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THRIV Blog

Your Compassionate Source for
Evidence-Based Recovery Strategies

Presented by: Jen Johnson, PhD

Coping with Emotional Triggers During An Election Cycle

I never knew education was a controversial topic until I became a teacher. I didn't realize there were people who believed that I was trying to sway students to believe a certain way or accept certain beliefs. It was completely out of my awareness. 

Then when I became a teacher, I started to listen and focus in on those conversations I saw happening on social media and in the mainstream media related to education, and it was really upsetting for me. 

I felt confused and offended and betrayed and angry. And there were times that I would ruminate about it for hours on end. I just couldn't understand how people could believe that me and my colleagues were doing anything other than teaching the curriculum we were mandated to teach and using best practices to do it. 

It hurt me emotionally because I didn't have the skills to know how to disconnect myself from that kind of negativity, and sometimes I felt like I couldn't look away! I just kept watching and reading comments...

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An exercise to reduce your anxiety today

I'm excited to share a new strategy with you today. This strategy is proven to decrease anxiety and take us out of our fight or flight mode and into our rest and digest mode. 

It's simple. It's quick. And when used daily over a period of time, it becomes more and more effective. 

Also, it's free!

Ready for the anti-climactic announcement?

It's focused, intentional breathing, also referred to as breathwork. It's using our breath to support our body. 

Stick with me. I know it can seem silly, but there's a large amount of research to back up the practice, so give it a try, and see if it's a practice you'd like to add to your daily self-care and detachment practices. 

Let me share how it works:

1) Open a YouTube video. 

2) Follow the prompts for one minute. 

That's it! Pretty easy eh?

Let's try one. You just breathe in as the shape builds, and exhale as the shape goes away. Sit up straight. Focus on the shapes. Let everything else pass in and...

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Teacher Anxiety and Student Outcomes

I'm coming at you this morning with some doctorly advice from an MD. And it's not doctorly advice about the pandemic...never fear!! That's not my lane, and I'm staying in mine. 

The past six months I've been making some really big changes in how I engage in medical selfcare, a sub-category of physical selfcare. 

I found out I had an autoimmune disease back in April, and there was a long list of things I needed to do to help my body recover and thrive.

I usually struggle with routinely taking pills and supplements, feeding myself well, and prioritizing my body, but the past six months have been drastically different.

I have taken 20+ pills and supplements daily. I've cut gluten, dairy, and soy from my diet. I've cooked at home more than ever. I have absolutely rocked it, and I've been so proud of myself. (This blog is not about praising myself so bear with me.)

Then came the six month bloodwork.

Nothing changed!

I sat in my doctor's office in...
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How Little Issues Become Catastrophic When We're Burned Out

I got married to my husband in 2015. I was still working full-time in the classroom at that time, and was also working on my PhD. I honestly don't even know how I had time to date anyone, much less decide to get married!! I swear half our dates were like "hey come over and help me cut out all this stuff I laminated" or "wanna go to the PTA carnival with me (and get put to work haha). He was definitely my teacher side-kick.

 

Everything went awesome until our honeymoon. By the fifth day, I was in tears, had gone out for solo coffee, and was on the phone with my best friend Carri, who also happens to be an expert in counseling.  

 

After the conversation, I took a picture because I wanted to remember the moment. Noteworthy as I look back is the wait staff at the hotel assuming my husband was coming with me and setting two places.

 

 The conversation went something like this:


Me: Carri, I can't do this! Like...I think I've made a mistake. I had no idea...

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