Encourage relaxation, self-care for educators

The school environment can be stressful at times, and educators have been stretched thin the last year and a half. Educators need time and space to relax both during their time off, but also during school day breaks.

NSEA offers the R-Cubed kit, available for check-out from NSEA staff, for local associations to use in their school buildings.

The goal is to create a physical setting that provides support for teachers and staff who might be experiencing secondary trauma or stress. The kit may be checked out for up to two weeks.

The kit includes:

  • relaxing music pre-loaded on MP3 players, with earbuds for staff to keep;
  • two lamps;
  • two electric massage chair pads;
  • two small throw blankets;
  • healthy snacks;
  • a notebook of resources that includes templates and examples of posters, flyers and other notes to inform staff, online mindfulness resources, and handouts on yoga stretches and mindful activities; and
  • an inflatable exercise ball with manual pump.

The school or local association should provide a room in the school building, cleared of clutter and arranged in a manner that creates a calming and welcoming environment. Windows should be covered as much as possible to provide privacy. A table should be available for snacks and water. Bulletin boards should be covered with paper or cloth. Lamps can be used to create subtle lighting with low-wattage or colored bulbs. Comfortable chairs should be provided in the room.

Locals could also arrange for a massage therapist or manicurist to be on site (consider partnering with an area spa, physical therapy clinic or massage/cosmetology college). Aroma therapy, such as infusers, could be offered, depending on district policy.

Staff members should be allowed to use the R-Cubed room during their plan time, lunch break or other free periods during the school day.

NSEA staff, along with local leaders or building representatives, will set up the room, keep it cleaned, refill snacks and tear down the room when finished. Ideally, the school district will have a role as well, such as providing water or other drinks.

For more information or to check out the kit for your school, contact your NSEA organizational specialist or call 1-800-742-0047.