Sustainable Self-Care (and 90 minutes of FREE coaching)

Dear Friend,

It’s here.

The real secret behind my sustainable self-care - The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher Home Study Program has finally arrived.

And it’s not just for teachers… it really can be for anyone who is looking to refine their self-care program and to feel more at home in their life.

We see summer as a chance to unwind from the rapid fire nature of the school year.  A chance to finally release all that tension in your shoulders.  A chance to decompress before the “every day feels like Sunday night” anxiety of the August back to school countdown clock kicks in.

change your life

We know you love your work.  We know you are living on purpose.  But we also know that how you are living while living your mission is probably not all that good for you.

Skipped meals.  Lack of sleep.  Too long to do lists.  An overworked mind frantically holding onto all the details.

What if it didn’t have to be that way? 

What if you could have a whole new way of being in the world WHILE still doing this work that you love?

What if you could set it all into place this summer so that next school year is a completely different experience than ever before?

It is time for you get to healthy, happy, and sane with

The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher: Sustainable Self-care for a Successful School Year Home Study Program.

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The idea behind The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher program is that with a bit of a time investment up front, your schedule – YOUR LIFE – will feel less overwhelming.

In the same way that long-term – semester or whole year – planning can help guide your academic year with your students, HHST can help you finally embrace self-care in a way that makes you happier and even more successful in the classroom.

How?

Just that – long-term planning.

The reality is taking time RIGHT NOW to plan for your health, happiness and sanity can help create a healthier, happier, saner school year and LIFE.

Here’s your chance to change how your school year goes, to start and end the year with enthusiasm and energy. To feel healthy, happy and sane.

With the home study program, you will get:

5 Illuminating Audio Recordings: One-hour recordings where we provide powerful guidance for you on creating a healthy, happy, sane life and map out the steps for the action plan you will be creating and putting into place.

5 Powerful Workbooks:  Weekly workbooks with all the exercises you need to create you healthy, happy, sane life action plan and the guidance to help you put it all in motion.

And the opportunity to join a private HHST Facebook group for additional support.

AND THERE’S AN INCREDIBLE BONUS OPPORTUNITY!

THE FIRST FIVE PEOPLE to sign up for The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher Home Study Program by July 1st will receive 90 minutes of coaching (to be done in either three 30 minute or two 45 minute phone/Skype sessions) from either Tami or Rosie.

Here is what every good teacher knows: nothing changes unless you decide to change it. It would be our honor to offer you support on your journey!

Click here to register today.

With lots of love and compassion,

Tami

xo

PS – If you find this helpful or know someone who would, please be sure to pass it on. Sharing is caring!

Other posts you might like:

The Secret to Being a Happy Classroom Teacher

Learning to Set Boundaries and Getting More Comfortable Being Less Agreeable

Road Map for Resilience: 8 Steps to Get You Back on Track

Tiny Tips Tuesday: My Secret for Maintaining Self-Care Practices

long term self care

Dear Friend,

Recently several people have asked how I maintain a meditation practice (and a yoga practice and a writing practice). They were trying to learn my “secret” so they could add these useful practices into their own lives.

My secret is pretty simple.

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good – Voltaire

Nothing is perfect. I no longer let myself get caught up in the limiting belief that a practice has to be or look a certain way for it to “count” because if I did, nothing would ever be good enough.

Easier said than done and definitely a daily practice, but seriously life changing.

For example, for my meditation practice to happen each day I have to do it before I do anything else. Sometimes I meditate before I get out of bed to pee. Sorry for the TMI, but I’m being real here. If I really have to go, I will and then get right back in bed to start.

Is now a good time to tell you that my meditation practice takes place in my bed, under the covers and on most days laying down?

I know it’s not how meditation is “supposed” to work, but it works for me.

My yoga practice follows the same principle of not letting the perfect get in the way of the good.

In an ideal world I’d devote 90 minutes on my mat each and every day. In reality my phone reminds me every day to “DO YOGA” and my physical practice is sometimes a single restorative pose (on my bed) before I teach my class. Sometimes it is rolling out two mats -one for me and one for my daughter- and moving the dining room table out of the way so we can play. We pull out all the props, turn up some “yoga music” {usually the Freedom 90 or Queen station on Pandora) and see what happens.

Again, not how it is “supposed” to work, but it works for me.

The same for my writing practice. Ideally I would spend the first 2 or 3 hours a day first thing (post meditation, of course) writing my most perfect prose. The reality is that I write in fits and spurts daily. I brain storm and keep my ideas in Google docs and write skeleton outlines and fill in the details in my head while I push my daughter on the swing at the park. Every afternoon I spend some time writing something.

Again, not how it’s “supposed” to look, but it works for me.

Have you ever been stopped from doing something you wanted to because the perfect got in the way of the good enough?

With lots of love and compassion,

Tami

xo

PS – If you find this helpful or know someone who would, please be sure to pass it on. Sharing is caring!

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

Other posts you might like:

Tips for Starting and Maintaining A Daily Meditation Practice

Meditation Mantra or How To Stay In The Moment Without Losing Your Marbles

7 Steps to Jump Start Your Meditation Practice

Tiny Tips Tuesday: Self-Care That Isn’t Just For Teachers

Dear Friend,

I am thrilled to announce The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher: Sustainable Self-Care for a Successful School Year Home Study Program.  I wanted to share it with you first because many of you approached me about wanting to take the program last summer when we taught it live and either you weren’t available during our session or (*gasp*) you aren’t a teacher.

