Teachers in Transition

Teachers in Transition - Episode 131 - Why Self-Care is Important to Your Physical and Mental Health

September 30, 2021 Kitty Boitnott Season 1 Episode 131
Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 131 - Why Self-Care is Important to Your Physical and Mental Health
Show Notes Transcript

Self-care is so important during times of stress, and we all know these are certainly days of stress, right?

In this week's episode, Kitty shares that she has recently written a post about "The Importance of Self-Care for Both Your Mental and Physical Health," and she shares a few of the strategies from that post.

To read the post yourself, click here: https://kittyboitnott.coachesconsole.com/newsletters/the-importance-of-self-care-for-both-your-mental-and-physical-health.html?cld=5ed53726fbb581dc68c233c4


To send Kitty questions about today's episode or offer suggestions for future episodes, write to her at [email protected]


Also, please review the "Teachers in Transition" podcast to help others find this podcast.


#stress #stressmanagement #stressrelief #selfcare

Speaker 1:

Are you a teacher who's feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. Do you worry that you're feeling symptoms of burnout or are you sure you've already gotten there? Have you started to dream of doing some other kind of job or perhaps pursuing a whole different career, but you don't know what else you're even qualified to do. You don't know how to start a job search. You just feel stuck. If that sounds like you, I promise you're not alone. My name is kitty Boitnott. I'm a career transition and job search coach. And I specialize in helping burn out teachers. Just like you deal, not only with the stress and overwhelm of your day-to-day job, but to consider what other careers might be out there waiting for you. Join me for teachers in transition. In some episodes, I'll be speaking to stress management techniques and how you can manage your stress on a day to day basis. In other episodes, I'll be talking about career transition. What tools do you need to be successful in a job search when you're moving from one career into a totally different track. These are questions that you need answers to, and I can help you find those answers. My name is kitty . Boitnott welcome to teachers and transition.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to episode 131 of teachers in transition, the podcast and YouTube channel. My name is Katie Boitnott. I'm the owner of teachers in transition and boys not coaching. And , uh , if you've listened to this podcast in the past, you know that I alternate topics , uh , each week, one week I talk about stress management strategies. And the next week I talk about career transition. I can talk about those of those topics because I am a heart centered career transition and job search coach that's utilizing and working with burnout teachers who are ready for a career change. I'm also a certified stress management coach. And so I can speak to and have written about burnout and stress management strategies in the past before COVID. I used to do workshops for teachers on how to manage their stress and how to create a sense of work-life balance, but those days are over. And perhaps I need to think about offering that training as a virtual training. I need to think about that. It just occurred to me that maybe I should, this week, the topic of the week is stress. And I want to circle back to an article or post it's actually a newsletter that I just sent out earlier this week to the folks who are on my newsletter list. And it was entitled the importance of self-care for both your mental and health. And I know that self care has become another one of his buzzwords that we throw away around fairly loosely. Uh , it means different things to different people, and it's much easier to talk about than it is to actually exercise on a regular basis. But it goes back to another post that I offered not too long ago, about the importance of embracing the notion that self-care is not selfish. Self-care is critical. It is critical to your physical, mental, and emotional health, especially during these trying times when it is so easy to forget about self care , because we are in the midst of a storm of stress all around us. If you are a teacher, you are struggling with stress coming at you from a hundred different directions every single day. And thinking about self care majors , feel like another thing you've got to add to your to-do list, but I want to urge you to , to approach it with a different attitude, a different mindset, if you would, because even though it seems hard, difficult, challenging to create a routine that includes self care , not doing that is going to create more harm than good you'll wind up eventually. And I say this in all of my stress management classes, it's not a matter of if the stress will make you sick. It's only a matter of when stress can show up and a dozen different ways in physical and mental and emotional manifestations physically, it can cause gastrointestinal issues. It can cause skin rashes. It can cause cardiovascular issues. It can create twitches and ticks because your body is over whelmed with stress hormones that are released into your bloodstream as a result of being constantly vigilant, waiting for the other shoe to drop. No, we are hardwired to deal with the stress of being chased by a tiger or meeting up with a bear in the woods. That's that's what the adrenaline in our systems was built for. It was made for was the fight or flight response, the instantaneous reaction to an endanger. I need to do something and a decision that's almost instantaneous. Do I fight it out? Do I stay in fight or do I take off and flee fight or flight? That's that's the impulse. And during that particular moment, there's no thinking going on, you're simply reacting with that. Adrenaline flooding into your bloodstream, helping to give you either the strength to fight it out, or the speed of flee either way, the adrenaline is going to help you with whatever it is you decide. But when we are not actually physically threatened and yet feel the emotion, we feel like we're under the gun. If you will, all the time, then it's difficult for our body. It's difficult. It's impossible for our brain to distinguish between what is a real threat and what is a perceived threat. And I just was reading this morning in an article that when you are overstressed , you will make poor decisions because your brain literally doesn't have the bandwidth to handle a big decision when you're in a , a state of overstress . So in order to make good solid decisions, you have to be able to calm yourself, calm your mind, find a moment of peace that will allow you to think clearer so that you make wiser decisions and self care can go a long way toward helping you find that space in your day, where you can think clearly about whatever dilemma you may be facing next, whatever challenge may be coming up for you to deal with next. And so in this post that I wrote this week for my newsletter and I'll, I'll post the link to it. In case you would like to have a copy of it. First of all, you need to acknowledge what you can and cannot control. So much of what's going on around us right now is out of our hands. We have absolutely no control as a teacher. You can't dictate to your students, which ones get vaccinated and which ones don't that's out of your hands. Even if the CDC says everybody can get vaccinated, it's still out of your hands because it's a parental decision. It's not your decision as to who gets vaccinated. If you have chosen not to get vaccinated, you certainly can control that. But then if you wind up getting the , the