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When It Feels Like Nothing is Going Right

I don't know about you, but I've personally had a really difficult Spring. My mom was hospitalized at the end of February, and by March she had passed away. She had terminal cancer and while it was somewhat expected, there's just nothing that can prepare you for it.

I was feeling really down this past week, and I decided to invest some time in a strategy that works really well for me and lots of my clients: mental time travel.

 

I just sensed eyerolls from all over the country as you all read "time travel." 

Stick with me. It sounds stupid. I know, and in fact, that's how I initially felt when I read about this practice in an evidence-based journal. You can read more here if you're into science.

But turns out, it works.

Let me share how it works:

1) Take 10 minutes to completely set aside all the awful junk going down at home and work. All the overwhelmed and overworked feelings.

2) Sit down with a notebook or open a note on...

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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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How to Physically Express Anger about Teaching

 
I often reflect on what resources would be the most helpful for you, and today's tool came from one of those times of reflection on my own burnout recovery journey.

When I would experience a burnout event (something that made me feel even more deeply ready to quit), I would feel so much anger. I would feel angry about budgets, emails, administrators, curriculum, policies, data collection, committees, drama...you name it, I was angry. 

Anger exists to signal us that there's been an injustice that needs to be righted.

Unfortunately, sometimes we can't right all the injustices. We have to process the anger through expressing it, and that's hard. 

As I studied the science behind why we feel anger and how it can be resolved, I realized I needed to be able to physically express the anger I was experiencing. 

Just throwing or hitting isn't enough though. You need to verbally express what you're angry about and why it's unjust. It helps us express our anger at the same...

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Guided Meditation for Stressed Teachers

 
 
Today I want to give you an easy win by providing you with a guided meditation for emotional self-care.

The guided meditation is provided in video format so that hearing folks can close their eyes and listen, and Deaf and hard of hearing folks can read it.

You could listen or watch during your lunch break, during your kid's baseball practice, or cozied up on the couch. My favorite things to do is lay in bed to listen. It's soooo relaxing.

via GIPHY

If you haven't done guided meditation before, you're in for a treat. It's a mindfulness practice that can help you learn to listen to your thoughts and body more intentionally. You'll relax and listen or read as I guide you through thinking about giving yourself compassion for the stress you're experiencing. 

Guided meditations are one of my favorite emotional self-care practices, so I'm excited to share with you.

Guided meditations are one tool that is available each month through the Teacher...

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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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What My Toddler's Diarrhea Taught Me About Teaching

parenting teacher burnout Aug 07, 2021
This morning I was making my son's lunch and he was playing in our sun room.

He came running around the corner, grabbed the broom, and took off. I smiled because he's so adorable and has a love of cleaning.

I got everything in his lunchbox and called for him to come to me so we could do his hair. He yelled, "hold on mommy. I clean" and I headed around the corner to scoop him up and haul him to the bathroom.

I came around the corner and there was diarrhea from one corner of the room to the other, and he was trying to sweep it up with the broom. 🧹 
 
Lucky for me I was still barefoot and slipped right in it. 🤦🏻‍♀️
 


First, if you've been following me long enough, you know I don't do smells. Right after I saw it, the smell hit me right in the face, and I started heaving. Of course, my son with all his empathy starts saying on repeat "U ok mommy? Mommy? You ok?"

I yelled for my husband and I swear it took him 5 minutes to arrive, which in this situation was a really...
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