Wellness Wednesday

9/22/2021 - Self-Care Strategies for GPISD Staff

SELF-CARE AWARENESS MONTH

Self–Care Awareness Month in September is a time to remind us that taking care of ourselves, first and foremost, is essential. Self-care is often neglected in our everyday lives. We all tend to put others’ needs before our own and it is crucial to remember, that we cannot fill another’s cup from our own empty vessel. Here are five strategies that educators can start using right away that will lead to better self-care.

1. Trim Your List "Top Three"

Start by making a list of your top 10 priorities. Next, rank them in order of importance. Finally, circle your top three and cross out the bottom seven. What you circled is what you will focus on. Extremists say that you should ignore anything that is not in your top three. That is probably impossible, but you can give 95 percent of your focus to the top three and leave the remaining 5 percent of your energy to check in on the other seven items. I guarantee you will get more accomplished, have more time for yourself, and worry less about getting everything done.

2. Allow Yourself to Stop

As you go about your day, look for times when you can stop and relax your brain, even if it's only for a few minutes. I promise it will be a good use of your time. And, if you don't make the habit of pausing once in a while, your body and mind might just do it on their own—whether you choose to or not.

3. Embrace Vulnerability

Vulnerability is one of those things that sounds easier than it actually is. It can be particularly difficult for stressed-out individuals, already with their guards up against physical and emotional harm, to be vulnerable. Yet, embracing vulnerability may be just the thing to help you feel better. As Brene' Brown wrote in The Gifts of Imperfection, "We have to own our story and share it with someone who has earned the right to hear it, someone whom we can count on to respond with compassion" (p. 9).


Some individuals learn from hearing others' mistakes. More than anything though, they learn that they are not alone—and they give themselves a little grace.

4. Reach Out to Experts

While I believe these strategies will help you reduce stress and take better care of yourself, I have no doubt that there will be days when you feel as if you just can't go any further.

Let's normalize seeking help, and talking with those that may be an expert in certain areas.

5. Pass Your Umbrella

As Grand Prairie ISD employees, you hold the umbrella day in and day out, protecting your students from everything that could possibly harm them. You are their shield. The problem is, there comes a time when our arms get tired and our hands begin to shake. Continuing to hold the umbrella is almost impossible and can send us over the edge, physically and mentally.


Remember that it is okay to pass your umbrella so that you can rest and recover and, ultimately, take better care of those that you serve. If one of your colleagues reached out to you and asked if you could hold their umbrella, you wouldn't hesitate because that's what you do. You take care of each other and you take care of your students. It's time you start taking care of you.

AETNA- Did You Know?

Aetna offers an online coaching program called Simple Steps. Simple Steps is customized to your health and interests. Plus, you can earn a $50 gift card by taking that first step.


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