In order to take care of other people, I need to take better care of myself. Since my theme for 2018 is Self Care, I have made a plan of strategies I can use to help with that. I have not included ALL of the strategies I thought of, but these will get me started.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t need to lose weight. I do. Quite a bit. I am not pleased with my body composition at this point. That said, I intend to approach the physical self care in a way that focuses on making my machine a strong & healthy one, rather than the number on the scale.
I intend to return to a way of eating that re-balances the amount of carbohydrates in my diet. I know that I usually turn to pastas, breads, and sweets when I am stressed and that adds up very quickly. I will attempt to eat whole foods whenever possible. The rule of thumb: If it has a commercial, don’t eat it. Actually, any of Michael Pollans’s rules about food are pretty good to follow. The struggle will be times close to school performances. It will be incredibly easy to simply go to a drive-thru on my way home, but not the healthiest choice. For this reason, I plan to use Sundays as meal-prep day for all my meals during the week. If I cook it, I know what’s in it. If I cook it ahead of time, I’m not tempted to eat crap because I’m too tired to cook. I plan to drink more water. I plan to cut my diet soda habit by switching to tea.
I also intend to increase my physical activity. In my previous life, I basically got paid to workout 5/6 days a week. In my new life, I don’t have that opportunity. Plus, as I edge closer to 40 and have had a thyroidectomy, my metabolism just isn’t what it used to be. I need to get up off my duff and move. I plan to schedule workouts, starting with 3 times a week. That adds up to – basically – 12 workouts a month. I know, I know. It should be more, but, like I said, it’s a good place to start.
I’m putting these three together, because a few of the strategies overlap.
I plan to incorporate meditation/relaxation into my routine. As I go along, I might throw some yoga in there. I plan to document positive things about myself – things I accomplished that day, positive things people have said about me, etc. I intend to find a non-work-related hobby – which, I’ll admit, is hard, because my professional life stemmed from my high school extra-curricular life. Hobbies are hard. The whole thing my generation is doing where we work jobs that are fulfilling, rather than just a paycheck, makes hobbies that don’t seem trite and cliche hard for me. It’s on my list though.
This is a hard one. This is where my focus is. Work. My students. They’re my kids. Thankfully, I’ve already gotten a head start on this one. I’m not trying to get into a debate here, but it’s pretty clear that MOST teachers work well beyond their contractual hours. Being a performing arts teacher tends to require even more time outside of the school day. I have already begun the practice of trying to leave work…at work. It’s a bit a of struggle, trying to make sure I’ve planned well enough to do just that, but I’ve made considerable progress since the start of the school year.
I plan to establish and maintain strict boundaries with my co-workers and my students. I plan to start by cutting off work communications at 7pm. I hope that shifts to even earlier, but it is starting point. I plan to check in with other teachers in the building on a regular basis. Thankfully, we have established a pretty good support system. I’m lucky. Not all teachers have that. I plan to read articles and attend professional development sessions that I feel will help me to work smarter and not harder.
I plan to dedicate time to my relationships, and that time is sacrosanct. Period. That includes time to cultivate my relationship with myself.
I will not devote time to relationships that do not contribute to my well-being.
Ok, so I added this one. It can’t hurt. I’ve found that I’ve gotten a bit loosey-goosey with my spending and need to take steps to get it in check. Some of the strategies in other categories, like at-home meal prep, will help. I’m also currently looking for a good budgeting app that I WILL USE.
I intend to. Will I always be successful? Probably not, but at least I have a plan. Plans can always be revised.
Happy New Year!