Self care for principals…it should be a priority!

We’re closing out October. You know…the month with 5,000 events and what feels like just as many days? The first armpit of the school year?

That October.

Recognizing that self care is probably at the bottom of your to do list (as it was originally on mine!) I decided I needed a way to make it a priority! Carving out time for yourself, whether you are a teacher or a leader, is crucial. We’re about to enter TWO important busy months where the focus is easily on those around us. The cliche line of not being able to pour from an empty bucket is a true one, friends. It’s important to remember that you need to take care of you, because honestly, as the leader, that’s not on the tip tops of your coworker’s minds. You make the big bucks remember? You’re usually the one care for those all around you!

My principal BFF Melinda Miller and I included a chapter in “Lead with Appreciation”How can you #LeadWithAppreciation? just on self-care. You have the seasonal ups and downs that our teachers do as well. The intentionality of taking care of yourself is just as relevant for you as it is for your staff/students. Self care isn’t just a trendy topic when it comes to SEL and our staff emotional well being. Burnout is a REAL thing. The pressure of our position is a REAL thing. 

Sounds cute and fun, right? The last thing I have time for in the upcoming months is to add one more thing to my todo list, much less something that requires energy and effort to think and plan, right? But…putting ourselves first IS a necessity. And although our lives might seem crazy hectic enough, taking the time to care for ourself is going to aid in the effectiveness of you helping others. Even if it’s something as simple as…one of these ideas! I’ve created a 30 day “Principal Priority” idea checklist that I will be using in November. There are 30 days and here are 30 ideas! Most are free and easy…and all with the idea that you, admin, principal, or leaders of tiny humans, need to take a few minutes each day just for yourself.

How can you make self care a priority this month?

(Download your PDF to check off with me here!)

Is it possible to do a great job…in all the places and in all the ways- without sacrificing who we are or our sanity? I would certainly hope so. I do know, for a fact, that when I am able to carve out time to do things on the weekends, that I just do for the enjoyment of doing them, that Monday rolling around isn’t nearly as stressful. Self care can be as simple as adopting the mindset that within each day there should be something that makes your physical or mental health a priority. Not that means we can’t have ambitions! (Hello, #ennegram3 here!) It means that we realize for every yes we say to others, we potentially are saying no to ourselves and those who matter. We want to be the yes girl, or the I can do it all guy…but the reality is for the long term that is unrealistic.

Burnout can lead to poor decision making, stretched relationships, and tense campus culture. Nobody wants to work with (or for!) someone who forgets what it means to put themselves first. Being mindful of putting yourself first is the first step in trying to achieve that elusive balance we all seek!

Put YOU on your to-do list!

Allow yourself to put YOU on the todo list. I purposely didn’t pick specific “days” on that above chart because some of these ideas are perfect for the weekends and some are great for a random Monday where you need a smile.  Bottom line, we all need to make time to care for ourselves. Being able to do little things for ourselves is going to improve everything from our social interactions to our productivity. And which of those don’t we all need?

That doesn’t make you selfish, it makes you self aware!

Calendar checking &

PS: Melinda Miller and I put a whole chapter on self care in our recent book “Lead with Appreciation”, if you’re looking for more ideas and context, you can buy your copy here!