Be Well Butte Educators; Dec. 2020
A Monthly Wellness Newsletter for Butte County's Educators
December Happiness Calendar
Connecting with Strangers During the Pandemic
Why You Shouldn't Hate Small Talk
A soothing YouTube Channel you might find enjoyable this month.
Each month our own Matt Reddam, BCOE School & Community Wellness Advisor, tries out a new wellness activity and reports back on his experience. This month, Matt tries the second thing - Meditation.
Since I currently do not have access to some of the wonderfully brutal suggestions submitted by our readers (hyperbaric chamber), I decided to try meditation as my next wellness activity. For thousands of years meditation has been woven around the globe into culture, tradition, healing, and religion. The Soto sect of Buddhism for example, believes that every time one practices Zazen (sitting meditation) one is expressing the true essence of the Buddha, and therefore expressing enlightenment. The benefits of meditation are too far reaching and varied to list here, but the Mayo Clinic highlights those most closely linked with wellness:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations.
- Building skills to manage your stress.
- Increasing self-awareness.
- Focusing on the present.
- Reducing negative emotions.
- Increasing imagination and creativity.
- Increasing patience and tolerance.
If reading about meditation had the same impact as say, meditating, I would probably be able to levitate at this point. Alas, this is not the case. My relationship to meditation has been similar to my relationship to Moby Dick. I know it is a wonderful work of art, but also so much effort. However, given the fact that my sole form of exercise in the past 8 months has been primarily based on various forms of pacing, it probably makes sense to stop for a bit. This was my chance to get back to the barely reachable half-lotus pose and train my wayward mind.
I found a less noisy spot in my house and sat. I was taught to start with a simple (spoiler, it may be simple, but that does not mean it isn’t difficult) 5 minute meditation. I started with counting my breath, in and out - one, in and out - two, and so on until I reached ten, then back to one. When I got distracted (spoiler number two, this happened frequently and immediately), I would return to one. Although my knees hurt, back hurt, ankles ached, and my brain introduced me to all sorts of wild thoughts, it genuinely left me feeling good. Part of that goodness is the simple act of taking care of myself, the other part is that I can now tell people I don’t just read about meditation…….I do it (once). Here are a few great meditation sites!
4-Step Meditation to Beat Holiday Stress
To make it even sweeter, Down Dog has just launched a brand new Meditation App that is included in the free offer. Be sure to check it out in addition to their other apps!
A Different Kind of Connection
Upcoming Wellness Opportunities
Free Course for Educator Well-Being From Yale
The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence’s new course, Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty and Stress, is now available on Coursera and it's FREE.
Managing Emotions in Times of Uncertainty and Stress is a free, 10-hour course that is designed to help school staff better manage their emotions and create supportive learning environments for students. The course content is delivered by leading experts in the fields of psychology, education, and research at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Participants will complete coursework at their own pace and create an action plan to enhance their personal and professional growth.
You might recognize the Instructor, Marc Brackett, who is the Co-Creator of the RULER Approach and author of Permission to Feel.