By Mandy Matthews, ENACT Co-Founder
Do you find yourself asking, “What even is self-care? How can I practice self-care when I’m too busy grading or at rehearsals for the kids’ spring show? This isn’t working…self-care is impossible to accomplish with my lifestyle.”
Not going to lie, having a sustainable self-care routine is challenging. As someone who works both a full time and part time job as well as commute 3 hours a day, it often seems impossible to slow down. However, as a dedicated yogi and yoga teacher I understand the value of taking a minute for yourself and the impact that it can have on your mental health. It’s not impossible!
There are four strategies for self-care I have recently made routine and, since, I have noticed a shift in decision making regarding weekly schedules and habits. I hope you find that these are helpful to your lifestyle as a 21st century educator and human. Below are four ways to begin your self-care practice.
1. Passion Planner
Something I always used as a student and what stuck with me in adulthood is having a planner. At the beginning of the school year I loved going to Target to pick out my next academic planner and planning out my schedule! Anyone else feel this way about planners?
If you do, then you would love Passion Planner. The Passion Planner is not just a planner…but a journal, notebook, place to doodle and get inspired. After each month there are two pages of guided reflection which helps you analyze what you prioritized that month and if you want to make any changes. This section helps me hold myself accountable and reminds me to slow down and take the time to reflect after each month.
Passion Planner also has academic planners available where you choose to have your week start on a Sunday or Monday. They are a Get One Give One company and for every planner bought they donate one to a student planning steps after graduation or to a patient planning doctor’s visits. Not only can you start to feel organized and track your progress, but you get to help someone else in need.
Having a diffuser in your classroom, workspace, or living space is so helpful with helping to reduce stress and alleviating headaches. Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment used through the sense of smell that helps create well-being and balance. One would think that this treatment would be unaffordable, but you can get a great diffuser on Amazon for a relatively low price.
The essential oils that you put in a diffuser are all from natural plant based and have varying benefits. My favorite is lavender for stress release and improving sleep quality, sweet orange to increase energy and mood, and lemongrass to reduce headaches. Essential oils also help stimulate the brain and would be a helpful tool for a classroom setting or while grading papers at home.
3. LUSH Facemask
Believe it or not, but I discovered facemasks later in life! My Sunday ritual after I teach an afternoon yoga class is to come home, shower, and then use my LUSH Brazened Honey facemask. This routine ensures that I at least take 10 minutes at the end of my week to slow down and enjoy the benefits of the facemask.
I recommend LUSH facemasks and products. LUSH fights against animal testing and has 100% vegetarian products, and 80% vegan products. They use the freshest ingredients and recycle the black containers that products are sold in. Fun fact, if you buy other LUSH products and save five black containers, you can turn them in for a FREE facemask!
4. Meditation App – Calm
Taking a few minutes out of your day to find peace and meditation definitely contributes to a healthy lifestyle and practicing self-care. One way to start a meditation practice is by downloading a meditation app. There are several available, but I recommend Calm. Not only does Calm have a free subscription for teachers, but they also have a wide variety of services from meditation, sleep stories, relaxing music, easy stretches, and exclusive classes from mindfulness experts.
I have found that if I dedicate two minutes of breathing a day, that I feel a lot less anxious. This practice is something that you can also model for your students and help them to practice mindfulness when they feel overwhelmed.
We'd love to hear more from you on the topic of #selfcare. Join us for our upcoming #EnactChats to share your top strategies for making self-care a part of your routine for wellness.
This blog is curated by EN-ACT creators, Mandy Matthews & Estella Owoimaha-Church.
As an Amazon Associate, EN-ACT earns from qualifying purchases.