There is a beautiful horse at the stable where my daughter rides each week. This creature has faithfully circled the arena each day, letting bright eyed riders experience the thrill of trotting and cantering. She has walked, trotted, and been guided while the roof has dripped from rain and the metal walls have rattled from wind. Day in and day out, she has done her job.
A couple of weeks ago we arrived to find the horses in the outdoor arena soaking in the warm spring sunshine. Not long after heading to the barn there was a bit of confusion.
This horse had decided enough was enough and had taken off through the pasture with its owner chasing her on foot.
After a few minutes of hair blowing and tail raising excitement, she was led back into the stable for lessons. Despite her jaunt through the pasture and the criticism she received, she held her head high on her walk back.
I couldn’t help but chuckle.
She had experienced a little relief from the everyday and-I could tell-it made her heart sing.
I feel a bit like this horse sometimes. Teaching is hard work and it can feel a bit like being in an arena walking in endless circles. Sometimes it would feel great to run through the pasture and let the wind blow through my hair in the middle of a school day.
As teachers, these past few months of winter often are downright exhausting. Kids are squirrely , sickness prevails, and the same routine leave us feeling itching to be outdoors, just like our students.
Here are a few tips and tricks I have found to help in taking care of myself as I work to take care of others. I pray some of them are helpful for you as well.
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. (Colossians 1:11, ESV)
**Put away all the winter decorations–now. I admit, my Christmas wreath just came off my front door last week. Put away the things that remind you of the holidays and winter.
**Bring some nature into our classroom and/or home. A budding tree branch in a vase, a cool pine cone on a tray, or a fresh flower. Each will give you a sense of refreshment and something to remind you of life outside of your classroom walls.
**Clean out one cupboard in your home/classroom. Spring cleaning is a real deal, and it helps you feel a tiny bit in control of the daily routine.
**Go for a walk–walk the halls of your building, walk around the building, take a different way to the office to check your box.
**Take a different way to work or home from work. Sometimes a different drive will give you a different perspective and it might even save you some time. Time is something teachers always seem to be short on.
**Take a good long nap
**Spend at least 45 minutes a night not doing anything school related.
**Go watch a movie with a loved one or friend and that does not involve children or animation.
**Clean out your work bag-throw away anything from September
**Spend your weekend(s) not talking to anyone on Social Media, text messages or email about work.
**Try a new food for lunch-mix up our normal routine
**Take a day off and don’t read any work e-mails. Listen to worship music or start an inspiring book.
**Eat brunch on the weekends
**Set up some summer plans. Make some reservations, peruse some brochures, map out vacation days.
**Fill out calendar for next three months with scheduled self care time
What is your favorite self care plan idea for teachers? Drop your comment below…we all can learn from each other!!