How Schools Can Help Teachers Avoid Burnout

How Schools Can Help Teachers Avoid Burnout

It’s time to take teacher burnout seriously. We can plan for it, take steps to avoid it, and address it if it happens, and administrators are key in doing that. Here’s how schools can set teachers up for success and help everyone to avoid burnout.


Reduce extra roles.

Teachers put in plenty of hours. They’re responsible for lesson planning, teaching, grading, assessments, behavior management, confliction resolution, social emotional learning, and home-school communication. They arrive early, stay late, and bring work home. Be careful of adding anything extra to that already hefty workload. Before you ask a teacher to take on an extra role, from chaperoning the school dance to running the cooking club, ask some questions.

  • Is this extra role necessary?
  • What happens if this role is not staffed this year?
  • Is there anyone else who could fulfill this role (e.g., parent volunteer, community organization, etc.)?
  • If a teacher takes on this role, can you provide extra support in another area to free up his/her time? Can extra pay be offered for the extra role?


Give teachers flexibility.

Teaching requires educators to be onsite, but not all the time. Give teachers the flexibility to shift their workload to where it is comfortable for them. Foster a culture where it is acceptable for teachers to choose how to spend their non-classroom time.

  • Allow teachers to leave school when students are not in their care (e.g., run an errand during a free period or leave early for a doctor’s appointment).
  • Permit teachers to do their grading elsewhere.
  • Schedule virtual faculty meetings so teachers can attend from home.
  • Enable staff to participate in professional development days from home.


Schedule time for collaboration.

Educators benefit from sharing ideas and best practices. Schedule regular time where teachers can collaborate with colleagues at their grade level or subject area. This will inspire great work while providing a chance for educators to support each other.

  • Ask teachers to choose the times they would like to meet.
  • Provide substitute coverage for designated collaboration periods.
  • Don’t schedule meetings during teacher prep periods. That is taking away important planning time.
  • Don’t ask teachers to come in early or stay late for meetings.


Give teachers autonomy.

From curriculum standards to standardized testing, there is a lot in the teaching profession that is regimented. Allow teachers the autonomy in their classrooms for the parts of their job that are not mandated. This helps improve job satisfaction and retention. It also raises the quality of instruction.

  • No two educators are the same. Empower teachers to vary their approaches in the classroom even if they are teaching the same grade level or subject area as colleagues.
  • Involve teachers in goal setting for themselves and their grade level/subject area.
  • Ask teachers to identify key areas where they want to grow professionally. Provide support in those areas.


Give new teachers mentors.

New teachers benefit from an experienced hand to show them the way. Not only can a well-designed mentor program help them to be effective, but it can also be a factor in retention and future success.

  • Pair teachers with mentors teaching the same grade level or subject area.
  • Provide coaching guidance to the mentor. Consider a stipend for mentor work.
  • Schedule collaborative time, with substitute coverage so mentors can observe mentees and vice versa.


Make self-care a part of school culture.

Schools that prioritize self-care create a workplace with happier, high-performing employees. Importantly, this is a schoolwide initiative. Administrators need to model the behavior that they want to see in their staff.

  • Set work boundaries. Let teachers know you won’t be sending or answering emails after 6 pm or on weekends. Ask them to do the same.
  • Encourage teachers to take breaks, such as walks around the school.
  • Provide programs and resources for self-care. Show gratitude on a regular basis.
  • Set parameters and norms around how staff interact with, listen to, and support each other.

Pro Tip: Allow teachers to text a colleague to relieve them so they may step out of the classroom for a few minutes if needed.


Survey your teachers.

Educators know what they need in order to thrive. Ask your staff where they need support, and then listen and act on their responses.

  • Conduct a formal survey to identify areas of need. Make it optional to share the respondent’s name to encourage honest feedback.
  • Plan regular check-ins with your staff. Have informal conversations at classroom doors, at lunch, in the hallways, etc.
  • Encourage an open-door policy for your teachers. Alternatively, set office hours so they can easily connect with you.


