Educators, mindfulness matters far more than you think. Want to avoid nagging anxiety? Want to relieve those knots in your neck? Want to make sure you're not projecting anxiety to your students?
No matter who you lead or teach, your actions matter. A lot. And actions start with thoughts.
Like you, I get tense and anxious about all the unknown factors thrown at us lately in education and the world. Sometimes, I don't even know I'm anxious until I stop and tune into my body and thoughts.
After I've consumed half a gallon of ice cream, it's not difficult to recognize something must be up. At those moments, I reflect. I take a mindful minute to check in with my feelings. To be present without judgement. To be still. Breathe.
In the stillness, I sift through all my feelings and neck tightness. By checking in, I adjust my thoughts to what I can control which leads to actions within my realm. I adjust my thoughts to positive actions I can take.
I am really blessed to work in a school that doesn't just announce: "Self-care is important." but actually embraces it and provides professional development opportunities around it. This past week, I learned of Yoga by Andriene. I love it! I do the 20 minute stretching video every morning now. It is a fabulous way to get grounded for the day. She has all levels. I find beginning the day with stretching not only stretches my body, gets my blood flowing, but gives me a few minutes to check in with myself. (I must admit, I used to think yoga was for those who couldn't do a "real workout" or it was something weird. Quite the contrary. I'm now a fan.) I highly recommend trying this video.
Another mindful practice that helps me is daily devotions and journaling.
One of my colleagues uses the Headspace App. I asked her what she loves about it and she replied, "It is only 10 minutes." She uses the App for guided meditation, another way to be mindful. She uses it in the mornings and sometimes twice a day bookending her days.
It doesn't matter as much what you do as long as you take a moment to be mindful.
So why does mindfulness matter?
Tuning into your thoughts and feelings changes your actions which ultimately changes your life and all those you touch.
We can't control what causes our heart rate to climb because of all the negative news and unknowns, but we can control how we respond. Our mindful pause unkinks our neck and grounds us. When we're calm, those around us will be more calm too. When we share how we deal with our emotions through mindfulness, we role model healthy habits to all those we lead and teach.
Let the rest of the world be frenzied. I'm going to go stretch and do a mindful check in with myself, how about you?
I believe in you.
You make a difference!
Are you tired of taking work home and not having time for a mindful minute?
Take Back Your Time with three action steps. Access your free downloadable here.
Get inspiration and posts just like this delivered to your inbox. (Never spam. Always written for you.) (Scroll down to "Inspire Me".) Can't wait to have you in our community.