The importance of self-care for teachers is growing. It’s come up at several workshops I’ve attended recently, where I feel like for the first decade of my career – we didn’t hear about it at all.
I thought of myself as someone who “did self-care”. I do yoga every morning because it creates a noticeable difference in my attitude for the day. Over time, I’ve realized what sorts of topics are triggers for me, and I actively avoid consuming things that I know will have a negative effect. I take time to exercise. I meditate. When I realized my anxiety was at a level I couldn’t manage on my own, I saw a trained professional.
However, when things recently got hard, I was struggling to get back on track. I was just in an endless “blah” state. Not really engaging with my closest relationships.
I was helping to facilitate a training that was about an hour drive from my home. I was thinking about canceling because I didn’t think I was in the right headspace. But, I had collaborated on the training with a committee, and I didn’t want to let down the rest of my team. I did the drive and presented the material.
At the end of the day, one of the other presenters said to me, “You really seem different now. Like a weight has been lifted.”
When I reflected for a moment, I noticed I felt completely different.
I had spent the day talking about a subject about which I am passionate with other people who are equally passionate. Nothing about it had fit what I had previously thought of as self-care, but it was amazingly effective.
I really helped me to see the importance of having activities in your life that bring you joy because they can help you get through when the joy doesn’t come as easily.
And because dance is one of those things for me (the training referenced here was related to school-based dance team competitions), here’s a link to a routine I saw recently that brings me joy. 😀 Here’s another one just for fun.