Plan for burnout.

Despite your best efforts, burnout can happen. Be prepared with clear policies so staff know that there is help should they need it.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

How to Organize a Busy Schedule

How to Organize a Busy Schedule

Before we know it, we’ll be going from relaxing summer days to busy fall schedules. With school, sports practices, extracurricular activities, meetings, and more, it can easily become overwhelming.

We’ve researched some effective ways to take control of our busy schedules. Follow these tips and, hopefully, you’ll find some much-needed time for yourself, too.


Stay on top of the little things so they don’t create last minute rushes.

Stop for gas before the tank is nearly empty. Do your laundry so you don’t have to search for that clean shirt. Go food shopping so you have items to pack for lunch. If you put off the small things, they can become big stressors and throw off your schedule.


Use the one-minute rule. If a task will take you one minute or less, do it now.

Hang up your coat. Put your dishes in the dishwasher. Put away all the groceries when you bring them home, even the ones that don’t need refrigeration. Putting off these smaller tasks will just add to your to-do list.


Make large tasks more manageable by doing them in stages.

If you have a big project at work, you probably break it down into smaller parts. Do the same with your household tasks. Clean the bathroom on Monday, the toilet on Tuesday, and so on. Break up larger projects so that it’s easier to fit them into your schedule.


Make sure everything in your house has a home.

You have five minutes before you must leave, and you can’t find your keys. When you declutter, it’s a lot easier to find the things you need at a moment’s notice. Do that not only for your house but for your car and workspace too.


Schedule tasks for the time that you are most productive.

Are you an early morning person or a night owl? Plan tasks for the times that you have the most energy or can focus the best. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.


Plan for downtime as you wait for pickups or in lines.

Use waiting time for answering emails, reading brief articles, or doing other tasks that take 10-15 minutes. Prepare a list of smaller tasks that you can complete during this time. Some downtime, however, such as sitting in traffic is not right for multitasking. Don’t text and drive, even if your car is not moving.


Create a to-do list with time estimates.

Don’t rely on your memory. Prepare a daily to-do list. Include an estimate of the time each task will take. Star or highlight the tasks that take priority. Then make an informed decision about which tasks you’ll tackle first. Keep your to-do list in sight where you can easily see it.

Pro Tip: Plan the next day’s to-do list at the end of the previous day so you’ll be ready to go.


Reflect and reprioritize.

New tasks pop up all the time. Take a moment midday to reflect on your to-do list. See where you are and what you have yet to do. Update your priorities to tackle the most important tasks.


Create a master calendar for a visual representation of your schedule.

While a to-do list helps with tasks, a calendar displays your daily, weekly, and monthly commitments at-a-glance. Block out activities on your calendar. Color code your calendar by work/personal/family/child. Allow for travel time and make sure to include breaks/downtime.


Set aside different days of the week for different tasks.

Maybe Saturday is for errands. Sunday is for meal prep. Organizing your schedule in this way helps consolidate the same types of tasks. That way, you’re not running to the food store three times a week for groceries. It will end up being a big timesaver.


Reduce time in meetings.

Consider whether a meeting needs to be in person, or if it could be virtual (no travel time). Maybe it could be a call or email. If you do have the meeting, share the agenda in advance. Include times for topics and stick to the schedule.


Avoid distractions from tasks at hand.

Texts and emails can interrupt your workday and family time. Put your phone on silent or wear headphones. Wait until your break to check your phone. Considering checking email at a designated time (e.g., every hour or every couple of hours) rather than all the time.


Don’t be afraid to delegate.

You don’t have to do everything. Don’t accept more responsibility than you can realistically handle. See if there is someone at work or in your family who can take over some of your workload. Consider paying a professional to handle some of your tasks. There are services that handle errands, housekeeping, meal prep, and more.


Use digital tools.

There are many technology tools that can help you organize from calendar apps to digital to-do lists. Some popular tools include ClickUp, Google Tasks, Notion, RescueTime, and Todoist.


