Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you to blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort. – Deborah Day
I was always told to never define a word with the word itself. But the definition of self-care is rather self explanatory: taking care of self; and it means something different for everyone. For some it may mean exercise, going to a spa, reading a book, blogging, disconnecting from the digital world, or just chilling and doing nothing for the weekend. It really depends on the individual and doing something that feeds their soul. So the question is: “What feeds my soul?”
My soul feeds on doing what I was designed to do and that is my job as an educator. I know that sounds weird to many, “How can your job be a form of self-care?” It’s simple, if I can impact others, students, teachers and staff, by helping them grow in their learning and thinking, my soul has been fed like a Sunday meal at my grandmother’s house! I’m talking FULL to the point that walking becomes a chore because you don’t want to do anything to disrupt the richness of the experience. Just sit back and bask in the sunshine of the food, family and fun then file that memory away for the moments when life brings you rain.
A few weeks ago I had a situation develop that caused me to question if this was still the job for me. I wasn’t feeling like I was making the difference I knew I had the ability to make at my school. I began to feel stressed and remembered that I promised myself that I would no longer stress over things I cannot control, so I did what I believed was best to combat the madness. I got my nails done.
It felt great! I did something for myself. I did something that made me feel good. As I sat in the chair being pampered by the nail technicians and getting the massage from the cushy spa chair, I felt relaxed and the cares from earlier in the month began to melt away into oblivion. However, that act of #selfcare wasn’t enough to bring me back to feeling like Rhonda again. Something was still missing. A few days later I went in for my annual physical and blood work. My blood pressure was high and the doctor wanted to prescribe me medicine. I told her no. I wanted to self-regulate my blood pressure through natural methods including eating better, exercising regularly, and practicing self-care.
The next morning, I put on my faux Fit Bit, packed my protein snacks for the day and ate a bowl of slow release carbohydrate oatmeal. As I ran the thoughts of my day through my mind, I became more determined to exercise my inalienable right to a healthier happier me by doing something that made me smile and put a skip in my step. I entered my office and as I began my daily routine of unpacking my computer and getting my ice water, a first year teacher came bustling in wanting me to triple check her grade book setup and help with some technology ideas for her LMS course page. Although my routine was interrupted, I could tell she needed me to bring her a sense of calm, so I helped her make sure things were setup properly and explained how to troubleshoot any concerns that may arise in case I’m not around to help. She left my office less anxious and feeling empowered to do her job well. But before she completely crossed the threshold, she turned and said to me, “Thanks for not making me feel like I should know this already.” It was in that moment, I knew what I needed to do for my #selfcare. I remembered “Each One Can Reach One then Teach One” and my impact didn’t just have to be fueled by my ambition to save the world tomorrow. I felt a level of peace wash over me and I knew moments like this were MY happy place.
2020 Self-Care Resolution
So, my #selfcare, the thing that makes me feel like the Rhonda I was destined to be, will be helping a new teacher grow in her craft. I will not only share my knowledge of technology integration and expertise of some best teaching practices, but I also hope that my obvious happiness, doing what feeds my soul, will be noticed and highly infectious and everyone will see that self-care isn’t limited to doing things un-associated with their jobs.
Find what feeds your soul….find your self-care….don’t be confined by societal norms of what true self-care is. Do what makes you happy. Do what keeps you healthy and don’t let anything, or anyone, take that joy away or cause your stride to fail.