Inspiring Educators Who Inspire Future Leaders
When did self-care become a priority for me as an educator?
About five years ago, I participated in my first mindfulness retreat. During the retreat, we discussed several ways to use mindful practices to help adults regulate emotion, reduce stress, and improve focus. Instead of asking us to focus on how we care for students, our instructor wanted to hear about our habits and how we take care of ourselves. More importantly, she wanted to know if our daily habits depleted or energized us. Suddenly, I was a part of conversations about me and how maintaining my physical and emotional health would help me better support my faculty and students. It was a wake-up call for me because I prided myself on taking care of my staff; however, I didn’t always take my advice. I didn’t until I realized my daily habits were quick fixes designed to get me through the day without providing me with the things that I needed to be my very best self.
Now, I work each day to incorporate mindful activities that help me take care of myself. With the new school year just around the corner, it is even more important for me to practice daily habits to help me be my best self. I no longer feel selfish when I head home for an early dinner or carve time for exercise into my weekly schedule. Now, I purposely build breaks into my daily schedule to create a more healthy work-life balance.
More than ever before, teachers and administrators are burdened with more than teaching and learning. Because we are being asked to provide more care to our students, it is imperative that we also care for ourselves. I hope to share updates over the next several months.