Tackle teacher burnout with a simple suggestion.
As I come back from a number of back-to-back appointments, I’m reflecting on how busy life can be and thinking about how to set boundaries for myself.
We hear this a lot in our community, from teachers, parents, and health practitioners, that we’re feeling overwhelmed and that we have these high expectations for ourselves. We have so many pressures and demands in our lives.
And what I’d like to remind myself (and you) is that we are indeed in control of our lives. I know this seems obvious, but sometimes we forget, because we are such caregivers and we want to please everyone and take care of everyone.
But I’ve found one way to set up these boundaries is to have a “word of the year” that inspires you. It’s an overarching word (characteristic) that drives my year.
As an example, last year, I had the hardest year of my life. In January, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, my child was diagnosed with a special need, and my husband had some work issues. These are the three most important people in my life, and it felt like the rug had been pulled from underneath my feet. It was devastating, and nothing like this had ever happened to me with such intensity.
So I created this word, “calm,” for the year.
“Calm” for me meant that I:
- needed to stop doing a number of things
- only practiced restorative yoga for months to calm my nervous system
- took on breathing exercises every single day
- reevaluated all my volunteer experiences I was involved in
- cancelled parties that we were supposed to go to
- worked on creating a calm and comfortable home
- helped guide my daughter through her mental challenges
- looked at ways to make myself feel calm while being of service to others
Having that overarching word helped me look at my calendar to ensure that I was creating a “calm” life. I looked at what to add to my life and what to take out.
This really made a difference to me, and I’m hoping that’s helpful to you, too. What’s your overarching emotion you want to feel this year, right now?
And honestly, you might be a completely opposite position. For example, a couple of years ago, my word was “abundance.” Peggy, on a Kids Yoga Stories Facebook post, said she’s working on “grace,” and Leelou said her word of the year is “ignite.”
This year, I’m working on “peace.” Now that a lot of trauma has passed from last year, I’m working on creating a peaceful environment and hanging around peaceful people. I look for ways to remind myself of my special word throughout the whole year.
What I usually do is:
- buy a gemstone for when I meditate
- get some essential oil
- find a cute little written piece with that word
I’d love to hear from you.
Do you have a “word of the year”? Does it help you to set boundaries?
What Matters to Me?
Many of us teachers and caregivers feel like we just don’t have time to work on the things we enjoy, connect with our students in a deeper way, create engaging lesson plans, or just take a moment to rest and breathe. We have too much on our plates, have a hard time saying no, and want to care of everyone.
One of the yoga sutras states, “Bringing your mind to a single focus will help eliminate life’s obstacles.”
In this downloadable booklet below, we’re going to reflect on what you feel are the most important things to you, so that you can start to set healthy boundaries in your life and begin to discover more of what lights you up.
Let’s bring the joy back into our lives by reducing (or eliminating) what is pulling us down and increasing what makes us feel good.
By focusing on what matters to you, you can spend more time on your goals and dreams—ultimately reducing your stress and bringing yourself a sense of fulfillment, so you can be the best teacher you want to be!
Begin by clicking the link below, download the PDF, and start writing down what’s important to you. Choose someone or something in each of these categories: People, Practice, Passion, and Purpose. Then choose a “Word of the Year” that will act as your single focus, your north star.
Tell us in the comments below how this exercise helped you or email me directly to share your story!