Schedule time for yourself.

You do everything for everyone. Make sure you make time to relax and recharge. Block off time for lunch. Schedule time for self-care, including favorite hobbies, time with friends, and time away. You’ll emerge refreshed and ready to take on a new day.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or




How to Get Rid of Bugs Indoors

How to Get Rid of Bugs Indoors

Creepy, crawly, and flying insects are okay outdoors, but you don’t want them in your home. Yet sometimes they make their way inside.

We researched tried-and-true methods to remove bugs indoors. Follow this handy guide to get rid of what bugs you this summer.

Common bugs in your home

Crumbs of food and a reliable water source can attract ants to your house. When it’s too warm or wet outside, spiders may venture in, especially if there are other bugs in your home to eat. Flies, bees, and wasps love rotting fruit, and flies flock to garbage. Light, trash, and food also attract beetles. Weevils hitch a ride in your groceries, via eggs laid by adults in products like rice. Other common bugs include earwigs, firebrats, centipedes, silverfish, cockroaches, bedbugs, termites, and if you have pets: fleas and ticks.

Steps to take to combat bugs

While these buggy visitors may be common, they’re certainly not welcome. Here’s what you can do about it.

Step 1: Seal cracks and openings.

Bugs often crawl in through tiny cracks or holes in window screens and around windows and doors. Carefully check all these potential openings.

  • Close up holes by replacing screens, caulking openings, or applying weatherstripping.
  • Caulk is generally used for cracks near stationary items, while weatherstripping is for things that move such as doors and windows.
  • Don’t forget to check where electrical lines and pipes enter your house. Canned spray foam can help to seal these openings.

Step 2: Clean the kitchen.

Bugs feast on your crumbs. They eat flour, cereal, baking mix, crackers, dried pasta, dried fruits, nuts, popcorn, and pet food. Ants especially like sweets.

  • Wipe down cutting boards and counters after food prep.
  • Keep food in sealed containers and/or in the fridge or freezer.
  • Put a lid on your garbage can and empty it regularly.
  • Clean the crumbs from your microwave, stove, toaster ovens, and other appliances.

Step 3: Beware of hitchhiking bugs.

Some bugs come in with items that you bring into the house, such as groceries, or even your pets.

  • Meal moths, weevils and beetles love the grains and cereals in your pantry. Store those items in glass, metal, or sturdy plastic containers with airtight lids.
  • If you notice bugs in your pantry in one container, check the ones next to it. Throw away any boxes with bugs. Remove all items from the pantry and clean the shelves with soap and water.
  • Pro Tip: Freeze any items for 3-4 days or heat them in a 140F degree oven for an hour or two to kill insects and eggs.
  • For those bugs getting a free ride on your fur babies, keep pets up to date on flea and tick Check them for fleas and ticks regularly.

Step 4: Clean and declutter.

Bugs look for shelter, and they will find it among your clutter. Vacuum and keep your home neat to help keep bugs at bay.

  • Avoid piles of newspapers and stacks of boxes where spiders and cockroaches love to live.
  • Even piles of dirty laundry can be home to bugs. That’s a good reason to put clothes away.
  • Make sure to declutter and donate items that you no longer use.
  • Store firewood outside and away from the house. Check any wood for bugs before you bring it inside.

Step 5: Dry areas that are damp.

Bugs also look for water. Some prefer damp places, such as drain flies that live in your kitchen sink and bathtub drains. If you can dry the areas that are damp, that will help eliminate bugs.

  • Fix leaky faucets, drains, and pipes as a first defense.
  • In areas where it’s typically damp, like a basement, use a dehumidifier.
  • Make sure washing machines and dishwashers are working correctly and not leaking.

Step 6: Use the scents that bugs hate.

Certain scents repel bugs. Fortunately, these same scents usually smell pretty good to humans.

