Work Life Balance

Keep your body, mind and soul at their best. Commit to the following practices to make time for peace of mind!

  1. Don’t let lesson planning consume your life
  • Maximize your prep time:
    • Don’t let prep and planning periods go to waste!
    • Chatting with friends at lunch-hour can mean a night spent planning while your real friends are at happy hour
    • Don’t over think lessons!
    • Make sure you get at least one lesson done during every free period you have during the day.
    • If possible, divide responsibilities between yourself and your teaching team early in the year so you don’t waste time “collaborating.”
      • When it comes to planning, working individually on separate lessons is more efficient than multiple teachers planning the same lesson.
    • Maximize your day time:
      • Don’t spend all night planning and don’t save same-day lesson planning for the morning.
      • Wake up and get to school early to get as much lesson planning done a day or week ahead of time so you can keep afternoons and evenings free.

**If you still cannot get all planning done during the day, commit 1-2 days a week to stay late to plan ahead: On Thursday, plan Monday and Tuesday lessons so you can enjoy your weekend. On Monday, plan lessons for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


  1. Make “Me” Time Sacred
  • Using the tips from step 1, you should not have to take work home more than once or twice a week. I swear it worked for me even in my first year of teaching!
  • Then when you get home, you can rejoice in the vast amount fof “ME” time still left in the day
  • Just like you wouldn’t let a day of playing “hookie” go to waste, don’t take your after school time for granted.
  • Depending on your work and sleep schedule, you may have an entire “work day” to yourself:
    • What are your “ME” hours?
      • 8 hours from 3pm – 11pm
      • 5 hours from 5pm -10pm
    • Schedule afterschool activities for yourself to take full advantage of the time you have NOT being a teacher
    • What hobby or passion can you make time for?
      • Socializing with friends
      • Taking a class
      • Taking a yoga or kickboxing
      • Running in the park
      • Throwing a dinner party
      • Hosting a movie or season premiere “screening”
      • Painting, knitting or jewelry making
      • Writing your memoirs
      • Reading
      • Meeting a friend for a picnic in the park
      • Meditating

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  1. Make The Most of Your Commute
  • Don’t make your commute stressful! Make it a sacred time to relax!
    • Read
    • Meditate
    • Listen to an enlightening or interesting podcast
    • List to a book on tape
    • Get excited: Write down personal, finance, and travel goals.


  1. Make Meal Time Enjoyable
  • Cook a large meal or meals on Saturday or Sunday to last the week.
  • This way you can grab breakfast or lunch quickly without wasting time or money every day deciding on your day time meals.
  • Freeze and heat up delicious dinners that you made in your free time this past weekend.
  • Enjoy grocery shopping and cooking with a friend so it is an event instead of a chore.

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  1. Meditate for Peace of Mind
  • Meditation can be quick and easy if you make it a daily habit.
  • Simply save 5 minutes each day while you are lying in bed or on the subway to turn off your thoughts
  • To keep your mind from wandering (or racing), focus on your breathing or your heart beating.
    • Imagine the air filling your lungs or the blood pumping from your heart through your veins
    • You can do this laying down or walking around the city
  • The more you practice the longer you will be able to meditate.
  • This will increase overall peace of mind and reduce overall stress

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  1. Stay in the Present
  • Most stress comes from worrying about our past or future.
  • Turn off your thoughts and focus on the sensory experience of your present reality to reduce stress.
    • Express gratitude for the calm of your present reality, focusing on the sensory experiences of your surroundings.
    • Without an inner dialogue, simply be aware of the temperatures, smells, sounds, sights, and tastes in your present moment. Do not wander to the past or future.
    • Staying 100% present everyday for longer and longer periods of time will eliminate stress and anxiety and increase overall positive emotions.


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