Blog: Milestones

The Mysterious Thing They Call Self-Care

21 May 2019

The Mysterious Thing They Call Self-Care

I'm a workaholic. I don't mean to be a workaholic, but I'm curious, like to be in charge, and will do anything that I think will help kiddos. This dubious triad of traits creates mad stress in my life, which I mostly thrive on, but on occasion, I look around and ask, "Why am I doing all of this? Who cares?" In the midst of my mini-existential crisis, someone inevitably says, "You just need to practice better self-care." Educator friends, I'm sure you aren't surprised that these moments typically happen in May. And, always June.

The mysterious thing they call "self-care" takes many forms, and it is definitely unique to the individual. One such well-meaning practitioner of self-care suggested that I go for a jog. This would require many things that are not readily available to me in May or June: acceptable attire for such a venture, a thousand dollars at the end of the jog, and energy. Nope. That one is not for me. However, we all know the benefits of exercise and the relaxation it can bring. If that's your thing.

Another mysterious self-care tip was, a la Parks and Recreation, to "treat yourself!" This, I can do. I'm in love with thrift stores, and I could get lost browsing for the perfect item. I collect owls, especially the kinds that look like they belong in a 1970s kitchen, so careful exploring is required. I adore the cute one I found in the earlier part of May (the one in the middle). There is something deeply satisfying to me to recycle or reclaim something and give it a place in my life. This is, ultimately, why I have lots of strange odds and ends in my house! I have a feeling I'll be out on the hunt again soon.

This month let's meet up on Twitter to talk about the mysterious thing they call self-care. I'm so excited to hear from all of you about what you do to escape and recharge—the more unique the better! As a bonus, in the next blog, I'll share some of the Twitter posts, especially if they have pictures. Follow me @MsAmberChandler and use #AMLE to join our cross-platform conversation. Also, subscribe to this blog to stay up to date on the topics we're discussing. The question this month is: What self-care secrets do you have? Thanks for your contributions!


Published May 2019.


Amber Chandler

Amber Chandler is an ELA teacher at Frontier Middle School in Hamburg, New York, a recipient of the 2018 AMLE Educator of the Year award, and author of the AMLE/Routledge book The Flexible SEL Classroom. In this blog, Amber examines milestones that make teaching in the middle a truly unique experience, and shares ideas from middle level educators that ensure we reach every student, no matter what it takes. < blog home