5 Self-Care Books for Educators to Read Over Winter Break
The pandemic and return to in-person learning have led to widespread teacher burnout: in a 2021 State of the U.S. Teacher Survey, nearly one in four teachers said they were likely to leave their jobs in 2021, compared to one in six, on average, prior to the pandemic. The survey also found that more than 75 percent of teachers reported frequent job-related stress, making it more critical than ever for educators to find ways to cultivate wellbeing and practice self-care. While self-care doesn’t solve systemic problems or conjure resources out of thin air, mindfulness and self-enrichment can help educators mitigate feelings of stress and overwhelm, both in themselves and their students.
As we reach the end of the fall semester, schools are entering winter break, which presents a great opportunity for educators to take time to decompress and mentally prepare themselves for the new year. One great way for educators to practice self-care over the winter break is to read books that bring them joy and enrich their lives. Self-care and personal growth books can be a valuable guide for educators looking to cultivate wellbeing and practice more mindfulness in the new year.
Here are five self-care books for educators to read over winter break:
1. Take Time for You: Self-Care Action Plans for Educators by Tina H. Boogren
In this book, Tina H. Boogren utilizes Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to develop manageable, research-based strategies that can help educators create a personalized self-care plan. Boogren suggests methods such as mindfulness, reflection, and daily self-care activities to help teachers thrive both professionally and in their personal lives.
2. The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students by Daniel Rechtschaffen
Daniel Rechtschaffen has compiled decades of research that suggest the benefits of mindfulness in social, emotional, and cognitive development. In this book, he shares a practical guide for educators to implement mindfulness into their personal and school lives in order to cultivate attention, compassion, and wellbeing in students, as well as in themselves.
Brené Brown is known for her work researching courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy for the past two decades. In Daring Greatly, she builds upon this research to present a powerful new vision that encourages readers to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, live wholeheartedly, and courageously engage in their lives
4. Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace by Sharon Salzberg
In this book, mindfulness expert and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg shares ideas for cultivating mindfulness, compassion, and awareness at work––no matter what your job is. Salzberg guides readers to improve the positives of working life while mitigating the negative feelings of stress, exhaustion, and feeling overwhelmed and under-appreciated.
This book follows author Dan Harris’ adventure through spirituality, mindfulness, and self-help in order to find a way to be happier. Good for any adult struggling with happiness and fulfillment––in work or in life––10% Happier explores topics from neuroscience to societal factors that affect happiness and presents a practical way to become happier that is achievable no matter what stage you are at in your life or profession.
We all can benefit from taking the time to read books we enjoy, especially when those books teach us new skills like mindfulness . For educators, taking actionable steps to cultivate wellbeing and practice self-care not only improves their own mental health, but also has positive effects on their students––ultimately leading to improvements in the wellbeing of the school community as a whole.