Find your fringe hours for self-care


Self-care needs to be included in what you should be doing. It is not a privilege. It is a necessity.

― Jessica N. Turner
The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You

Just to recap, the month of July will be devoted to Summer Reading.  Don’t worry, I’m not assigning any.  You may be doing some, you may not.  But I wanted to share some great books that really supported my health and wellbeing throughout these weeks of summer.  Maybe you read them, maybe not. But I’m going to try to give you the most applicable information and make it useful to our goal of Teaching Well.

In case you missed it, the first recommendation was The Four Agreements by Dan Miguel Ruiz.  You can check out the post here.

Our next book is called The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner.  I read this book a few years ago when I first became a mom and it was a great way to try to find those moments that I really did have and maximize them for me.

I teach a framework about mindful self-care moments (quiet time, intention, reflection, and transition).  This concept is similar in that you’re discovering small pockets of moments that can be used to fill your cup throughout your day.
In fact, the book’s description is “take back the pockets of time you already have in your day in order to practice self-care and do the things you love.”

So how do we actually do that?  

The book lays out a four part framework of how to go through this process.

Part 1: Explore

Actually confront those limiting beliefs that are keeping you from pursuing self-care.

Part 2: Discover

Take small steps to begin making this practice a habit.  Discover where you may have that time, now that you have uncovered some of those limiting beliefs.

Part 3: Maximize

Build on what’s working and reconsider what’s not.  A little planning will go a long way in this step.

Part 4: Live Well

Experience the flow of living in this way where self-care is a part of your daily life in spaces and places that work for you.

Just to provide some examples of places where the book specifically resonated with me is really planning for the self-care practices to be able to be completed.  

For example, I like to paint and do other creative projects.  In the attic (where all of my art supplies are), I can leave out a project I’m working on and continually come back to it instead of putting all of materials away each time I “find the time.”  

Because these materials are out, I have less resistance to just go up and spend 15 minutes working on something.

Another place she talked a lot about finding pockets of time is when picking your children up from things (if you have children).  Can you put a journal in your car, have a book on hand, or even an adult coloring book and markers to use while you wait.  So much of that down time is spent on autopilot looking at our phones.  Instead of that, could you set yourself up for success and have some of those activities available to you in your car?

If you don’t have children, could you find other places of time when/where you find yourself on your phone on autopilot and set those places up with other things to do? For example, I try to take a book with me when I’m going to an appointment and read instead of scroll.  

The Fringe Hours also makes a pretty strong case for utilizing morning time, before anyone else is awake.  This is similar to what I encourage with finding Quiet Time in my pockets of mindful moments framework.  

Even as little as 15 minutes could be a game changer for you creating a little morning ritual to really start your day on your terms instead of everyone else’s.  You could spend that time doing whatever makes your heart happy.  I don’t know that rules really need to apply here.  You’re in charge of how you spend that time.

So this might not seem that it directly relates to the classroom, but it surely could.  Are there times before, after, or during your school day where you could just take a few minutes and breathe?  Are there transition times where you could walk outside instead of inside?  Could you take a few minutes to do a five minute stretch instead of checking email?  Where could you “sneak” these self-care moments into your classroom life?