#Teacher5aday Pledge 2016

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Martyn Reah’s idea is a very simple one: If teachers are happy their pupils are happy. To achieve this wellbeing needs to be at the forefront of a school’s agenda and head teachers need to make looking after their staff a priority. However it is all too easy to blame a head teacher for our workload or your stress levels. The idea of #Teacher5aday is that teachers take responsibility for their own wellbeing by pledging 5 changes. if you want to find out more check out the original post here. Also, get involved on Twitter by following the #Teacher5aday hashtag. If you really want to support the cause you can contribute to crowdfunding the #Teaher5aday journal to guide teachers through a year of looking after themselves.

  1. Connect: Easy – spend more time with friends and family. Planning a wedding offers plenty of opportunities for this. Also, try and be more “present” in the evenings. At the moment I tend to get home and collapse onto the sofa and scroll through my phone or get lost in the internet. Time to turn off the screens and make the most of my evenings.
  2. Exercise: Normally at this time of year I would be signing up to a gym or buying a Groupon for 8 Zumba sessions, “this way I’ll definitely go because I’ve already paid for it” no, no it doesn’t mean I’ll go it means I’ve kissed goodbye to £40. This year I need to get real the only way I’m going to be more active is if I can convince my body it isn’t really exercise, like when we told my brother the homemade soup he loved so much was chicken when it was actually mushroom otherwise he’d never have eaten it. So I’ve invested in a Fitbit and I have a target of 10,000 steps a day which is about 7km. The stats get sent to my phone so I can track my progress. This way I’m just building more activity into my day-to-day life.
  3. Notice:  I’ve kept journals on-and-off since I was little and I’ve never been able maintain writing an entry every day. Some days I’m just too busy and others the entry would read, “Watched an entire series of “Orange is the New Black.” However I’ve got this book that I was given last year that requires just one line a day. Just one reflection. I can manage that.
  4. Learn: It’s my 30th birthday this year so it’s probably time to extend the repertoire of recipes I have up my sleeve. At the moment I seem to live off pesto pasta and that’s been the case for the last decade. I LOVE cookery books and have a shelf packed with everyone from Nigella to Nigel Slater. So to keep it manageable I’ll learn just one new recipe a month. Watch this space.
  5. Volunteer: I’m a moderately active member of the Labour Party and I’ll be volunteering my time to campaign during the run up to the mayoral election.  
Whilst this began as an initiative to support teachers I think we’re all prone to burning out and putting our mental health and wellbeing too far down our list of priorities. So whatever your job, think about how you can keep yourself happy and healthy this year. Write the ideas down, stick them on your fridge, scribble them on the mirror  or print them on a t-shirt. Do whatever it takes and remind yourself each day: my wellbeing matters.