Sunday, November 5, 2017

MTBoS Sunday Funday - Self Care Tips

Just a reminder that the #MTBoS Sunday Funday challenge is back!  This is a weekly blogging prompt that is hosted over at Julie's blog and this week's theme is "Self Care"

Every week, Julie will push out a new topic, you blog about it and submit your blog post using this Google Form.  On Sunday, there will be a huge list of awesome blogs to go read! :) YAY!

As always, this is a no pressure blogging challenge, so feel free to join in anytime, but if the week gets away from you, that's okay too!

This Week's Topic:  Self Care

I'll admit that I almost didn't blog today.  Self Care is definitely one of the topics where I fail miserably.  I am pretty bad about putting my classroom ahead of myself and my family, but here's some things I try to do on a regular basis:

Self Care Tip #1 - Exercise regularly
This is a tricky one for me and I'll admit there are some years I do better than others!  Meg Craig (@mathymeg) does a FitBos challenge each year with an easy to use spreadsheet that does help with tracking your goals.  This year, I have done really well, meeting my 120 hour goal by the end of October!  (YAY me!)  I'll admit though, that I've had some motivation to keep walking, even as the cooler weather has set in.  In the summer, I'm really good about getting up and walking 2+ miles per day before hubby goes to work.  This past summer, there was an elderly gentleman in my neighborhood that would walk his dog right at the same time, so we struck up a small friendship.  As we got to know each other, I found out that his wife of 59 years has dementia and he had just moved her to a nursing facility in the early summer.  It's now part of my daily walk to visit with him and hear the stories of his life, which is definitely a huge highlight of my day!

Self Care Tip #2 - Pamper yourself
At least once a month, I take the time for a girls day.  Sometimes this is with family, sometimes with friends, but it almost always includes a pedicure, dinner, and some shopping.  If you've never had a pedicure, it's a must!  There's nothing better than sitting in a massage chair while your feet are in the warm, swirling water.  Sometimes I go with a good friend and we sit and visit, other times I go by myself with a good book - either way, it's a wonderful way to relax!

Self Care Tip #3 - Relax with a Good Book
There's very little in this life that relaxes me as much as curling up with a good book, a fuzzy blanket, and a purring kitty.  If you ever come to my house, don't be shocked to see books everywhere.  There's a huge bookcase of novels in the bedroom, even more bookcases of professional books in our offices, even stacks of 'to-be-read' books in the living room.  And of course, that doesn't even include the thousands of books that I have in my Kindle library!  As a kid, my happy place was our public library and I even volunteered for many years there.  As an adult, my happy place is still when I am surrounded by books and I try to "read for fun" on a daily basis, even if it's only for 10 minutes.

Self Care Tip #4 - Find your People
Teaching is a stressful job.  I know I'm preaching to the choir, but it's a never-ending string of lessons, grading, management, answering questions, more lessons, more grading, etc.  It's so easy to get burned out, to find yourself isolated, to feel like you are drowning and not sure how to surface from all of the demands.  To combat this, it's important to reach out and find your people - the teachers that have a similar philosophy of teaching, that can ease some of the burden, the people that you can text at a moment's notice to ask if they have a worksheet over topic XYZ and know that it will fit your style with minimal change.  For me, I am blessed to have a few of those people in my real life, but my main source is the MTBoS (Math Twitter Blog o Sphere).  If you find someone online that resonates with you, reach out - tweet to them, comment on their blog - and I promise you won't regret it!

Self Care Tip #5 - Push Send
Sometimes, we can't see how far we've come because we are too close to the situation.  It's easy to get discouraged and frustrated when we are in the middle of the year, feeling like we are treading water and going nowhere.  Often, if we were able to look back, we'd see the progress we've made, the victories that have been won, and the successes of our students.  Because of this, I highly encourage all teachers - new or veteran - to journal their year.  This could be a private paper journal or a public blog / Instagram account.  This year, I'm trying Instagram for my #teach180 posts and I have to admit that I love it!  I've tried to blog more this year as well because I know that I grow professionally from blogging, from the active reflection and sharing, even though I've not done it as much as I should. 

If you have additional self-care tips to share, feel free to comment or even blog your thoughts and submit them to the #MTBoSSundayFunday post!