Book Review: Take Time for You: Self-Care Action Plans

Posted By: Brandon Eighmy AASPA Blog ,

Take Time for You: Self-Care Action Plans for Educators by Dr. Tina Boogren is a straightforward approach to making self-care a priority for educators, particularly educators new to the profession.  This book outlines a very clear and manageable process for educators to work through varied levels of need when it comes to personal and mental well-being.  Take Time for You outlines self-care plans that are based on the research and theories of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  Using Maslow’s Hierarchy is a fantastic start for all educators, particularly those who have most recently taken their Universities’ Child Psychology class, because it is recognizable and easy to understand.  The reader doesn’t have to first examine the basis or rationale for self-care because Maslow’s hierarchy is so commonplace.  This gives the reader the opportunity to move beyond the theory of human needs to the most important parts in this book, the practices at each level.  

After the first chapter’s explanation of the framework itself, each chapter thereafter begins with Dr. Boogren taking the reader through a brief explanation of each level of Maslow’s hierarchy.  She smartly represents each level of need as a ladder so that the reader can visualize themselves climbing upward in the direction of better, more meaningful self-care.  What makes this book so great is that it isn’t just literature with suggestions for better self-care (although there are scores of great strategies in each chapter) but rather Dr. Boogren takes the reader through a process of an audit of thoughts and behaviors, the creation of a plan, and reflection on how well the plan was executed.  She describes the book as a “guide” and an “anchor” which is absolutely correct.  It is important, however, to read this book consecutively.  It isn’t a book that you can pick up and flip to any page and begin because the rungs of the ladder and action plans build upon each other.  

The aforementioned strategies in each chapter are all grounded in research. From studies on why drinking more water is better for your body (to satisfy one’s physiological needs), to research on choosing the work you love (to obtain self-actualization), Dr. Boogren provides grounded advice to the reader at each level of need.  Each chapter also comes with resources for conducting your personal audit, action plan and reflection.  Free reproducibles are available on the website listed inside the second page of the book.

This book is written for all educators and, as Dr. Boogren suggests, “non-educator family and friends could benefit from a dedicated focus on self-care”.  It can be used individually or in collaboration with colleagues.  Dr. Boogren provides conversation starters for accountability partners and reflection questions for those who wish to practice better self-care alone.  Regardless of the school year or the reader’s years of experience, this guide will provide the reader with the opportunity to practice the skills necessary for a stronger, better, happier YOU!

At Carlisle Community School District, Take Time for You is a primary resource for our staff.  In an effort to meet the personal and professional needs of our staff, we use this book as a resource for our mentoring and induction program   Our veteran staff and our new teachers have the opportunity to conduct an audit together, talk about each level of Maslow’s Hierarchy, create and execute plans, and then reflect together!