Take Care of Yourself

Why does the pendulum always swing from one extreme to the other? I suppose that’s the nature of life. It also seems to be the nature of being a teacher. One moment the seas are calm, the next, a storm blows through.

Last week, I wrote about how I was finding peace. This week, on the other hand, has seemed extremely long and busy. Monday felt like Wednesday, Wednesday felt like Friday. Today is Thursday, and it feels like I’ve been working non-stop for weeks upon end. I sat down to write this post three times before it was actually published. Between meetings, IEPs, changes in my class size, changes in the class dynamic, figuring out a new curriculum, making materials, staying up to date on grading (yes, even for kindergarten!), and so on, it’s been crazy. To put the cherry on top, I began coaching after school girls’ volleyball on Monday.

For any of you who work service-related jobs, you know that the majority of your life is devoted to others. As a teacher, I am constantly giving my help, time, and full-attention to students. I wouldn’t change that for the world, of course. However, this week has left me feeling emotionally exhausted.

In the words of Buddha, “You must love yourself before you love another.” Loving yourself means setting aside time to take care of yourself. I haven’t been very good at that this week.

A friend of mine recently shared a link to an incredible post that I now want to share with you. It’s called 55 Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You’re Busy, Busy, Busy. I read it, loved it, and typed out a copy of my own to keep. My favorite pointers are as follows:

  • Get enough sleep (I never do)
  • Listen to your favorite music (it’s been classical these days for me)
  • Break your self-care habits into smaller tasks and do one each day (I haven’t painted my nails in a long time)
  • Light candles (I adore candles and want to order more from Our Own Candle Company)
  • Breathe (I’ve been trying to meditate in the mornings and it’s such a day-changer!)
  • Allow your emotions to come to the surface (I anticipate having a good cry this weekend)
  • Take your vitamins (I just ordered Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Maca tablets)
  • Reward yourself (I recently ordered myself a little present)
Yes, things can get hectic even in a quiet Alaskan village. I think the life of an educator is all about the balancing act of putting in time at work and dedicating time for yourself. To even things out, I’m planning on spending some quality me-time this weekend. I’m going to sleep in, read, pamper myself, watch movies, and bake some autumn goodies.
My challenge to you, in your busy life, is to take care of yourself as well. Do at least one thing this weekend to feed your spirit. What’s it going to be?

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