Purposefully Shaping Our Mindset To Best Serve Our Students!
May 11, 2020
Personal Well-Being - Sleep
Sleep is an integral part of our well-being, though it is an element that we often overlook. It can be easy to ignore the adverse effects of sleeping too little. Anyone who has spent significant time around a young child knows that being tired can do some interesting things to the human body (my one-year-old gets delirious one hour before bed). I encourage you to take some time to reflect on your habits around sleeping.
As a reminder, all of the wellness factors that we are focusing on are:
- Exercise: Are exercise and movement incorporated into your daily and weekly plans? How do you define success in this area?
- Time-Management (Routines): What does an ideal day or week look like for you? Are you developing a schedule or routine (even though children, spouses, work, the weather, and more may throw that plan off)?
- Eating Habits: Do you plan your meals ahead of time? Are your meals balanced? What are your readily available snack options?
- Sleep: How many hours of sleep do you typically get? What time are you going to sleep and waking up? What is your routine before going to bed?
- Relationships: Are you communicating your feelings, opinions, joys... and annoyances openly (and lovingly) with others in your home? Are you maintaining (or re-establishing) connections to friends and family?
Quote of the Week
I started off this series of Mindset Mondays by focusing on exercise, then we discussed time-management, and last week the focus was on healthy eating habits. As you can imagine, these factors are all inter-connected; working out, having good time-management, and eating healthy all help prepare for and ultimately have a restful night of sleep. I have a few suggestions that I pulled from several resources and my own experience, though I strongly encourage you to adjust and add based on your lifestyle.
Tips for healthy sleeping habits:
- Do not sleep with your cell-phone within reach (give your phone its own place to 'sleep.' Use 'do not disturb' settings, and if you must be reached, place it somewhere that it can be heard).
- Use a real alarm clock. If we can use a $1,000 cell-phone for an alarm clock, we can spend $20 for something with the singular purpose of displaying time and waking us up. This one is great!
- Try to be consistent with your sleeping and waking times.
- Create a routine before bed and follow it consistently. (Preparing clothes for the next day, reviewing a schedule, saying goodnight to your loved ones, washing your face, brushing your teeth, checking that doors are locked...whatever works for you, just be consistent).
- Cover small lights emitted by electronics (electrical tape works well)
- If there is excessive noise that you can not control, consider using natural sounds (Alexa, Google Home, or specific devices can help for this).
This article has a fairly comprehensive list to review. As has been the case with all other well-being topics, it is all about effort. If you focus on your sleeping habits, they will likely improve. You are worth it!
The Racing Mind of an Educator
One great strategy is to do a brain dump. Take all of the items on your long list and... make a list! Just write everything that is on your mind down, it may not fully erase the anxiety, but it does help free up some brain space knowing that you have it all written down even if the tasks are not planned or organized.
Another strategy is practicing mindfulness. There are plenty of free options available to educators. Headspace made a well-developed guide specifically for educators to develop a personal practice to clear our minds and focus on the present. Click here to access it.
If you have a hard time decompressing, winding down, or if the stress of being an educator prevents you from sleeping well, PLEASE take steps towards improving. You owe it to your family, your students, and your peers...but most of all, you owe it to yourself!