  • Peppermint repels ants, mosquitos, and spiders. Put some essential oil on a cotton ball and adjust the strength as needed.
  • Tea tree and citronella oils also work well in keeping away a range of pests.
  • Spiders don’t like onions. Slice some and put them in a bowl of water.
  • Many brands of fabric softener sheets contain a compound, linalool, which has a scent hated by mosquitos and other flying insects.

Step 8: Place bug traps.

You can find bug-specific traps on the market, or you can make your own.

  • Sticky flypaper will trap flies and gnats. Be sure to hang it up and away from your pets.
  • Ant bait traps use various insecticides. Keep them out of reach of pets and toddlers. For a nontoxic ant remedy, sprinkle some cornmeal. Ants like to eat it but cannot digest it.
  • For fruit flies, put apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and punch holes in it. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and get trapped beneath the plastic.


Your home is one of your greatest investments. Perform regular home maintenance and insure your home for added peace of mind.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or


How to Perform CPR

How to Perform CPR

It can happen in an instant. A child falls into the pool. A friend collapses in the heat. Someone chokes on a piece of food. If you know CPR, you can help.

CPR is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a lifesaving technique used in situations when someone’s heart stops or they stop breathing. CPR helps supply blood and oxygen to vital organs. It increases your chances of survival. It can be used for both humans and pets.

Follow this guide to know what to do if you have to administer CPR in an emergency.


Before beginning CPR

  • Check for responsiveness. Shout, “are you okay?” Or tap the individual gently and see if he/she moves or makes a sound. If there is no movement, no pulse, no breathing, or the person is unconsciousness, it’s time to start CPR.
  • If you’re alone, and performing CPR on a child, start immediately. You’ll call 9-1-1 after 2 minutes of CPR and rescue breaths.
  • If you’re alone, and performing CPR on an adult or teen, call 9-1-1 before you start CPR. Put your phone on speaker.
  • If you’re with others, point to one person. Tell him or her to call 9-1-1 and then begin CPR. If you don’t specify the person, there’s a chance that no one will make the call. If there might be an automated external defibrillator (AED) nearby, send someone to get it as well.
  • For pets, an emergency vet is the equivalent of 9-1-1. See the last section for steps to take in performing CPR.


CPR for Adults

CPR for adults also applies teens. The general rule is that if the person has entered puberty, this technique may be used.

Step #1: Put the person on their back on a flat firm surface. Kneel beside them.

Step #2: Do 30 chest compressions to get the blood flowing.

  • Place your two hands centered on the person’s chest.
  • Make sure your shoulders are directly above your hands. Lock your elbows.
  • Push down at least 2 inches hard and fast, about 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • Let the chest return to normal between compressions.

Step #3: Look, listen and feel for breathing.

  • Look to see if their chest is rising and falling.
  • Listen for breathing sounds.
  • Feel their breath against your cheek.

Step #4: Give 2 rescue breaths to deliver oxygen to the organs.

  • Tilt the head and lift the chin to open the airway.
  • Make sure there is nothing in the mouth obstructing the airway. If there is, sweep it out with your fingers.
  • Pinch the nose shut, while you take a normal breath.
  • Put your mouth over the person’s mouth and make a complete seal.
  • Blow the breath into their mouth for one second. Watch the chest rise. If the chest does not rise, try repeating the head tilt and breath. If the chest still doesn’t rise, there may be something blocking the airway.
  • Repeat the process of blowing for a second breath.

Step #5: There may be an AED if you are in a public place. This machine delivers an electric shock to the heart. It can help restore a heart’s rhythm. After five cycles of CPR, turn on the AED and follow the voice prompts.


CPR for Children (1-12 years)

A child’s airway is more delicate than an adult’s airway. If you approach CPR on a child as you would an adult, you could do harm. You will need to be more careful with the head tilt and the compression strength and depth.

Step #1: Place the child on his/her back on a flat surface. Kneel next to the child.

Step #2: Do 30 chest compressions.

