Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Slice of Life Day Twenty: An Outline for Self Care

I've been thinking about this post for several days now.  Just coming off of spring break, and thinking about the past year (throw up your hands situations, lots of tears, coming out of the situation, and turning 40) I've realized there are some really fundamental things that have helped me take care of myself. 

And I'm 40 now, so I think I get to share those with you.  :) 

Just kidding.  It's really about the self reflection.  A reminder to myself about what to do when I'm doing hard things. 

Now, back to why I've been thinking about this post for several days.  Sometimes, as humans, I think we just need to be kinder to each other.  I always hesitate to read suggestions to "make yourself better" because I tend to read those and feel like I'm not doing enough.  Once, I stopped reading a trendy "self-help" book that all my ladies were raving about.  I actually tossed it across the room to make myself feel better.

Why?  Because I didn't want to do what that book was asking me to do.  It wasn't for me.  And it made me mad a little bit because I didn't want to do any of those things.  It actually made me feel inadequate. 

And so dear Friends, here's what I want to say first. 
You are doing enough.  You are enough.
I'm so blessed to be in the Teacher Tribe.  It's really where my people are at.
(Please don't toss your device like I tossed my book and break it, but you can "clamshell" me in a heartbeat if you don't want to read this.  I'll understand.)  

How I Take Care of Myself When It's (Life and Hustle) Hard.  

1.  I Go Home.  
Sometimes, after the school day, I just need to finish my work at home.  The spots in my house allow me to think and focus.  And we know the work is never ending.  It's worth it to me to haul the books and the papers back and forth to get the work done.  It's my spot where I can think through things and work out ideas.  I'm also in close proximity to my people, and I find that comforting. But maybe that's not true for you. Find your spot where you can finish up your day.  

2.  I Exercise/Move/Go Outside.
This year, I'm back to running.  That is really my jam.  But for the past two years, it hasn't been.  But I was doing best when I was moving.  Walking around the block at school during lunch.  Sitting on the porch in the sun to drink my coffee.  There is research galore about being outside and emotional health.  You are worth the time to spend outside for a moment each day.  

3.  I Eat Dinner.
To have a meal plan for lunch and dinner each day helps us from stopping to get the fast food all of our days.  Now, let's be clear.  Sometimes the plan is fast food.  Sometimes dinner means meat and cheese and crackers on a board, and you put it on your plate.  (We call that a Homemade Lunchable.)  But when I'm prepared for meals, we eat healthier things.  (Notice I didn't say 100% healthy all the time.)  And feeding the humans is my job at home.  (Mr. does the laundry.  Kids do dishes.  It's a team effort people.)  I plan these things out on Wednesday or Thursday for the next week, and we grocery shop to get that done.  (Who does online grocery shopping?  I'm considering trying this over the summer,)

4.  I Work on what I love.  
This slice challenge and Must Read in 2018 at Carrie Gelson's website have connected me to two things that I love.  Reading and sharing the ideas with people; and writing and sharing the ideas with people.  When I read or write a little everyday, I feel good.  Now, in my circle I've also seen: sketching and watercolors, puzzles, sewing, crafting...the list goes on. (I'm not good at any of these things.) Even if it is for just a wee part of your day, find it and give yourself time to do it!  I like to do this work in the early morning, and my outside time at night.  

What works for you?  When there is life and hustle, (and there always is) what things keep you grounded in who you are?  



  1. What wonderful ideas for self-care! I really like the suggestions to get outside every day and to work on what you love. I have noticed a real improvement in my mental health since I started reading or writing every morning rather than checking Facebook and since I started doing yoga every day.

  2. I love your four priorities for the day. Self-care is vital, especially for teachers. I can remember that by the end of a day of trying to connect, motivate, and teach 125 teenagers I felt empty. If I could talk to my younger self, I would give her your list!

  3. Thanks for this. All great stuff. I'm over here pumping my fist and yelling, "Right on!"
    Coincidentally, I was in a thumbs down kind of way today. So I wrote about how I get out of that . I get thankful. It helps me look at what I've got and what I've got going.