-care).
Self-care can be simple and non-glamorous: taking a brisk walk outside, having a soothing cup of tea, making time to enjoy a favorite hobby, laughing with friends, sitting to meditate in peace for 5 minutes…anything that supports your mental and physical health.
Prioritizing self-care is the best way to guarantee a long career as a music teacher.
Think of the most highly-impactful, joyful, effective teachers you know. What one thing do they have in common?
I’d be willing to bet that they each have a robust self-care practice that they’ve developed through trial and error over the years.
If you want to be the best teacher you can be, you need to be in the best physical and mental condition that you can be. And the best way to do that is by simply creating time each day to take care of yourself.
Creating Time for Self-Care
We all have full schedules.
How easy is it to end up with a packed schedule that leaves no time for the activities that you love?
It’s not about finding time in your schedule for self-care – it’s about creating time in your schedule for self-care.
If that sounds impossible, I know exactly how you feel.
I used to fill my calendar from 7:00am to 8:00pm or later with events, activities, to-do list items, and meetings. With a schedule like that, I never had time for self-care…and zero energy left at the end of each day.
With such a jam-packed schedule, it took only a few months before burnout started to creep in.
So what did I do?
Terrified that I might suddenly become less productive, but unwilling to give in to the burnout…I courageously made space in my schedule for a daily meditation practice. This meant that I had to remove one activity from my daily schedule to make room.
A week later, the transformation was incredible. I felt more relaxed, more in-touch with my body and mind, and I finally felt in control of my busy schedule. Most importantly, my teaching improved dramatically. My lessons were more focused, I was more aware of my students’ needs, and I started enjoying teaching again.
I was convinced. Self-care makes a huge difference — even in tiny amounts.
From that point forward, I have continuously sought new ways to incorporate self-care into my schedule.
Simple, But Not Easy
It sounds too simple, right?
But prioritizing self-care is not easy.
Especially if you are a type-A, high-achieving, high-stress, always-on kind of teacher (ask me how I know!).
Look at your schedule for tomorrow. Consider what activity you might enjoy as a form of self-care. It could be a short walk outside, a cup of tea with friends, a short yoga or meditation practice – anything you enjoy! Then, find 15 minutes in your schedule to schedule that activity.
If you can’t find 15 minutes, create the time you need by moving something else out of the way (or removing it from your schedule completely).
Tomorrow, when the time comes, don’t make any excuses. Take your 15 minutes for self-care. Then see what happens.
Life-long Joyful Teaching
After a few days of prioritizing self-care in your schedule, you’ll notice a big difference.
You may want to explore how to take all of this to the next level — organizing your life around joyful action, re-focusing on your career dreams, eliminating exhaustion, and banishing burnout.
If that sounds like you, you’ll be interested in “Overwhelmed to Organized,” a new online course (coming soon) for music teachers.
In this course, you will learn how to go from overwhelmed and exhausted to mindfully organized and joyfully efficient.
If you’d like to be the first to receive details about this course and receive a special offer when it launches, join the interest list here:
Too much to do and not enough time?
Get my free GEARS Planner for Highly Organized Music Teachers.
- Simplify Your Schedule
- Leave Overwhelm Behind
- Easily Prioritize Your Goals
- Create Time for Rest and Self-Care
- Get Your To-do List Under Control
Enter your email address to get your 7-Day GEARS Planner and create the sustainable, enjoyable daily schedule that you deserve.