  • Put heel of one hand on the breastbone, just under the nipples. Make sure your hand is not on the end of the breastbone.
  • Push down about one-third of the child’s chest, about 1.5 to 2 inches. Aim for 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • Let the chest return to normal between compressions.

Step #3: Look, listen and feel for breathing.

  • Look to see if their chest is rising and falling.
  • Listen for breathing sounds.
  • Feel their breath against your cheek.

Step #4: Give 2 rescue breaths for every 30 compressions.

  • Lift the chin to tilt the head back. Be careful not to tilt the head too far.
  • Make sure there is nothing in the mouth that is blocking the airway.
  • Pinch the nose shut, while you take a normal breath.
  • Put your mouth over the child’s mouth and make a complete seal.
  • Blow the breath into their mouth for one second. Watch the chest rise. If the chest does not rise, try repeating the head tilt and breath. If the chest still doesn’t rise, there may be something blocking the airway.
  • Repeat the process of blowing for a second breath.

Step #5: If an AED with pediatric pads is available, use it after five cycles of CPR. Pediatric pads adjust the energy level used. You can use adult pads for children ages 8 and older.


CPR for Babies (under a year)

Babies have flexible bones and are still developing. You must take care with the force of your compressions and breaths.

Step #1: Place the child on his/her back on a flat surface such as a table or floor.

Step #2: Do 30 chest compressions.

  • Use only 2 fingers to provide compressions in the center of the baby’s chest.
  • Place your fingers in the center of the chest just below an imaginary line between the nipples. Compression depth should be about an inch and a half.
  • Do 30 gentle chest compressions. Aim for 100 compressions per minute.

Step #3: Look, listen and feel for breathing.

  • Look to see if their chest is rising and falling.
  • Listen for breathing sounds.
  • Feel their breath against your cheek.

Step #4: Give 2 rescue breaths for every 30 compressions.

  • Gently tilt back the baby’s head and lift its chin to open the airway.
  • With your breaths, do not use the full force of your lungs. Use your cheeks to puff air into the mouth and nose.
  • Give one gentle puff of air for the duration of a second. Wait one second and give a second puff.
  • Watch to see if the baby’s chest rises. If it doesn’t rise, repeat the head tilt, and give another breath.

Step #5: If available, use the AED only with pediatric pads, after five cycles of CPR.


CPR for Pets

You also may perform CPR on a pet. Make sure to only do it for unconscious animals, as even a beloved family pet can bite from pain or fear. The following guidelines are geared toward our fur babies.

Step #1: Place the pet on a flat surface such as a table or floor. Kneel or stand behind the pet.

  • For large dogs, put the dog on its back and compress its chest as you would a human.
  • For small dogs and cats, lie them on their side and compress the side of the rib cage or position the animal on its back and press on both sides of the rib cage.

Step #2: Do 30 chest compressions.

  • Compress at least a third the depth of the chest, but not more than a half the depth.
  • For small dogs and cats, do compressions with one hand to avoid pushing too hard.
  • For dogs over 60 lbs.: do 60 compressions per minute.
  • For animals 11 to 60 lbs.: do 80-100 compressions per minute.
  • For animals 10 lbs. or less: do 120 compressions per minute.

Step #3: Give 2 rescue breaths.

  • Make sure the pet’s windpipe is as straight as possible. The head should be flat on the table or floor with tip of nose aligned with the spine.
  • Open the animal’s mouth, and make sure the air passage is clear. Remove any objects.
  • Open your mouth. Put it over both nostrils of your pet. For large dogs, close the pet’s jaw tightly and breathe into the nose. For small dogs and cats, cover the animal’s nose and mouth with your mouth as you breathe.
  • Blow hard and quickly and make sure you see the chest rise.

Step #4: Alternate breaths with compressions. There should be 30 compressions to 2 breaths.

Step #5: Since 9-1-1 is not an option for pets, get someone to help you get your pet to an emergency vet. Continue CPR on the drive over.


