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Feeling anxious? Teacher, you’re not alone.

When I walked into work on Friday, a coworker saw me and said how she was really freaking out about the unknown potential of the coronavirus.  She said that the one thing she tried to do in the midst of it was to breathe. She paused; she breathed. That moment of pause didn’t give her all the answers but it allowed her to calm down and regroup.

I know she didn’t know it, but her sharing that reminded me of how I needed to breathe too.  Just the night before I was having my own version of a meltdown. Catastrophizing, constantly checking in on the news, email, text and social media wanting someone to tell me something.  At some moments, I didn’t care what the something was. I just wanted to feel on more solid ground.  

Then I went to work, and I was reminded to just breathe.  

During this time, can we all just help each other to remember to just breathe?

We’re all in the midst of a pretty stressful time as many of us are currently NOT working for at least the next two weeks, the debilitating fear of the unknown keeps creeping in and we’re thinking about how to keep our families safe while wondering about all the students we care about as well. 

So as I am grappling with my own anxious thoughts, trying to find a way to both stay connected, yet respect the social distancing we’ve been encouraged to do, I had an idea and I hope you will join me.

Let’s come together and remind each other to just breathe.

So, I thought about the ways I can help and this is what I came up with.  Everything is swiftly changing, we are all educators experiencing our own reality.  I tried to consider what would be most helpful during this time.

I kept hearing the same words, “we all just need to help each other remember to just breathe.”

So that’s what I propose we do.  

Starting on Monday, March 16, I am going to go on Facebook Live on the We are Teaching Well group every morning at 6:45 A.M. (Eastern) and lead a guided mindfulness practice. 

It will be around 10-15 minutes and the objective is to share this time to support each other to remember to just breathe.  

It will be a home base for our days.  A place to start together and then move into our own reality as we each are facing something different.  We can share both tragedy and triumph. We can share the mundane and magical. 

I suspect that a lot of the same sense of unease many of us feel when we begin summer vacation, will only be magnified in these coming days.  For this reason and so many more wouldn’t it be great to come together and support each other?

So if you’re interested, all you have to do to access the mindfulness practice starting on March 16th at 6:45 AM (Eastern) is to join the private group.  Log in to Facebook during that time and jump on the We are Teaching Well group.  You should be notified that we are LIVE when you are on.

Please feel free to invite any teacher friends who may be interested.  The more we can begin our days together remembering to just breathe, the better.

So will you join me?  If you can’t be there live each day, check out the replay.  Engage if and when you can. In the midst of this historical event, I hope that this is a way for all of us to get grounded before we are tested day after day.

We are teachers and we are used to going with the flow.  Thinking on our toes. Making new plans in the midst of a lesson.

Let’s take these skills into our every day lives, but let’s give each other a little more support because it can be tough going at it alone.  

When I proposed this Teacher Self-Care N.O.W. (Not Only Weekends) initiative last week, I didn’t think that meant that almost every teacher I knew would now have at least two weeks off of work.  But perhaps we can see this time as a time to care for ourselves.  

Can we pause and breathe?  Can we take some time for ourselves? Can we do what we need to do as we’re asked to do it?

Of course we can, but can we do it together so that it doesn’t feel so scary and unknown right now.

So that’s my plan moving forward during the next few weeks. I hope you join me and we can support each other as we remind ourselves to begin our day just breathing!

If you’re looking for a great way to add a self-care routine to your schedule NOW, check out Teaching Well’s Free Course “4 Simple Stress Solutions the Reduce Teacher Burnout and Increase Self-Care in Only Five Minutes a Day.” 

If you’re looking for other online professional development options, check out Teaching Well’s current course schedule.  The next Mindfulness for Teachers and Their Students course begins on Monday, April 6.  If you want to learn all about mindfulness on your own schedule and earn 3 graduate credits, check out our schedule!

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Danielle Nuhfer
danielle@teachingwell.life

Here are a few titles I go by...teacher, student, gardener, runner, nature-lover, writer and meditator. I care deeply about my own journey to wellness and want to inspire others to walk this path. Inspiring others to discover the value of mindfulness, positive psychology and other holistic health practices is my life's work.

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