The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: When was the last time you took time for YOU?

Monday, November 16, 2020

When was the last time you took time for YOU?

You've been creating virtual lessons, implementing virtual rewards and discipline procedures, and possibly keeping up with in-class separation shenanigans, as well.  It's overwhelming and not what you signed up for, right?  But we teachers are both strong and resilient.  We can cope with any educational emergency, all while taking care of our homes, spouses, and children.  That would drain the energy from any person.  

Once in a while, it's okay to take time just for yourself.  I don't mean leaving it all behind and traveling around for a while to clear your head, although that's not a bad idea.  I mean actually doing something meaningful just for yourself. Because you know what, folks? If you don't do something for yourself, you may find that nobody else is going to do anything for you.

Here are some ideas to help you relax and enjoy a small part of your day or week so you tell yourself that you are special (channeling Mr. Rogers here!)

Take a walk around the YARD.  This can be your own yard, a nearby field, or a city greenspace.  While there, immerse yourself in sensory stimulation.  Listen to the birds, smell the flowers, look for unusual shapes or colors, touch something soft, hard, and even scratchy. And if there is a food truck in the area, indulge yourself in one of their treats.  If not, bring along a peppermint or caramel candy to suck on.  Every time you pop another one in your mouth, you’ll remember the peaceful stroll around the "YARD."

OBTAIN a journal. Make it your own style – colorful, leather, or simply marble-covered!  This is more than a this-is-what-I-did-today journal.  This is a gratitude journal.  Take some time to list the things that make you happy, that are good in your life, that help you to feel fulfilled.  List the people in your life and how they help you to become a better person.  Recall all the pets you have had and how much fun you had with them.  When you do this, you validate your own existence by validating the existence of a beloved item, a person, or a pet. 

UNPACK your mental suitcase. You say you don’t have a mental suitcase?  Everybody does!  It’s where you store your negative thoughts – those nagging grudges, unhappy memories, and general worries about what will happen tomorrow. It's also where you store your happy memories of better times.  Get rid of the negative items in your suitcase and keep the positive. To help you with this task, draw a picture of a suitcase in the middle of the paper.  On one side, list all your negative thoughts.  On the right side, list all your positive thoughts, perhaps those you listed in your journal.  Now rip (yes rip – don’t cut – it makes this exercise so effective!) the negative contents off your paper.  Rip them into smaller pieces and throw them away.  Now you’re left with a wonderful image of wonderful things in your wonderful mental suitcase.

I’m sure your have your own ways to make time for YOU – find them, use them, and enjoy them until you are re-energized to tackle the demands of your job, your home, and your family.

For ideas on how to handle your mental kingdom, read my workbook for life, Be the Master of Your Mental Kingdom. This online resource is great for you, for your colleagues, even for your middle and high school students who may be having a difficult time adjusting to remote learning.  Comment on this blog and let me know how YOU are doing in your everyday life as you take care of your own needs as well as others’ needs.

1 comment:

  1. So important, especially when teachers often think of their own needs last.


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