As the day of returning to work for many teachers and school staff approach, it can be nerve wrecking and this is natural. In a world where there are so many uncertainties and unknown quantities this can be a time of doubt but as teachers and school staff use the skills that you have in abundance; prepare and organise a self-care plan that will help you to sustain, survive and enjoy the career that you have chosen.
Most teachers and school staff that I know are planners, but I am not talking about just planning lessons, I mean planning a good self-care routine. What is your self-care routine currently like?
1. Start your day with some stillness. Whether it be meditation, yoga, praying, whatever allows you stillness and appreciate this moment. (Miracle Morning is a wonderful book to help you).
2. Gratitude: What have you got in your life right now? How far have you come to be here now? Use my book to help: The Pocketbook of Positivity and Reframing by Pauline Ronan.
3. Check in with yourself. How am I feeling today? As your brush your teeth, lift your school bag or put your hands on the steering wheel to drive, 'how am I feeling today?'
4. Consider what you will be eating in school as this has a huge impact on your brain, your emotions and your energy. Get those greens ready, plan your meals and bring healthy lunches with lots of slow release energy ingredients.
5. Get your trainers or flats close by as a ten minute walk over the course of the day can change our perspective on an issue entirely (2 hours of aerobic exercise a week is the equivalent of anti-depressants for mild or moderate depression: Human Givens Institute). Can you walk, cycle or run to work a few times a week?
6. Laugh! Avoid the happy hoovers in work, avoid the negativity and if you are the negativity, then change your soundtrack.
7. Recognise the message that you are feeding your brain. If you are looking for the positives, then positives will come to you.
8. Hobbies, what will you be doing outside of school? Spend time with people who want to talk about things other than lesson plans and your bottom set year 9 class.
9. Accept that there are some things that you cannot change. There is lots that you can!
10. Enjoy this moment. You are changing lives, opening doors and creating opportunities. You are setting the tone for the day in your classroom, make it an amazing one today!!