Be Well Butte Educators; Oct. 2020

A Monthly Wellness Newsletter for Butte County's Educators

Welcome

Hello and welcome to the first edition of Be Well Butte Educators, the newsletter designed specifically for the Wellness of all those serving students throughout Butte County. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, paraprofessional, office staff, bus driver, custodian, or any of the other many staff supporting Butte County's students, we're so glad you are here. Each month we will be sharing ideas and resources to support you in taking care of YOU!
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Many of us know the drill, "place the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others." In our self-care journeys, this is no less true. Join us on a journey to taking better care of ourselves, enabling us to take better care of each other and our students. If you'd like to receive this newsletter monthly, you can sign up in the right hand column of the web-based version of this Newsletter or send an email to mtaylor@bcoe.org with Wellness Newsletter in the Subject Line.

Grounding

Grounding techniques help us redirect our attention away from stressful feelings and emotions and back to the present. During these challenging times, it is easy to find ourselves feeling stressed and anxious. A technique like the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding Technique demonstrated in the video below can help move our thoughts and focus from stress and anxiety to the present moment.
Coping Skill: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Grounding Technique

Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation can also be incredibly grounding. Below is one option you could try.
Daily Calm | 10 Minute Mindfulness Meditation | Be Present

Change

Change is one thing that most every one of us has in common right now. Especially in education. From starting the school year in Distance Learning to now changing to various models of In-Person Instruction, change is certain. There's no doubt that change is hard. But there are ways that we can build our resilience and handle change better. The article below provides some helpful strategies.

Self-Care for Busy Educators

180 Days of Self-Care for Busy Educators by Tina H. Boogren is an amazing tool for incorporating self-care practices into our routines. Each month we will share an idea or two from this book.


Laughter


We know the saying goes, "Laughter is the best medicine." More and more research is showing that this is actually the case. Short-term benefits of laughter include stimulating our hearts, lungs, and muscles, releasing feel-good endorphins, relaxation, and reducing tension and stress. Laughter also has long-term effects including improved immune system, pain relief, increased personal satisfaction, and improved mood. And to be honest, doesn't laughing just make you feel better?


Things to try this month:


  • Watch funny videos: Try YouTube videos, sitcoms, and podcasts
  • Spend time with animals: Those of us with pets know they do ridiculous things. Take advantage of that! And as an added bonus, petting animals even lowers your blood pressure & boosts your immunity.
  • Be silly: Skip around your classroom. Crank up the music and do a silly dance. If you're shy, just close the curtains and lock your door!
  • Sing: Put on a favorite playlist and really belt those tunes out. According to some research, singing is an antidepressant.
  • Collect funny things: Create a Pinterest board to bookmark the funny things you find online. Then actually go back and look at them later. Challenge your students to collect funny things to share with the class on Fridays. Collect funny sayings, memes, pics, etc. and share them with others.

Matt Tries...

One of the most difficult aspects of wellness and self-care is finding the activity that not only supports wellness, but is enjoyable as well! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have an everyday person try different types of wellness activities and report back its effectiveness and enjoyment? Well, we do!! In each Newsletter our own School and Community Wellness Advisor, Matt Reddam, will try a wellness activity suggested by you the reader! Matt Tries will be a recurring summary of Matt’s experience with the suggested activity, including its effectiveness in reducing stress, how enjoyable and fun it was, and whether or not it led to a long term muscle injury. Stay tuned, and if you have suggestions for Matt’s first entry into the experiential world of wellness, click HERE and add your ideas.

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Relax

Escape to a Tropical location and listen to the sound of the waves.
🌴 Ocean Ambience on a Tropical Island (Maldives) with Soothing Waves & Paradise View for Relaxation.

Upcoming Wellness Opportunities

Tech Support

Are you working remotely? Or just finding yourself spending endless hours on Zoom or Google Meets? Google has lots of extensions that can help get you moving throughout your day. One option is Stretch Reminder. Add the extension to Google Chrome and you can set how often you'd like a reminder like the one below to pop up on your screen. Check out the Google App Store for other options, too!
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Optimistic Closing

One of CASEL's 3 SEL Signature Practices is the Optimistic Closure. An Optimistic Closure ends a meeting, class, or experience in a thoughtfully planned and meaningful way, helping everyone leave with appreciation and energy, looking forward to connecting again. As you finish reading this month's newsletter, what is one thing you are committing to trying out or incorporating into your routine for your own wellness?

Ideas for Future Newsletters?

Do you have ideas or a topic that you would like to see in a future newsletter? Click HERE to submit those for consideration. Thank you for your input!

Maryanne Taylor

Maryanne is the Principal for Special Education Programs for BCOE and is a member of the Coordinated District Support Team. This newsletter is part of a coordinated plan to address the wellness needs of all staff in our districts and schools in Butte County. For more resources, visit the BCOE Universal Wellness Webpage.