Happy Fri-yay Teacher Peeps,
I am fighting a migraine today, but feeling like I have taken way too much time off work, I created a lab led day today, instead of taking off. Believe it or not, this is one way that I practice self care. Today is our first day back from thanksgiving break, and my body is fighting me, haha whose with me? My lab led days usually start with a little notes, a WebQuest, and then a google form quiz on their fictional book reads. Then I have an early finishers folder with gimkits. This is a lifesaver plan for migraine days or days when you are really fighting your introverted self. I love my job, and my kids are amazing, but quiet days are too!
Why do we need to practice self care?
As teachers we often focus on everyone else’s needs, and then at the very end of that, if we’re lucky or have anything left in our tanks, we take care of ourselves. I will tell you that I did this the first four years of teaching, and it left me on E, when COVID teaching happened. Which is not where you want to be, in the most challenging part of your teaching career. I know that we want to be the best for our students, but if we have nothing left in our tanks, how are we going to accomplish that?
Now on to the Self Care Checklist!
Here are my top three:
1. Drink Water
I love water, but I also know that not everyone does, so let me motivate you, with the why? Did you know that that afternoon slump, or times when you’re “hungry” that it is actually your body just asking for water? I have arthritis in my hands and neck, and I notice a massive difference in my pain levels, when I am not drinking enough water. But why? Because water acts as a cushion to your joints. (Research from the CDC) As a teacher, I need to know why I am doing something, it works as my motivation. I know that when I am consuming water within my day, that I am giving my body energy and the sustenance that it needs to keep going. My personal water consumption goal is 1/2 my body weight in ounces a day. But how do we do that, when we have little ones we are in charge of? As a secondary teacher, I can leave after every class and pee. This is enough for me, you just have to find what is enough for you! 🙂
These are my current faves on Amazon! I generally track my ounce consumption by 32 oz water bottles, Then I know that I need to drink three of them a day, to meet my ounces goal! (& Yes I have an ounces daily goal, because that is what the cool kids do! Haha
I have three down below, because this girl is water bottle picky! So it takes a lot for me to support a water bottle!
This one was my tried and true for several years, before recently leaving it at my Barre studio and they threw it away! (I didn’t know where I left it for a couple of months, so that is fair!) I need to order a new one. I love the grip, it has a silicone grip, and I love that feel. It is a thin width, which as a person with frequent hand pain due to arthritis, this stood out to me. I also love the smaller hole, so that less spills, and you can hook it to a day pack, if your camelbak is busted and it is the perfect add on to a good hike.
This one was a new color scheme for me, normally I am a pink, green or black lover for water bottles. (because pink and green are my favorite colors and black just matches everything.) but this one was a sweet gift from my hubby for our anniversary last year. It is like a hydroflask, but half the price, which I love. I wish it were skinnier, but it is perfect for my stickers! (Who else loves to show pieces of their personality through the stickers on their water bottles?) Another thing I love about this water bottle is it feels like it is made to be durable, and it has lasted this long with clutzy me.
My Skinny Nalgene!!! Can you guess what color I chose? PINK! Of course!! I love pink! I have a pink keyboard, mouse, nails, ….. you get the picture! Haha Nalgene’s have that homey feel to them for me. A Nalgene is what I had for both my track/cross country, and powerlifting days, but I also used my Nalgene in Afghanistan, and throughout my first career in the Army. Sometimes it did better then my camelback, or I was in between ordering another one, because it broke from all the sand and travel. I love how skinny it is, and how I can clearly see how many ounces I have drank. This one is definitely the more affordable one, and very durable, but it is plastic, and I wish the pink was brighter. But I love popping open my Nalgene after a swim.
Regardless, all three of these are keeping me in check these days. I use my Nalgene alot at the gym, my Iron Flask is for work, and my grtsa is for all of the in-betweens, which often means my car. What are your favorites? I am addicted and love to try new ones. (Bonus if they have pink!)
Self care tip #2: Drink less caffeine
Coffee is my happy place! When I need comfort, or I have a headache, or for pretty much any reason that I come up with, I drink coffee. I have a Keurig in my classroom, and a cabinet full of K-cups. I am pretty serious about my coffee! But remember coffee does not hydrate you, so for every amount of caffeine you consume, you need to drink double that in water to replenish what you lose drinking it. For me, that means I really don’t need to be drinking coffee after lunch. Then I can make sure that I am as hydrated as I can be. (I am in no way a doctor, but this self care practice, really keeps me in check!) and I need it! Before a break, after a break, at the beginning or end of the year, you pick and I will find a reason to drink more coffee.
I do have a coffee recommendation that the hubs and I both have tried, and have fallen for. So much so that we are on our like fourth order in the last month! But hear me out, because it is different. It is called four sigmatic, the think blend is what we are most drawn to. Here is what makes it different, it is made with mushrooms! They have Arabica coffee in there too, but with just a little bit of mushrooms, we have noticed a huge shift in our energy, and less of a desire to drink more in the afternoon. It is a big image this time, just to make sure you’re awake! lol (You’re welcome!) and please tell me what you think, because we are beside ourselves on how impactful this coffee has been for us.
Self care tip #3 Get outside or workout (Or both)
There is nothing like feeling the rays of sunshine, or the fresh breeze or watching the sun rise that wakes up the body better. and if you’re like me and your morning workout turned into a, “Can I sleep 5 more minutes” internal dialogue as you’ve aged, and now as a result you are a night or weekend workout person, then I am with you. My workouts are so much about mental health and having some quiet time. Whether that is listening to my favorite podcast, praying or just lifting in the silence after a particularly chatty day. It is what I want to do, and no one else dictates that.
Plus a huge bonus to being outside is that you get to see some gorgeous places! Oh my goodness the places I have been, just because I chose to go outside! If ever you’re in or around Colorado Springs, Colorado, you’ve got to check out: Red rocks open space, the painted mines, homestead ranch, and Barr trail. All are outstanding places to see all of the gorgeous backbone of Colorado. But I have also traipsed through the Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone, climbed the steps of a palace near Pakistan, and climbed a few mountains in Afghanistan. I promise you that being outside is so good for everything my friend. Perspective is often found on these journeys!
Picture 1- Grand Tetons Picture 2 – Yellowstone
Other forms of self care that I adore: Snuggle time with my dogs, journaling, deep tissue massage and yoga! If you’re ever around the Colorado Springs area, hit me up. I have so many recommendations! I hope that this post reminds you to be kind to yourself, to your body and practice self care this weekend!
Also, if you notice your kids need to do a little check in on themselves, never be afraid to say so. A simple way to add it to your classroom is to start a gratitude jar! These are so fun, here are some pinterest ideas for these! They are so cool!
Well those are my top three and extras if none of those apply to you! I want you to ask yourself this, when are you going to start putting you first? There is no time like the present!
Have a great weekend my lovelies,