Friday, March 25, 2016

I CHALLENGE YOU To Do These 7 Amazing Things!

I CHALLENGE YOU To Do These 7 Amazing Things! - Self Care Challenge By A Word On Third

Spring break comes and goes, and on the first day back to school, you feel exhausted. You wish you could have had just one more day off to get everything done. You don't feel ready for the whole week and there are a lot of things you hoped to get done over break that you didn't get done.

Sound familiar?

I thought it might. As teachers, we have so many things on our plate all day when we are at work. So many of us are also moms or dads, home owners, pet owners... the list of responsibilities go on. And we all LOVE to care for the important people in our lives, including, but not limited to, our students. The problem is that I think we are the type of people who can run through life without remembering to take care of ourselves. Let me repeat that for you. 


We forget to take care of ourselves.


WHAT!? It's sad, but it's true. And it's OK to put others first... but only sometimes. We have to think about prioritizing. Think about yourself going through life as if you're a car. We have a full tank of gas, but we haven't had an oil change in who knows how long. We need to put some air in our tires too. Before you know it, you have an engine problem and a flat tire. If we took the time to just get our oil changed or put a little air in our tires a few months back, maybe this wouldn't have happened. Sure, we got gas when we needed it, and maybe we even got someone to squeegee our windshield... but it's not enough. STOP WALKING THROUGH LIFE FORGETTING TO CHANGE YOUR OIL AND THEN WONDERING WHY YOU'RE SO TIRED.

This spring break, I'm really determined to fill myself up, and after listening to countless comments on blogs, periscope, blabs... it's undeniable that I am not the only one with this on my mind. I just think it's criminal that we do this to ourselves, Teachers, and it has GOT. TO. STOP! Not only are you not happy when you are feeling like this...

I CHALLENGE YOU To Do These 7 Amazing Things! - Self Care Challenge By A Word On Third
...but you're NOT able to be your best teacher/parent/home owner/pet owner etc. Isn't that the opposite of what you'd expect? If you're that tired, shouldn't that mean that your productivity just went through the roof? But it doesn't! Think about how much you can get done over the summer when you really focus on setting up your classroom. It's because you're well-rested. I got into teaching because I love it. I am guessing you got into it for that reason too. SO PUT THE JOY BACK INTO IT, TEACHERS!!! Start taking back your life. As soon as I started experimenting with getting this balance back into my life (and BELIEVE ME when I say I am NOWHERE close to perfect with this), I became a better partner, my apartment got cuter and cleaner, my dogs behaved better... AND MY STUDENTS LEARNED MORE.

Ok, that's enough capital letters and feistiness for now. So what am I going to do about it? What are YOU going to do about it? Well, I CHALLENGE you to take part in my spring break Teacher Self-Care Challenge!!! This is a really easy and simple challenge. It's as easy as you want it to be. And the best part is? I want you to do as much or as little of it as you want. This is not about stressing you out... this is about filling you up. These are just some things that make a difference in my life that I think you could benefit from too.

A Teacher Self-Care Challenge By A Word On Third


Let me break down each of these 7 items on my challenge list for you. You can also watch my Periscope below to get my tips for making these 7 things really count!

1. Plan/prepare meals for your return to school in advance.

When I started doing this, my life got SO much easier. It takes a little work at the beginning, but you get used to it. I plan out my grocery lists (and I even plan them to minimize my time there, all the produce is in one section, the dry goods are in another section... HEY! Don't judge! I wanna get out of there ASAP!), I plan out my breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks, and I think about what's going on each night when Mr. Word On Third or I will be cooking. It's all about MAKING THINGS EASY on yourself. I LOVE not wondering what to cook, and I LOVE when breakfasts/lunches are just put into my lunch box each morning with no effort.

2. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
You know how people get "hangry?" (Hungry + angry = hangry... and it happens because you haven't eaten) I think people get... thirstry? When you don't drink enough, you get grupy, lethargic, and feel like doo. Nobody likes that! Drink your water!! Don't like water? Put some fruit in it! Still don't like it? Have some tea. Make it happen! If you have a headache, you are PROBABLY dehydrated. If you're not, you're probably stressed. So do the other things in this challenge and all potential headaches will go away. :)

I've written about this before here and here. Some of the information is repeated in both links.

3. Do at least one special thing for yourself each day.
I don't care if this is sitting down for 5 minutes and doing nothing, spending time doing a favorite hobby... it can be anything. It can be wearing your coziest pair of warm, fuzzy socks. It can be putting a youtube video of ocean sounds on in the background. It should make you happy!

4. Rest without feeling guilt.
Stop. Just stop. You know your students need a break. You know your loved ones need breaks. Give yourself one! No need to feel guilty for being human.

5. Take care of one chore that's stressing you out.
I have a few things on my to-do list right now that are REALLY upsetting me. I wish they were done. Well, if I get them done, they can't stress me out! Half of the battle most of the time is just getting started. And even if you don't finish it in one swoop, you'll feel glad you made progress.

6. Do something fun with someone you love.
Anything! Just make it fun, and with someone you love. Watch a movie! Play a game! Snuggle! 

7. Move at least two times over break.
This one people get all upset about sometimes and then they say, "AHHH I HATE EXERCISE ROAR AHHH," but I'm going to challenge you on this one. Nobody hates exercise. If you think you hate exercise, you're doing the wrong one. Maybe you should dance instead of run around on a boring old treadmill. Maybe you like the treadmill! Maybe you should try p90x or maybe you should try yoga. Maybe you like going for a relaxing walk. Whatever you do, just move. I've written more about ways to get moving here. I shared some of my favorite ways to move. Don't feel like you have to sweat 29384023 gallons... you just have to get your body moving! This is coming from an ex CERTIFIED COUCH POTATO. Now I exercise 6 or 7 days a week! That was a huge change for me that I never would have believed would happen.

You can even make this COOLER by trying to get fit with your class like my friend Amy Harris does. Check her really welcoming and fun fitness group here. It's so great to be a part of a community that understands what's hard for you.

If you want all my juicy tips, check them out by watching my scope below.


SO TEACHERS. NOW IT'S GO TIME. I CHALLENGE you to do these 7 things during break. You will find yourself being a happier, more relaxed teacher. You will find yourself more productive and more energized. Take care of yourself, because if you don't do it, nobody will.

Snap pictures of yourself completing the challenge and post them on instagram with the hashtag #teacherselfcarechallenge or #awordonthird. Also, post the challenge rules on your instagram and invite your beautiful teacher friends to join up! This is all about making you HAPPY. Spread the happiness around! Remember, if you miss a day, no sweat. Just hop back on the self-care bandwagon the next day. Which one of these 7 things are you most excited about? Comment below!

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