I know what you’re thinking, “Wasn’t 2020 the year of self-care?” Well maybe, but we were kind of forced into it weren’t we? I want this year to be intentional. At first, I was going to write a blog post about goal setting for 2021, but I decided to take a more laid back approach to 2021. Since let’s face it, all our ‘goals’ and ‘plans’ for 2020 went out the window lol. We can’t be effective teachers if we don’t first become the student. Let’s face it teaching has been rough this past year and we’re looking at facing another year of it. So instead of focusing on goals and plans, maybe it’s time to focus on our own self-development, self-growth, and self-care instead? Let’s make 2021 the year of self-development!
Fall In Love With A Hobby
Something I have recently picked up doing again is knitting and crocheting. It is something I can pick up while watching my kids, or tv. The repetitive act of completing stitching is meditative and calming. In fact, I find myself going to it more when I’m overwhelmed and stressed out. I don’t really focus on the final product outcome as much, I’ve actually taken on the daunting task of making a large blanket. Simply because I know it will take forever, it’s repetitive, and I can shut off my brain for a while. Find joy in a hobby you love, take time to do something you don’t have to think about. It can be therapeutic and calming to work on something that you enjoy. Give yourself a little self-care!
Read, Read, Read, and Read Some More!
When I was a kid, my best friend was the librarian and my art teacher. I would escape into the forest of books whenever I had a chance. My librarian let me take way more books out than were allowed. Because she knew I’d finish them all by the end of the week. I would read a book a day, or every other day depending on how long of a book it was.
However, when I became an adult I just stopped reading as much as I used to, That is till last fall 2020. In October I fell back in love with reading and making time to just sit and get lost in the pages of a good book. I ended up reading 20 books in October 2020, I plan on reading 100 Books in 2021. Fall in love with reading again! Let yourself get lost in another world for a while, and just enjoy the company of a good book.
Learn a New Skill
Personal Growth is something we sometimes forget about, especially as teachers. We are constantly working on our students, trying to better them, help them, and educate them. However, we forget that we are forever students and should be working on our own personal growth as well. My new skill for 2021 is refreshing my Spanish and trying to become fluent. I was really good at Spanish in high school, and fairly fluent.
However, once the free classes stopped, I stopped learning. So, this year is the year to refresh my knowledge and be able to hold a conversation in Spanish. What’s a skill you have been wanting to refresh, or maybe learn for the first time? Doesn’t have to be a language, it could be sowing, gardening, coding, or maybe baking. Find something new to learn this year and continue our journey into making 2021 the year of self-development!
Keep a Journal, Free Yourself!
I’m not talking about your dear diary, my brother told the boy I like that I sleepwalk type journal. No. I’m talking about a journal for mental health and clarity. Make 2021 the year of self-development, how you go about this is completely up to you. Not artsy? Just use words to talk about what’s going on in your head, and how your feeling. Let loose without the expectation that someone will ever read it. In fact, when done you can burn it if you want. The point is to let loose your anxieties, emotions, and fears that are bringing you down.
If your artsy like me, maybe start an art journal, this could be paintings, abstract, and collages. Or like me a combination of everything. I write down my thoughts when dealing with an anxiety attack. Sometimes I just want to relax and create something so I’ll do a painting, realistic or abstract. Maybe I’ll pastedown a photo and do some memory keeping. Most of the time though my life is busy and hectic, so I just write a sentence or bullet points of what occurred during my day.
The point here is to get your thoughts on a page to help deal with life. To loosen the grips of anxiety, and just feel a bit lighter. Make it your own and find the way you like to journal. But it is proven to help with anxiety and those who suffered from mental health issues. Let’s face it the whole world is suffering from mental health right now due to Covid and quarantine. It’s ok! This is self-care and I promise even journaling a little will help improve your headspace.
Take Care of Yourself With Some Self-Care!
This may sound obvious, but let’s face it as teachers or homeschool parents we forget to care for ourselves. One of my favorite ways to care for myself is to take a hot shower, make a cup of hot tea, and cuddle up with a good book, crochet, or do something that I enjoy. However, one of the things I really need to work on this year is eating healthier foods, moving around more, and drinking more water. So I bought a 1/2 gallon water bottle, bought healthier snack options (because who got time for a full sit-down meal lol), and the way I’m ‘moving more’ is playing RingFit on my Nintendo Switch lol Your girl be sweating afterward lol.
Moving around more is really important since none of us are really going anywhere. Were mostly working at home in front of a camera, or just not getting out much. During warmer weather, I would go for a walk, but it’s freezing here right now on the east coast, so, Video Game workouts it is! lol, I’m trying to make 2021 the year of self-development after all.
I just want to get across that taking care of yourself is important. You can’t be there for others, help them, or teach them if you yourself are struggling, sick, or just not doing okay. So take care of yourself!
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Something that I struggle with but know I should be doing, are things out of my comfort zone. It’s hard to do things that make us uncomfortable, but it’s a part of growing as a person. One of the things I want to get better at is talking in front of people. I struggle with a lisp and slight stuttering. So for me talking in front of people, or strangers is something that is daunting. However, in my line of work, it’s also something that I could really benefit from. So find something you struggle with, and work on it! It may feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice, we can get better!
It’s Not Selfish to Focus on Self
There is a misconception that too much self-care, or focusing on yourself is considered self-centers and selfish. Well, I’m here to tell you this is not true! Yes, we should consider others, but we can’t do that effectively if we aren’t first thinking of ourselves. During this hard time we, as well as, our students are struggling with mental health. One of the ways to combat that is taking good care of ourselves. This means taking time out of our busy lives, no matter how inconvenient that may seem, and focusing on self-care.
Working on bettering ourselves, making ourselves feel better, and less anxious is important! So please don’t feel guilty about putting yourself first this year. You deserve it! We all have important roles as teachers, and homeschool parents to take care of children who need us. In order to serve them to the best of our ability, and help them through this rough time, we need to first do the same for ourselves! So, let’s make 2021 the year of self-development!
Written by: Brittany Coleman
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