CPR training is available for adults, children, babies, and pets. Contact your local Red Cross for information on human CPR and ask your veterinarian about animal CPR. Keeping your pet fully insured also will help should an emergency arise.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

How to Manage Stress & Anxiety

How to Manage Stress & Anxiety

You love your job, but it can be stressful. Whether you’re working in a disaster zone or in the classroom, whether you’re taking life-and-death calls or confronting students acting out, it can take its toll. You want to reduce your stress and anxiety before it leads to burnout.


What are stress and anxiety?

Stress is the body’s reaction to potential threats. It causes a chemical reaction known as “fight or flight.” Our bodies are designed to handle small amounts of stress, but too much stress can have harmful effects on our health.

Anxiety is a feeling of dread and uneasiness. While everyone feels anxious sometimes, a feeling of constant anxiety can interfere with daily life.


Look for the warning signs.

Your body will give you warning signs that you are stressed or anxious. Common symptoms include:

    • Physical reactions such as headaches, stomach issues
    • Rapid breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, trembling
    • Difficulty thinking clearly, feeling irritable, angry, and inpatient
    • Feeling weak or tired
    • Trouble falling asleep
    • Disinterest in the things you used to like to do


Take control to reduce stress and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety can often cause you to feel out of control. You can take back control through a series of steps that prioritize your physical and mental health.



Step #1: Manage your workload.

Keeping your workload manageable goes a long way toward reducing stress. 

    • Take breaks. Being able to step away from work, even for a few minutes, can help to reduce the tension.
    • Create boundaries. Don’t be afraid to say no to requests. Explain that you’re at capacity, and something else will have to give if you take on the new responsibility.
    • Don’t procrastinate. Putting off a project will only increase your anxiety as it looms in the background. Get it done first so that you don’t have to worry about it.
    • Accept peer support. Ask for help from your colleagues and accept it if it is offered.
    • Identify the stress triggers that come with your job. Knowing them is the first step toward confronting them. Work with your boss or a mentor to determine how those stressors can be reduced.
    • Remember why you chose this career and the impact you could have.
    • Take a mental health day. Take a day off so that you can get a break from the pressure.


Step #2: Take care of your body.

When you take care of your body, it gives you the stamina you need to deal with stressful and anxiety-provoking situations.

    • Eat healthy. Choose a well-balanced diet that powers your body.
    • Make time for sleep. With early wakeups, night shifts, and lots to do, it’s sometimes hard to sleep enough. Prioritize a regular sleep schedule to keep yourself refreshed.
    • Limit alcohol and caffeine. They can contribute to anxiety and panic attacks.
    • Exercise regularly. It will help reduce the intense emotions you’re feeling. It also keeps your body feeling its best.


Step #3: Practice self-care.

Self-care includes time just for you, and is a great boost to your mental health and wellbeing.

    • Schedule some “me time” on your calendar. That way, you’ll make sure that it happens.
    • Read a book while wrapped in a weighted blanket. It will feel like a comforting hug.
    • Minimize phone use and screen time. Take an hour to unplug, especially before bedtime. This will help you to sleep.
    • Get a massage or spa treatment. Take a hot bath. Do the thing that helps you to relax.
    • Practice gratitude. Meditate or journal. Reflect on all the good things in your life.


Step #4: Plan your free time.

Know the value of not working. Plan some ways to enjoy your free time so that you’re not tempted to work.

    • Embrace nature. Get outside and soak up the sun and the fresh air whenever you can.
    • Connect with others. Volunteer for a good cause. 
    • Get a hobby. Learn a new skill or pursue a passion. Do it with a friend or spouse for double the fun.
    • Spend time with friends and family. Host gatherings or plan local adventures. Take a vacation. Laugh, dance, and enjoy life. 


Step #5: Seek support.

Sometimes, we need additional support. Don’t be afraid to seek it if it could help.

