What’s Your Self-Care Story?
With the year (and decade) rapidly coming to a close, you may start to have an urge to do a little reflection. As teachers, we’re always encouraged to reflect, but then what do you do with the information? With a severe lack of time and resources, reflection may be something that often gets thrown by the wayside in the rapid hustle and bustle of the daily grind.
But here’s the problem. If we don’t spend time reflecting, we will never do anything differently and what I’m hearing is that we want to change some things next year. Not because we are deficient or didn’t do a good job but because we want to offer ourselves a chance to live a little differently this next year.
The results from the year-end survey were pretty clear. You are feeling short on time, being pulled in all directions and have difficulty saying no to all that is being asked of you in your classrooms and beyond.
These are not new concerns. Am I right? When people ask you about areas of struggle in your life, are these some of the things that continually arise? Because these are consistent teacher themes, I’m begging you to partake in a few moments of reflection so that we can move forward with a game plan to begin telling a different story.
We are all guilty of continuing to tell the same story about our lives…we are busy. If only we had more time. If only things would calm down. I’ll be able to catch up with _____________ (sleep, self-care, better habits, etc) in the summer. When this year is over it will be different. When I get a new batch of students I’ll make some changes.
On and on and on. And I know this because I do it too. Especially about finding time to tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes. And what I’ve realized is that I only have today. Right now. And right now I’m going to spend some time reflecting on my year (and perhaps even on the decade). In the coming weeks, I will be offering you a path to writing a different story for your 2020, but first we need to really understand what we have been doing that have been working and those that haven’t.
So for this week, I want you to reflect on 2019.
For this process, I’m going to use some guidelines from Rachel Hollis that she shared on her RISE Podcast Episode….
- Audit your 2019 calendar
- Start in January 2018 and go through your personal/professional calendar day-by-day. If you don’t have a calendar, just reflect on the year and do the following exercise.
- As you go through/reflect, make three lists:
- Things that were awesome
- Things that were a waste of time/energy/money
- Things that make you feel like you’re living a great life
- Based on those lists, write a brief vision for what you want in 2020 (both personally and professionally). What do you want more of in 2020? What do you want less of in 2020?
Make time to do this throughout your week and get ready as we craft our clarifying mission statement for 2020 throughout the month of January.
We are going to spend some real time creating this mission statement so that we are clear with our goals and intentions for the year. When we slow down and spend some time actually listening to that often quiet voice in our heads that is trying to get our attention, we may be surprised at what it’s telling us we need.
Bringing these moments of mindfulness to our lives is the first step to really understanding the story we’re living and then beginning to either continue writing the story we’re in or starting a new one based on what we really need.
You can access the exact template I used to do my own calendar audit here…
After you’re done with your audit, jump over to We are Teaching Well and share what you’ve discovered. We will be spending the next few weeks using this reflection to craft our yearly mission statements. This process will do more than simply allow us to set goals. Everything we do for the rest of the year will be seen through the lens of our mission statements.
If one thing you’ve already discovered is missing from your 2019 is more time for self-care, check out all of Teaching Well’s programs. Here you are sure to find courses, resources and guided mindfulness practices that will take you from chaos to calm and stressed to serenity.