This morning my husband looked at me and said, “Whatever your raise is this year, you can decide what you want to do with it.”
With complete honesty, he paused me in midst of my cleaning and organizing tirade (I do that when I don’t feel like I have control over other components of my life) and continued, “We need to do something to keep you happy throughout this school year. Otherwise you may not make it.”
We’re only a few weeks in and he’s already feeling that from me.
And I turned to him, a slight smile emerging because I know how I get (but that doesn’t always stop me from getting there) and questioned, “Can you even imagine how I would be if I didn’t practice self-care pretty consistently?”
We both honestly shuddered at the thought. That moment just exemplified a truth that I want to hold close: I NEED these practices in my life even more when I don’t think I have the time, feel overwhelmed, or generally am dreading a responsibility I need to uphold.
I wanted to share this with you to let you know that if you are struggling with trying to find what balance looks like for you in the midst of this incredibly challenging season, you are not alone. It is a consistent renegotiating with the schedule, the expectations, all of it.
A few weeks ago I started talking about a simple self-care framework that we can start to make a priority so that teacher self-care is N.O.W. (Not Only Weekends), if we are to do the job we need to do for our students while not burning ourselves out.
Let me just acknowledge that this is absolutely no easy task. In many ways this is a profound mindset shift. But we can’t actually enact change if we don’t believe that it’s worth our time to do so.
Before we can even begin to actually implement self-care we have to be honest about our underlying assumptions and mindsets around it.
If we don’t get those right we will simply leave ourselves feeling like we’ve failed again.
So in an effort to really clarify what I mean by self-care and in the hope to really encourage each of you to make self-care the most important priority this year, I want to share three misconceptions about self-care and how to “flip the script” on these self-care misconceptions.
If any of these ring true to you, you still find it difficult to give yourself these self-care moments, please check these articles out to see if you can be persuaded about why self-care is so important.
And if you don’t know where to start, here’s a great little resource called Teacher Self-Care Triage. Use it yourself and pass it on for anyone who is in need of a little self-care guidance.
Engaging in self-care is performing a radical act.
And through us taking a stand to care for ourselves, we will be able to further do the work that we need to do to change the world.
And what we are doing each day is changing the world.
If that sounds powerful. It’s meant to. We have each been given the responsibility to care for and educate these little minds and beings. I can’t think of too many jobs that can effect so much impact than the work that each of us do on a daily basis.
Because of this, we need to unapologetically prioritize our own self-care N.O.W. And let’s support each other every step of the way.