    • Track your moods. Review your patterns and determine how much of your days are filled with stress and/or anxiety. Is it interfering with your daily life?
    • Seek professional help if needed. A therapist or physician may be able to provide additional strategies to help with stress and anxiety.  
    • Support groups also may be available in your area. They are a safe place to explore feelings, and process work-related stress and anxiety.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

How to Boost Your Immune System This Winter

How to Boost Your Immune System This Winter

It’s cold and flu season, and as a nurse, teacher, or parent, you’re likely surrounded by sniffling and coughing on the daily. So, at this point how can you keep yourself from getting sick?

Look no further; we’ve got you covered with the best tips to help keep you safe and sniffle-free this winter. Follow this guide to protect yourself and help boost your immune system.


Get quality sleep.

Our bodies do important work while we sleep. They repair cells and make proteins that fight infection. Getting enough sleep, and specifically, quality sleep is important to this process. We know it may be hard to get enough sleep when working 12-hour shifts as a nurse or as a parent of young children. Take the time to set yourself up for success with these tips.

    • Set your thermostat to about 65 degrees for optimum sleeping temperature.
    • Create a bedtime routine that does not include devices or television. Sometimes a warm shower or bath can help just prior to bed.
    • Use a white noise machine or wear earplugs to soften distracting noise.
    • Use blackout shades or curtains and/or wear an eye mask.
    • Be consistent with bedtime routines for your children. If your children fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes of going to bed, they are getting the right amount of sleep.

Pro tip: If you’re having trouble eliminating screens before bed, try wearing blue light-blocker glasses. They will help reduce the light that disturbs your circadian rhythm.


Eat immunity-boosting foods.

It’s easy to reach for prepared foods, microwave meals or vending machine finds. Resist the urge. Instead, fill your diet with the foods that help power your immune system.

    • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables with nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene.
    • Citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C but so are red bell peppers.
    • Blueberries are delicious as well as nutritious and can help boost your immunity.
    • Broccoli and spinach are both superfoods with vitamins and antioxidants.
    • Garlic and turmeric have immune-boosting properties. Ginger helps decrease inflammation.


Make sure to hydrate.

Water helps our bodies to function. Staying well hydrated helps our bodies circulate blood more easily, which allows our white blood cells to better fight off viruses. It also keeps the mucous membranes in our noses moist so they can catch viral invaders.

    • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. By that point, you’re already slightly dehydrated.
    • Choose a water bottle you love and bring it with you to work, errands, etc. Get into the habit of sipping throughout the day.
    • If you’re bored with the taste of water, infuse it with lemon or cucumber to help encourage you to drink.
    • Avoid other beverages so that you’ll drink more water. The caffeine in coffee and soda can dehydrate you, which has exactly the opposite effect of what your body needs.
    • Green tea has only a small amount of caffeine, and tea has antioxidants. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for an alternative to coffee.


Reduce your stress.

When we’re stressed, our ability to fight off infection decreases. That’s why managing stress is so important.

    • Take steps to avoid burnout. Slow down and give yourself breaks to protect your mental health.
    • Try meditating, deep breathing, and other relaxation strategies.
    • Incorporate exercise into your routine. Park farther away and walk to your destination. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Plan a workout session that’s easy to fit into your schedule.
    • Laugh more. Make time for the activities that you enjoy with the people who are important to you.


Follow healthy habits.

You can reduce your exposure to potential infections by taking the precautions that can make a difference.

    • Continue proper handwashing habits. Wet your hands and then scrub them for at least 20 seconds with soap. That’s equivalent to humming Happy Birthday twice. Rinse with clean, running water. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
    • Reduce allergens in your home to improve indoor air quality.
    • Keep your classroom at a comfortable temperature for learning.
    • Don’t use handkerchiefs. Use disposable tissues and discard them when done.
    • Don’t smoke. Drink alcohol in moderation. Both tobacco and alcohol can affect your body’s ability to fight infections.
    • Keep up to date on your vaccinations

Do you have a way to stay healthy that’s not included in this blog? Share it with us in the comments.


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