Self Care: This should not be considered an oxymoron!

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?

11 thoughts on “Self Care: This should not be considered an oxymoron!

  1. Your slices reinforce why I love spring so much! I’ve been trying to be more mindful of body and spirit. Your post reminds me that it’s not a weekend, summer or winter vaca time; it’s a daily thing! An important message. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of self-care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So many educators that I work with have the mindset to ‘put off’ self-care to a vacation time, but that mindset usually causes delay on so many great activities we need now. Thanks for the reply!

      Like

  2. Yes it is so important and I know I don’t do it enough, thanks for the reminder…I have photos of our children and grandchildren all around me (will be adding some wedding ones soon!) as we live so far apart for most of the year; I love to paint and currently follow a monthly painting class online which actually gets me to put brush to paper, I look at lovely photos online of beautiful old houses and marvellous gardens in England (where I used to live, there are none here and few in Australia), I talk to our cat and dog and I recall memories of spring which I’ll never really experience again.
    Thanks for your great slice…!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree-making time for self-care is a challenge for me. I’m always trying to finish one more thing and then it’s almost midnight and there is not time because the only self-care I can manage is going to bed.
    I try to begin each morning with meditation-I have an app I love to guide me- followed by a devotion.
    I try to stand when my watch buzzes at me
    I do have some quotes on my desk along with pics of my kids that make me pause and breathe
    But I need to be better at all of it!
    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am not doing so well tonight (especially the day after spring forward!) but I really try to tell myself the best thing I can do is make a list and go to bed on time!
      It is the journey!

      Like

    • Great ideas. Time with our pets can be very helpful to re-center. For me, it is brushing out the horses or helping the boys wash show calves. Both are very therapeutic.

      Like

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