We are stressed. We are overworked. We can’t possibly squeeze any more into our day. We are at maximum capacity. I know all of this, but I care about you so much that I’m going to ask you to do just one more thing…
Not just one more random thing. I’m going to ask you to do something that may make a difference to your day. Your sanity. Your stress.
This one thing will help you as you’re working with students online now and when we hopefully get back to the classroom in the fall.
This one thing will help you as you’re attending Zoom meetings and finding yourself getting burnt out from the screen time.
This one thing will help you as you’re experiencing moments of fear followed by feelings of gratitude as ruminating thoughts cycle round and round and round about what our new normal will look like after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yes, I’m going to suggest that the way to make more time is to add one more thing to your already hectic, busy life. You may look at me like I’m a monster, you may have feelings of anger, even rage rise up. You may want me to just shut my mouth…and shut it now.
But I am not going to do that. Instead I’m going to tell you the ways this one thing (that will take you only a few minutes a day) may be the best thing you ever decided to add to your life.
So just sit back and quickly skim the following list…I will eventually tell you what the one thing is at the end…I promise!
Adding this one thing to your day can help to…
-Reduce chronic pain
-Reduce some symptoms of depression
-Reduce emotional outbursts
-Increase awareness of the present moment
-Increase compassion to yourself and others
This list is far from complete but should suggest that what I’m about to reveal could have significant impacts to your health, well-being and lifestyle.
The one thing that may produce these benefits is…
Mindfulness is simply bringing awareness to the present moment, without judgment. What this could mean for your daily routine is that for five to ten minutes each day, you either sit in quiet focusing on your breath or the sounds you hear. You could do a guided mindfulness practice or listen to quiet, soothing music. You could sit outside or even spend a few moments walking or moving bringing full attention to that specific task.
The main idea is that for five to ten minutes per day, you create space in your schedule for quiet, solitude and not doing. Your mind may want to whisk you to planning mode, but every time you get swept away, come back to being right where you are. This is it. This is the thing.
If that list above contains something that you are wanting, why not try it? See if you can carve out a brief five to ten minutes in your day to try this one thing that could potentially change your life. If you don’t know where you can possibly find time, check out this post for some more suggestions.
So, I know I’m asking you to do one more thing, but I have complete confidence that this one thing will be so worth it-to your health, well-being, stress level, and overall quality of life. Perhaps most importantly, by all of us teachers taking time to do this now while we are physically away from our students, we will be building our resilience muscles for our students so that we can show up for them when they will certainly need us the most.
By pausing to add this time to do “nothing,” we are going to be doing something for our students, our families, our communities, and ourselves.
Get started adding this one thing by downloading the Teaching Well Together Calendar N.O.W. This will help you find small opportunities to build these mindful moments into your days.
You can also join us for guided mindfulness practices for teachers. If you can’t be their live, simply register and you’ll get access to the audio.
For more consistent support do help each other now adding these mindful moments and building our resilience muscles while prioritizing and nourishing ourselves, check out the We are Teaching Well group.