How teachers can mentally prepare for school season

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For some teachers, August may bring the stressful reminder that school starts in a matter of weeks, for others it may seem like a distant worry. Either way, this month is the last chance to reset and recharge before it’s back-to-school time in September. While organization will be top of mind, it’s important to take some time to mentally prepare yourself as well, and here’s a few tips to do so.

  • Check in with your emotions: think about how back-to-school is making you feel, are you dreading it? Are you excited? Understanding first and foremost what your emotions are about the upcoming date, will help you better plan for self-care and preparation in the next few weeks.
  • Check in with your body: take a few minutes to check in with your body and be mindful of how you are physically feeling. Are you sore? Are you tired? Are you weak? Determine how you are feeling physically, and then take some actions to improve things: get back in an exercise routine, start to schedule your bedtime, change up your diet, etc. You want to be feeling physically ready for work, so you can tackle the mental stuff too.
  • Practice mindfulness: this is a big part of self-care and while it may seem difficult for the first time, it’s easier than you think and available to you anytime. A simple place to start is to focus on a specific object and take deep belly breaths as you focus your eyes on that object and your breathing. There’s also a technique known as ‘grounding’, which is using your five senses to bring you to a state of present; go through all the senses and counting five specific things for each: “I see a car, I see a boy”, etc. Another way, is getting your body moving and focusing on each movement you make, stretching and yoga are great for this. If you like some guidance, check out some of the guided meditation apps out there or check out this great article from Mindful.

Mindfulness is a natural quality that we all have. It’s available to us in every moment if we take the time to appreciate it. When we practice mindfulness we’re practicing the art of creating space for ourselves—space to think, space to breathe, space between ourselves and our reactions. [Mindful]

For teachers in Winnipeg or surrounding area, Kim Barthel and Theo Fleury have an upcoming workshop on October 5th that is perfect for teachers. The best part, teachers get a special rate!

Theo Fleury is a hockey legend whose life experiences serve to illuminate how resilience is possible. Kim Barthel trains therapists and teachers all over the world about making sense of complex behaviour. But you’d never see her with a hockey stick and you wouldn’t see him writing about neurobiology. Or so we would have thought…

More information on this event in Winnipeg on October 5th can be found online here. Be sure to connect with us on social media as well to read more tips like these.

— Written by Amber Craig

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