Day 5: Self-Care

Prompt: How do you pace yourself throughout the week? What rituals for self-care do you have that make the school year a little easier to manage.

I am a big fan of spending an hour in the chair each week.  Very early on a seasoned teacher told me that every teacher should have a good therapist. I agree.
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My first year of teaching I didn't take one day off; and I planned my wedding and got married the following summer.  I thrive on being busy.  This is something I have learned about myself as the years have passed.  Summer vacation can be difficult for me-too much unstructured time and not having deadlines to meet.  When I went back to work the following September, I had fallen into a deep depression and nothing was helping.  I found a therapist at my neighborhood women's health collective and began seeing her each week.  It helped to have an outlet each week to talk about the things I was experiencing as a teacher, as a new wife, as a human.   I did this for me.

Seven years and three therapists later- my time in the chair each week is what has saved me.  It is my self-care. While I like to think that school is my central focus, we all have things going on outside our schools that need time and energy.  Therapy helped me prepare for weight loss surgery two and a half years ago.  A year ago as I battled cancer.  This year as I continued to have health issues related to the previous two surgery that required two more surgeries in November and again in February.  It is not the responsibility of my school community or my students to support me through this (though they do, in many many ways), my time processing with my therapist each week is my own self-care.  This is the biggest thing I do for myself.

Through the week I wish I could say there was more I did for myself.  I enjoy an iced decaf Americano every morning.  (I gave up caffeine in January.) I don't answer email after 8 pm. I try to be in bed by 9:30 to be up by 6 am.  There is more I could do.

What do you to take care of yourself?  I would love to hear from other educators.


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