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School professionals have challenging jobs. Our work includes taking care of the needs of students, colleagues and community members as well as taking care of ourselves and our families.
Our professional and personal responsibilities, combined with too much stress and not enough time, can lead to burnout and poor health. It’s easy for dysfunctional coping mechanisms to become routine and for our sleep patterns to be disrupted.
That’s why self-care is so important. But self-care is not limited to eating a balanced diet, getting exercise and enough sleep and perhaps practicing meditation. It includes a multi-pronged focus on skills and knowledge that will keep you healthy and happy.
These areas should be part of your 360-degree wellness plan:
- Financial wellness: Using the resources you have wisely includes knowing about the tools and assets you have as a UFT-represented public school educator.
You should sign up and contribute to the Tax-Deferred Annuity program.
Be knowledgeable about your pension. If you are a pedagogue, you are automatically enrolled in the Teachers’ Retirement System, while paraprofessionals must opt in. Book a pension consultation or attend a UFT pension clinic to learn more.
- Interpersonal wellness. Meaningful relationships can increase your happiness, morale and self-esteem. Learn how to deal with conflict efficiently and be open to befriending all types of people in your school community. Stay positive and focus on cultivating deeper relationships and new social connections.
- Physical care. Physical health is a big part of self-care. It is important to get your yearly physical, flu vaccine and checkups. Physical care includes recreational activities, too. Download the free UFT app, UFT-Mobile, from the Apple Store or Google Play and take advantage of member-only discounts, including discounted gym membership!
The union’s state affiliate, NYSUT, offers an affordable and practical financial counseling program. Having a professional review your financial situation can ease your stress and help you make better choices. Contact NYSUT Member Benefits at 800-626-8100.
The UFT Member Assistance Program offers short-term counseling and outside referrals to help you deal with a wide range of issues. You can contact MAP by calling 1-212-701-9620 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments and referrals are available Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 50 Broadway in Manhattan.
What is your favorite movie about a teacher?
Dead Poets Society
Stand and Deliver
Mr. Holland's Opus
Total votes: 284