In the second day of our series, ” What is a R.E.N.E.W.E.D. T.E.A.C.H.E.R.?, we focus on the letter E.
As a RenewED Teacher, we always want to:
EXERCISE OUR MINDS, BODIES AND SOULS
Exercise is an important part of self-care. According to GoodTherapy.org, “The term self-care describes the actions that an individual might take in order to reach optimal physical and mental health… Self-care can also refer to activities that an individual engages in to relax or attain emotional well-being.”
In the field of education, the rewards are high, but it comes at an expensive cost, and I don’t mean student loans, even though it’s true for many of us. What I do mean is the rewards in teaching often come at the expense of our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Therefore, it is wise for us to dedicate time for self-care as renewed teachers.
Self-Care of the MIND
Exercising the mind, to me, is usually reading a funny or thought-provoking book or having a stimulating conversation. In the Facebook Group, Teacher Book Club, we are currently reading, “Lost at School.” We are exercising our minds. Sometimes exercising my mind means doing absolutely nothing. Remember that song by Bruno Mars? “Today I don’t feel like doing anything. I just wanna lay in my bed. Don’t feel like picking up my phone, so leave a message at tone. ‘Cause today, I don’t feel like doing anything. Nothing at all.” Yep, sometimes we need one of these days to maintain our sanity.
Self-Care of the BODY
In my world, exercising the body means eating healthy and working out in any capacity. It works for me mentally and physically. I workout on average 3 times a week. This helps me look and feel good. I enjoy being out in the sunshine, getting massages, and sometimes soaking in a bath. I also do my best to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Beauty sleep is a real thing, y’all!
Self-Care of the SOUL
Exercising my soul requires that I do things intentionally for your mental/emotional state and the amounts of joy and pain I choose to feel throughout my daily life activities. Notice that I said, “choose to feel.” I choose daily not to let things I have no control over bother me at home, work, or anywhere in between. It is never easy, but it is always worth it. Laughing and turning life’s little annoyances or inconveniences into jokes makes life slightly more enjoyable. Both reading and being physically active add to exercising my soul. Not everyone believes in the power of prayer. I will tell you this, the next time you and your significant other get into a heated discussion, stop before it get’s out of control, and ask if you can pray. I willing to bet it works!
Let’s share! Whether you are a teacher or not, what are some self-care habits you live by? Drop your tips, thoughts, and ideas in the comments! I look forward to hearing from you all!
Remember, as we learn and grow together, we have to not only take care of each other and our students, we have to check in and take care of ourselves or we will be ineffective for everyone in all that we do, and we can start by exercising our minds, bodies, and souls.
Until then, Happy Teaching!
Krystal L. Smith
These resources have helped me become more mindful about practicing self-care habits.