We can't draw from an empty well and self-care for educators is essential. Doing a job that requires you to be constantly aware of the needs of others can lead to occupational burnout. It's common for people to speak about being selfish as an insult. But there's a reason why you're instructed to give oxygen to yourself before giving it to others on the plane. You need to be a fully functioning person to be of any use to others. Let's change this idea of being selfish and choose to be self-full. Take the time to nourish yourself and develop a good regenerative practice.
I believe it's crazy important to do this. You wouldn't learn to spell from someone who didn't know how to write. Ultimately we would like our children to have a strong sense of wellbeing, and it's so much easier to teach what you really know for yourself.
What can we do to nourish ourselves?
Self-care tends to be a very personal thing. If you don't know already then try lots of different things and see what works for you. Understand that what you need may change depending on your energy levels and it's a good idea to have some active options as well as relaxed ones. The real trick will be setting aside the time to care for yourself as a priority!
Some ideas to try-
Firstly we must speak kindly to ourselves. Congratulate yourself for the little wins. Even when things don't go well, acknowledge that you've done your best and move on.
Nature has a soothing influence on our physiology. Try walking mindfully, focus on the feel of the wind on your skin, the colours and smells that surround you. Be purposeful to really get into the moment.
Enjoy funny books or t.v.
This is an easy way to change your focus as well as creating lots of lovely happy brain chemicals to make you feel good!
Hang out with friends
Connecting with others is a great way to recharge. Be conscious about your intentions and keep it light- it won't make anyone feel nourished if it's just a forum to complain about problems.
Dance and physical activity
So many emotions can be released through expressive movement. Put your soul into whatever you do and feel how your thoughts transform. Your body will love it too!
Food & drink
Listen to your body. There's no one diet that works for everyone all the time, and your body will tell you what it needs. Water is vital for cell communication so always keep a bottle on hand.
Drawing, knitting, baking, gardening, music, building etc. There are endless creative activities we can engage in to help to release tension and stimulate inspiration. There's no need to create a masterpiece it's just for a bit of fun.
Call it meditation, relaxing or whatever. Just take 15 mins a day to give yourself a 'thinking holiday'. Give yourself permission to put all your concerns aside and feel how refreshing it is to think nothing and do nothing.
There must be as many ways to nourish as there are people in the world. Finding what works for you can be an adventure. And remember, being self-full is not just a gift to yourself- it's a gift for everyone you come in to contact with when you're feeling at your best!
What do you do to nourish and flourish?