Focusing on #Selfcare

A few weeks ago, I posted across social media about teacher #selfcare habits. Maybe #selfcare is more personal than I expected, or maybe people were just too busy to respond, but I found it interesting that by far the most responses I received to this query across platforms came from my friends, not the typical reactions across my more professional social media like Twitter and LinkedIn.

The #selfcare rituals and pictures I got tell a great story and resonated with me. For example, my friend Shannon, a seventh grade social studies teacher and track coach, posted a quote that spoke to the need to turn our brain off and let go of the stress. The bonus? Healthy lifestyle choices lead to less stress in the first place.

Another friend of mine, Abby, posted pictures of her amazingly photogenic family, and it is clear that spending time with her #MilitelloFunSquad is relaxing, fulfilling, and answers the need for relationships. With three kiddos under six, it is amazing the adventures this family takes. As a mom who has led a similar kid-filled life, I’m reaping the benefits because my 14-year-old still wants to hang out with me. I’ve been laying that groundwork for years, and I know Abby will too.

On the flipside, my friend Jen practiced #selfcare by relaxing in a space she created just for herself. When we continually give our all to others, it can be hard to carve out space and time for ourselves. Jen has created an awesome corner of the world, replete with an amazing book by Rachel Hollis, her dog, and an aesthetically pleasing place to just relax. I have to admit, this is probably where I’m going next in my #selfcare. I’ve loved beautifying my back deck, and I aspire to Jen’s level!

This need for alone time and space was a thread through so many of the comments. Kathy, whose youngest is an eighth grader and oldest is in college, also spoke to the need for rituals to sustain us. She wrote:

Another friend’s #selfcare routine is clearly sacred, and she has set up boundaries and put aside the time for her needs. Lori explains:

All of these women are teachers, all friends of mine, and all at different spots in their career, yet we all need the same things. The theme of space and time that permeated the comments reminded me of my early fascination with Virginia Woolf and this quote:

Perhaps, as teachers, we can adopt this ideal when it comes to #selfcare: we need time, space, and disposable income to meet some of our deepest needs. No wonder I find this so difficult to achieve! #Selfcare requires a level of intentionality and an understanding that when the turbulence hits, we take the advice of the flight attendant and adjust our own masks first, taking care of our own breathing so that we can help others. Thanks for sharing all of these ideas!

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