virus, certain things will suddenly be outside of your control. You'll have to quarantine. If you get sick enough, you'll end up needing the doctor's help. So recognize the things you can control and the things you cannot for the things that you can control, do what you can to stay ahead or on top of those things and let go of the things over which you have no control. Now, for some of us, that's much easier said than done. I know, but that's, that is what is required. That you understand the difference between the things you can control and the things you can't, things that you commit to you have control over. So you can choose to set better boundaries and not agree to do anything and everything that comes down the pike, you can start controlling what you're willing and unwilling to take on extra. There are certain things you don't have any control over, but there are lots of things you do have lots of control over. And if you find yourself getting worried or anxious about the future, try to stick to just what you have to get done today and set aside for now any worry or anxiety about what's going to happen a week from now a month from now a year from now, for today, just concentrate on what you need to get done today. And if it helps you to become more organized about what you need to get done, create a planner, either on your phone or get up, get a paper planner, write down everything that you need to do each day include even the smallest errand stopping at the drug store to pick up a prescription, include everything, to give yourself a sense of control over what you have control over, and it will help you to still your mind. It will help you to focus on just today and the task at hand today. It might help, especially given the monotony that the pandemic has created for so many of us that the sameness of day to day, it might help if you change things up periodically. So if you haven't been on a trip lightly plan, a safe getaway , even if it's just a day trip a day trip somewhere where you can perhaps go for a long walk. If you live close enough to a beach takeoff for a day at the beach, there's something restorative about being around water. That at least for me, I find it very restorative. So try to switch things up. You'll feel optimism about the future. Instead of so much anxiety, it helps to create a better frame of mind when you have something to look forward to. So plan it out like , uh , you know, three weeks from now a month from now, you're going to take a day to go to the beach, take a day, to go for a hike, just take a day, take a day, to meet a friend for lunch, do something that's fun for you. That gives you a sense of having something to look forward to instead of the sameness, because research shows that the sameness, the monotony of our everyday routine can Lola us into feeling complacent and bored. And then again, we don't function at our highest and best. So think in terms of creating a way for you to change things up, even if it's just a little bit, if you can't plan a , a long cruise somewhere, lots of people are planning those now and lots of travel agents and , and destinations are planning more and more safe ways for you to travel. But if you can't do that at least plan a short trip for yourself, something to look forward to, if you really feel overwhelmed with your thoughts and your feelings during this difficult time, consider the possibility of journaling or keeping a diary. You know, I don't know if I've shared on the podcast . I have shared with the folks in my, in my tribe, the people that I write to every week in my business, I have shared that my brother passed away a few months ago, quite unexpectedly, and very suddenly, and in cleaning out his house, my sister and I found 107 journals that he kept over the years, starting in the mid 1990s, all the way up to the last entry was four or five days before he passed away. They are a treasure. He has written about music because he loved music. He's written about literature because he was well read and widely read. He's written about politics and political events in our day. He's written about pop culture. I mean, you name it, even the weather. I mean, it's kinda like reading farmer's Almanac and parts of it, nothing extraordinary, except for the fact that it gives us insight into his brilliant mind over the course of the years that he chose to live alone. And they are his gift to us. He worked out lots of things in his head by writing in those journals. And you might find writing in your own journal, also helpful therapeutic, getting it out of your head and on paper can go a long way toward helping you to release stress that you're holding on to in your mind, learn to say no more often. This is a hard one, especially for teachers because we're always eager to help, right? We're , we're the first of all frontier with if, if , uh , if our principal needs us to show up for something, we we're there, we want to help. We wanna , we want to help get things done, but you can overdo that. And if you start to overdo it at your own expense, then you've not done anybody, any favors you've overextended yourself. You may or may not be able to complete whatever it was that you offered to do. And then you've let everybody down. You feel even worse. And if you hadn't volunteered at all to learn how to say no. And think in terms of creating your own important boundaries for yourself, boundaries that you need in order to be able to stay true to yourself, to take care of yourself, to take care of your most immediate family, the people who need you the most. Those are just a few things that , that I recommend that you do to take better care of yourself, to practice self-care . And to try to that , you will never eliminate the stress hormones that are released into your system, but you can mitigate them. You can, you can reduce them by taking better care of yourself. And these are just a few of many different ways find what works for you. But remember that self-care is not selfish. It is essential. If we're all going to get through this pandemic, we have got to do what we've got to do to get through it in one piece as healthful, healthily as possible, and to be there for our loved ones. When we come through this finally, and we will eventually come through it and we can reconnect on an in-person basis instead of virtually all the time, truly connect in-person , then we will be better for it. If we've taken better care of ourselves during this not so wonderful interim period. So until next time stay well, stay safe, take care, start practicing self care . If you aren't already as always let me know if you have any questions that Katie Boitnott at, gmail.com review this podcast, please. So other people can find it more easily. Send me your thoughts and suggestions about topics. You'd like me to cover [email protected] . And I hope that you will have taken a chance to read the article from this week and really take it in and pay attention to some of the suggestions that I offer for ways to take care of yourself mentally and physically, as well as emotionally until next time. Thanks for listening.

Speaker 1:

So there you have it, an episode of teachers in transition. I hope you enjoy the information and I hope you'll plan to come back, please subscribe to teachers in transition so that you can be alerted of future episodes. And let me know if you have any questions or topics that you would like me to specifically cover in a future episode, I'm more than happy to help with individual questions as well. So email [email protected] . If you are interested in finding a new career or just enjoying your life more, this is the place to start. I'm Katie Boitnott and this is teachers in transition.