Two Ways to Stop Teacher Burnout on a Budget: Travel and Exercise

This is guest post by Lillie Marshall, a Boston teacher (since 2003) and global education blogger (since 2009) at and  I’ve long admired Lille’s work to help teachers gain an international perspective with practical advice for travelers.  Enjoy her post and check out her web site!

In every teacher’s year, there comes a point where burnout looms and exhaustion sets in. How can we revitalize and renew ourselves when that fatigue appears? Here are two scientifically supported suggestions that can help -- and that won’t break the bank.

1. Travel. Wait -- isn’t travel expensive? No, it doesn’t have to be! Believe it or not, for educators, travel can actually be FREE! There exist HUNDREDS of fully funded teacher travel programs that can send you on educational tours all over the world during summer vacation, winter break, or other times throughout the year.

For example, the Fund for Teachers grant provides up to $10,000 for teachers to design their own summer travel learning experience… from studying bicycle use in Denmark, to training as a dancer in Seattle, to retracing part of the Silk Road in Asia.

I’ve been compiling tips on these teacher travel grants for the past decade (click for the continuously updated list), and love watching how attending an educational tour in another place can completely refresh a teacher’s perspective, and even change his or her life!

2. Exercise. The science is clear: Exercise is central to wellbeing in life. However, how is it possible to exercise with a teacher’s grueling schedule? How can we work out with an educator’s salary limiting gym options?

After seeing the transformative effect fitness has had on my life and the lives of people around me, I compiled these 12 Concrete Steps to Exercise More which can help jump-start your workout motivation, and have been thrilled to get messages that they’ve helped shift minds.

Having a fitness routine boosts moods, energy, strength, and overall health, so if you’re feeling tired, that is MORE of a reason to fit workout plans into your week… and it CAN be done!

Many other methods exist for revitalizing ourselves during peak teacher burnout season (sleep and hydration, I’m looking at you) but travel and exercise stand out as being far more important and obtainable than most people realize. Best of luck in your self-care journey!

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