I know that self-care is a word you don’t want to talk about right now. You’ve got 8000 papers to grade, 4 parent emails to answer graciously, a slew of lesson plans to create, and no planning periods with which to plan. I understand that I shouldn’t suggest bubble baths, chocolate, or long walks (nice things if you can get them, though). I hear you when you say that what you really need is a substitute, a day off, or a good cry.
I wish I could give you all three.
So believe me, dear teacher, when I tell you that I present this featured resource to you with fear and trembling, but also with gentleness – here’s something that might help. Here is something that will help you remember to breathe, will walk you through a mindful 60 seconds, and comes without guilt or a checklist. Greater Good in Action is a non-profit website based out of Berkeley UC that provides science-based practices for mindfulness in very tiny, bite-sized, doable chunks. You can opt to have them sent to you in your email (as a reminder for self-kindness in the midst of demands and due dates that greet you in the inbox). Or, you can browse their library of practices and choose your own adventure.
Here’s why these are worth digging around in.
- They’re science-based. You don’t have time for woo-woo. You’re a smart, educated teacher who knows to follow the evidence. Greater Good includes a tab in every practice called “Why To Try It.” In addition to providing you reasons for that particular practice, they include links to the scientific studies that prove these practices work.
- Instructions are clear and easy to read. They jump right in with step-by-step instructions, including body movement and mental signposts. You don’t have to worry about whether you’re “doing it right.”
- Variety is the spice of life. You can choose from videos to inspire, writing exercises, short guided exercises. Each practice is labeled with a category (Kindness, Compassion, Mindfulness, Parenting, Stress to Resilience, Purpose, and more) and a duration.
- They work for you, not the other way around. Print your practice, download it, listen to others try them on the podcast. You have options. Flexibility means you can find ways to fill your weary spirit in whatever way you need.
Feel overwhelmed by the options and don’t know where to start? I had this Fierce Self-Compassion Break sent to me during a particularly trying time of teaching last year (remember last year, when we thought it couldn’t get any worse?) and it made a difference in my day.
For more ways to look at Teacher Wellness, check out these thoughts from other teachers.
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