It’s a little sad how we crack jokes about self-care and neglect the topic. Then when we are all upset, and have very little sanity left, we wonder where we went wrong. If we made a little more time to take care of our well-being, can you imagine how great things would be? I completely understand we do not always have time to devote to our self-care, but the least thing we can do is try.
When I was in the classroom, we were allowed a 50 minute planning period every day while the kids were in p.e, art, music, etc. We were to use that period to plan our lessons. 50 min a day sounds like A LOT of time, but in reality, it wasn’t. Mostly because we rarely got to use the minutes to actually plan our lessons! Our planning period was actually consumed with conferencing with parents, grade level meetings, staff development, and a million other things. Grading, special ed paperwork, creating assessments, and many other tasks would pile up, and before you knew it, you were overwhelmed and frustrated! Oh and lesson planning? When in the world were we able to lesson plan?! How were we supposed to teach these kids if we did not have time to plan? Well, you guessed it. Teachers usually have to take the work home. No big deal right? Wrong! Now that you’re working on schoolwork at home, your house chores are not getting done and your family and social life is hanging on by a thread. You get the picture. Before you know it, it’s a huge snowball effect and everything is out of control and you are stressed to the max. But you can’t show a stressed face, the next day you have to show up and teach those kids with a huge smile on your face! Sound fair to the teacher? Absolutely NOT!
Well that is basically what happens to us when we do not focus on our self-care. Things get out of control, and our sanity is out the door. The year that I was pregnant and working, I knew something had to change. There was no way I was going to be able to handle teaching and pregnancy if things were still crazy. So, I planned and planned and planned! I took a very close look at my minutes and planned everything strategically. The biggest thing that changed was that I learned to say NO.
A parent wanted to schedule a last minute conference even though I had given multiple opportunities beforehand AND even offered afterschool or before school time slots to accommodate them? My answer was a firm NO.
Admin wanted me to help with an extracurricular activity? Again my answer was a hard NO. There was no way I was going to take on more than I could handle.
Co-worker wanted me to come up with our common assessments, yet again? You guessed it. My answer was NO.
Of course, there was no way of telling when other things out of my control would come up, but planning and scheduling out my time helped immensely! I was able to leave the classroom at the end of the day ON TIME. Not at 7-8 in the evening like I had in the past.
You see, things will go as far as you let them. It is the same principle with our self-care. If we continue to neglect it and not give it the importance it deserves, of course we will never have time for it! On the other hand, if we prioritize and voice how important it is, trust me, you will have time!
Phew! That was a long spill! I’m sorry if it sounded more like a classroom rant because that was not the purpose! The purpose is for you to understand that if you want to make something happen you WILL make something happen! If you really value your self-care, you will modify your schedule and move things around!
That being said, as we ring in the New Year, I thought we could set some goals!
This will look different for everyone because everyone’s home dynamics and times are different. HOWEVER I think we can ALL set two goals per month to focus on. One would be a physical goal and one would be a mental/emotional goal. You want to focus on 2 physical goals in one month instead? Go for it! This is just a quick brainstorming mat to help you get started! Just print out the monthly form I have created for you and jot down those goals! Things become a lot more real when they are in writing!
Below you will find some categories for your goals that you might want to focus on. You will also find a sample of what the form filled out might look like one you add your goals.
Time for hobby
Social media detox
Like what you see above but need an accountability partner? I got you mama! Message me you goals and I will check in with you! We have got to help each other out if we’re gonna make it in this crazy life!