If we want to be the best possible version of ourselves, we must put our wellness as teachers as a top priority.
This post is challenging for me to write, as I would be generally content to spend December living off of frothy coffee drinks and holiday cheese balls. Except that when I have previously attempted this ‘Eat anything! Drink anything!’ holiday mentality, my energy plummets. My immune system is shot. I feel sluggish. I can’t think clearly. It’s not the ideal way to end the year.
Which is why I remind myself over and over again, “If we want to be the best possible version of ourselves, we must put our wellness as teachers as a top priority.”
Especially in December.
When the daylight hours are few, our energy is low, and our ‘to do’ list seems to never end, it is critically important to take care of our basic wellness needs by eating, drinking, and being heathy.
I have no expectations of myself (or my readers) to train for a marathon this month or embark on a keto diet, but I think it is crucial that we hold fast to the basic pillars of wellness in December. Basic, folks. Nothing fancy. Here are a few guidelines that have worked well for me:
Eat: Eat foods that you can put into your body that will actually give you energy and sustain you as opposed that those that will give you a quick jolt of energy that will then drop at 3 p.m. (think more carrots and pineapple, less of the plate of donuts in the staffroom or the tray of nanaimo bars at your kid’s holiday party). Ensure that you are feeding yourself nutrient-dense foods at regular intervals throughout the day.
Drink: I feel a bit hypocritical as I am writing this, since this time of the year I could live with a mug of coffee superglued to my hand, but here we go: Put down the coffee and sip water throughout the day (I wrote that as much for me as I did for you.) Water is essential to your health. Bring a water bottle and keep it on your desk. Add lemons or mint leaves if you like or pretend it is a clear caramel macchiato but keep drinking water All. Day. Long.
Be Healthy: December is a ridiculously busy time for teachers. It is easy for us to say, “I just need to get through the holidays and then I will …” (Fill in the blank here with whatever: catch up on my sleep or return to a regular gym routine…). However, I implore you to avoid abandoning your selfcare routine at all costs. Instead, focus on the best way to take care of your mental and physical health this month. For me, in the madness of the holidays, this is usually a solitary activity like writing or walking. And I do it daily.
Lisa Bush is a writer, educator, and author of the book Teaching Well: How healthy, empowered teachers lead to thriving, successful classrooms. She is the creator of the Working Mom Wellness Podcast. To receive the latest wellness news from Lisa, sign up here.
Originally published at http://lisabush.ca on December 12, 2019.