This is a little ditty on a subject that I have found myself speaking on in professional settings. Just like my blog name, I try to Be Real with people and admit that I am on this journey each day and that self-care is something we must always strive toward – there is no end to the journey. The SOL is a form of self-care for me. Hope you enjoy!
Why is it so difficult for people (mirror looking back at me!) to practice self care?
Some say it is women who are so used to taking care of other people it is difficult for them to shift into a mode of self-reflection in this same area.
But I know many men who are also not willing to practice this in a healthy way for fear of looking weak or lazy.
Too often I have also had individuals laugh off comments like, “Does a six-pack/bottle of wine and fill-in-the-blank tv/movie count as self-care?”
In my experience, teachers and others in education have a very difficult time ‘allowing’ time for themselves. However, there are few activities teachers can do to improve their classrooms that are more beneficial than self-care. But first, we must change our mindset in that self-care is something we do on the weekends or vacation. That may be true, but self-care should be daily moments in our day. This can be accomplished in three areas of self-care: relax, refresh, and revitalize.
Relax are those activities that help us get out mind off of what we do on a daily basis. This can include time away from work or an activity that helps us relax. For many, relaxing activities may actually be physical activities that others consider ‘work’. One of these for me is gardening. It is physically demanding, but relaxing and fulfilling when the job is completed.
Refresh is something we do to help us get a new perspective. This can be on a daily basis or something like a conference that motivates or inspires us in a new way. The key to refresh is that our mind is stimulated. I am a self proclaimed PD junkie. One of the reasons I enjoy most workshops/conferences is because I leave with new ideas to implement or try. That new information provides energy to go back to work.
Revitalize involves our physical body. This is self-care that helps us to re-balance our physical system. This would include activities like how we fuel or flood our body in food choice, how we exercise, do we drink enough water, and do we get adequate sleep each night.
What the teaching profession particularly needs to be careful of is that self-care is not only for summer vacation. We often need to relax, refresh, and revitalize multiple times each day.
How do you take care of yourself throughout the day?
Think about activities that motivate you or lift your spirits that you can incorporate into your day. Here are some of mine to get you started:
-funny photo of my boys at my desk that makes me smile
-electric kettle so I can enjoy a cup of Jasmine tea (always have a teabag in your purse/teacher bag) anytime of the day
-favorite playlist on my Apple music – I hope yours is as eclectic as mine.
-taking 10 minutes or 20 – whatever you have to walk the hall or better yet to get outside for just a few minutes and move.
-taking deep breaths – I like 4-7-8 counting (four in, hold seven, eight out)
Keep the ideas coming in the comments. What do you do for self-care?