Self-care to Help You Shine

11/05/2020

Nearly everyone is feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed right now. One year ago, we would have never dreamed that we would find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, cleaning up after an unprecedented hurricane season, and coping with a contentious socio-political environment. It is enough to make you want to throw your hands up in the air and ask "what next?" (Although if you are the least bit superstitious like I am, you wouldn't dare tempt fate in such a way!)

On top of all of these challenges, many of us are learning to use new technologies and methods of instruction to teach students remotely, which leads to a whole new set of frustrations-students failing to log in, emotional check-ins, increased workload and time demands. Our nearly empty school buildings are eerily quiet, and it is even difficult to maintain a feeling of connection with friends and colleagues under such pressure. This is what makes self-care so critical at this time. Following are some self-care tips to alleviate stress and help you shine:

  1. Make it a point to call, text, or chat with friends and/or family daily. We are conducting frequent check-ins with our students, shouldn't we also take the time to share a laugh, or even a good cleansing cry, with the people who know and love us best?
  2. Treat yourself. Whether it is a special food (someone told me that today is National Doughnut Day!), a warm bubble bath, a new pair of shoes, or a fun project that you have been putting off, take some time to indulge yourself with something that makes you smile.
  3. Get some vitamin D. The benefits of getting outdoors and breathing the fresh air, even for a few minutes, cannot be overstated. Vitamin D may be absorbed from being outside in the sun for 10-30 minutes (depending on your skin type), and it can help support the immune system, strengthen bones, aid in coping with depression, as well as a variety of other health benefits.
  4. Exercise regularly. Anyone who knows me well, knows that exercise is the core of my self-care regimen. The mental health benefits are numerous and have a positive impact on depression, anxiety, PTSD, stress, and ADHD, Exercise also helps to improve memory, contributes to higher self-esteem, better sleep and more energy, and it builds resilience and healthy coping.

These are only a few self-care tips to get you started. You do not have to try them all at once. Select one and commit to doing it faithfully, even on days when you do not feel up to (especially on those days!). Add your own self-care activities as well, and don't forget to SHINE!