Part of the Process

Thoughts on becoming a teacher.

Taking Care of Ourselves

3 Comments

IMG_0011This week has me thinking about how we can take care of ourselves during times of stress. I feel like many people around me are thinking about the same thing. We all have so much going on in our lives and it doesn’t take much to upset the balance. I recently read a post by Starr Sackstein talking about this very issue, she lists some of the things she does to take time for herself. She also talks about why it is important for her to do this. I think the consequences of not taking time for ourselves are especially powerful, such as misplaced anger. I think taking time can lead to being more productive in the long run too.

Taking time for ourselves often feels like the last thing we are able to do, but it is so important. Right now, my go to activity for stress relief is to grab my dog and head out for a quiet walk. Sometimes we just go for twenty minutes, sometimes we go for more than an hour. I purposefully leave headphones at home and use that time to not only notice my surroundings and appreciate the beauty around me but as a time for quiet reflection.

How do you take time for yourself? What are your favorite methods of relieving stress? How can these skills make us better teachers?

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3 thoughts on “Taking Care of Ourselves

  1. I really appreciate this post as it has become clear that the stress has been getting to a lot of people in our cohort. And this is not something that will go away. Getting our own classrooms in the future will not bring any less stress. So it’s important to think about how we will handle it, and reading how teachers in the field handle it is an important place to start.
    This is something that I need to work on since I have been very much affected by the stress and I think this is a good reminder that our health and sanity are more important than the work, and like Sackstein says, the work will get done. Taking a minute for ourselves will also result in better work in the end. Thank you for this reminder that even taking 20 minutes for ourself could really turn the day around.

  2. You know you have too much to do if cleaning the floor tempts you as an attractive waste of your time. I have been sick most of this week, and although was stressful in itself, it also gave me more drowsy time, a state that can be reflective. Today I am appreciating the sun and the leaves. The vulnerability that accompanies being sick can almost be pleasant; it attunes you to everything that is temporary and beautiful. I am making it a habit to notice the beauty in my daughter’s face; she is changing so quickly. I miss seeing the faces of the students in my main placement; they are beautiful too.

    I would like to start doing some of the things that have always been soothing or invigorating to me to balance the other things I have to do: crocheting tiny animals, exercising, baking, reading, playing ukulele. Achall28, what a perfect companion for a little down time – I’m assuming that’s your dog in the photo?

    I know that it is important for teachers to find activities that make them feel good outside of teaching. I wonder if there is extra benefit in doing activities with other teachers? One of the people that take care of my kid after school is a former teacher from her school. She and several other teachers have a group where they meet regularly, bring a salad, and talk. Now half of the group is retired. I love the idea of having such a group to support the transition out of teaching, as well as when you are teaching. Plus: her spirit is intact! She will often jump right into a game of sharks and minnows. Inspiring!

  3. Lynn, thanks for sharing. I think there would be an extra benefit in doing activities with other teachers, who better understands everything that teaching entail? As long as the tone stayed positive and productive, I think these gatherings could really lift a person up and provide an opportunity for teachers to support each other.

    Yes, that’s my walking buddy in the picture.

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