When I became a qualified teacher, the same pattern of procrastination and relying on stimulants came about each semester as reports were due or my program was to be handed in.
What was it about accepting what needed to done, and approaching it with a more positive outlook? This is something that I have reflected on, in my years as a teacher.
What I came to realise was that the way I was approaching the everyday tasks of a teacher was leaving me feeling exhausted and depleted. Relying on coffee or sweet treats and putting things off until a deadline was looming, was becoming a downward self-perpetuating spiral.
In recent years, I have added the two pillars of Self-Care and Appreciation to the resources that I draw on as a teacher.
Self-care for me, means paying attention to how the choices I’m making are affecting my health, body and mood. Observing these choices and how they were leading to my feelings of exhaustion, I was able to slowly and surely make supportive changes. Over the course of a year or so I was able to replace coffee with herb tea or water, regularly make myself a nourishing lunch, consistently build a rhythm of going to bed earlier, making space in my day or week to check in with myself and ask how I was going. All of this began to change the way I was feeling about my ability to tackle all of the tasks on my plate, as I was building a level of vitality that felt great.
Self-care and Appreciation have turned my life as a teacher around. What they have offered me is a steady foundation and a confidence that whatever is required of me in my role, I am more than capable of completing, with a quality that reflects the care that I have taken with myself first and a deep appreciation for what I am able to offer to my work and profession.