You ask and you shall receive, friends! The Home Study Program is the exact self-care program on your timeline. And we aren’t checking for teaching credentials…(so if you non teacher types wanted to sign up…)

What isThe Healthy Happy Sane Teacher you ask?

HHST

The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher is a five week self-guided self-care workshop taught by me and Rosie Molinary, author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.

In The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher program, we teach educators — from elementary teachers to college professors, support personnel to administrators — the best practices for self-care, how to let go of the pressure for perfection, how to know what adjustments to make when things get tough, how to identify personal boundaries and communicate them, and the power of claiming what you want in your life.

Each week there is a lesson in healthy, a lesson in happy and a lesson in sane – along with a workbook to help you incorporate the week’s lessons into your daily life.  Rosie and I also spend a hour each week talking about the week’s lessons.

The Home Study program includes both the audio recording, the workbooks and a secret Facebook group where we can build a community of people dedicated to making our lives healthier, happier and saner.

If you are interested in The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher Home Study program please sign up for our mailing list and if you know anyone who would benefit from some guided self-care instruction, please send this message to them.

coming soon home study programIf you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

Tiny Tips Tuesday: Use A Timer to Take Better Care of Yourself

Dear Friend,

Several people have asked me recently about how I find time for things I want to do like self-care when there are so many things in life that must be done even if I don’t want to. {I’m looking at you, dishes!}

I love this question because it is something I have really struggled with over the years, especially when things aren’t going well and I tend to slip into very black and white/ all or nothing thinking patterns. The last few years have been working on making self-care a priority and I’ll share with you some of my tips for getting in some self-care every day.

First a story.

During yoga teacher training all of us trainees were up to our eyeballs with homework: reading and writing assignments, 40 required studio practices, building a new home yoga practice, starting a new meditation practice in addition to the jobs that paid our bills and our families and social lives.

Needless to say, a lot of us *I* spent a good amount of time complaining about our lack of time to pretty much anyone who would listen –  including our teacher, Michelle.

Apparently she heard about the homework A LOT and in a moment of frustration (and utter brilliance) she asked us to consider if we might making the homework worse by avoiding and complaining and procrastinating and telling ourselves about our lack of time. And maybe if we stopped doing that we’d have plenty of time to actually get our work done.

Ouch.

And yet, probably some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.

Once I removed the complaining time, the avoiding time and the storytelling about my lack of time: BOOM! Suddenly homework didn’t actually take that long.

Apply lesson to other areas of my life.

I absolutely loathe doing dishes and will pretty much avoid them at all costs because it just takes so long to do.

Or does it?

I timed myself. Guess how long it took to unload and reload the dishwasher… less than FIVE minutes.

I no longer avoid doing the dishes.

This summer I received a beautiful necklace from my friend Melissa from compliment and it was tangled up in the box when it arrived. Seriously sad panda.

Then I remembered my timer technique. In my enthusiasm for problem solving I planned to spend 15 minutes on the necklace each day until it was untangled.

I got out the necklace, the timer, hit go and TWO MINUTES LATER it was untangled.

Did I mention how much time I had wasted worrying about the knots in this necklace? All I really needed to do was get started.

And that’s how I have been handling all the unpleasant tasks in my life – by using a timer I can see exactly how long something takes. Or if that way doesn’t sound appealing in a situation, I give myself a set amount of time and see if I can race through the unpleasant task. Or I simply split the task into 10 to 15 minute increments and do them in several sessions until it is completed.

The point being: Get started and it will probably take less time than you think.

One other tip I want to share that has been pretty life-changing is the Pomodoro Method/Technique. I use it when I have thinking work to do and I want to avoid the procrastination traps I can sometimes fall into (I’m looking at you social media) when I am not sure where to start or how I am going to tackle a project.

What does this have to do with self-care you ask?

self care timer.jpg

I used to think self-care took a lot of time or it wasn’t worth doing. For instance, if I wasn’t able to go to a 90 minute yoga class, then no yoga for me that day. Or if I couldn’t get in for a massage with my massage therapist, then no massage for me.

Are you seeing a pattern? A little black and white and all or nothing.

So I started applying the timer technique to pleasant tasks as well.

Five minutes of legs up the wall feels way better than none.

Ten minutes of foot massage feels way better than none.

Fifteen minutes in the hot bath feels way better than none.

Again, seeing a pattern?

I’ve learned that the unpleasant tasks usually take WAY less time than I think they will and that pleasant tasks in short spurts can be quite beneficial especially when done a bunch of days in a row.

I have also found that by doing a little bit of self-care each day helps me build my self-care slash nurture muscle better than a big session once in a while.

What are your tips and tricks for building self-care into your daily life?

I would love to hear from you. Please share how you build self-care into your life.

With lots of self-kindness and love,

Tami

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

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More links for self-care ideas:

10 Ways to Practice Self-Care

Top Five Self-Care Tips from Melissa at compliment.

Top Five Self-Care Tips from Sarah at Yes and Yes.

10 Self-Care Ideas That Take 10 Minutes or Less

Tiny Tips Tuesday: 19 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself While Also Taking Care of Your Loved Ones

Dear Friend,

I am not going to lie. This past week was HARD. Quite possibly one of the hardest of my life. Something about parenting a small child while being far away from my own ailing mama plus the reality of our situation settling in and really making itself known. And let’s not forget the seemingly never ending cold virus.

Today I offer you some tips on taking care of yourself while in the middle of taking care of the people you love.

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional and if you are in crisis please seek immediate medical attention from a medical professional.]

A vast majority of these helpful ideas were crowd-sourced from my Facebook friends, many of whom have experienced parenting while caring for their own parents through long-term illness and transitioning into end of life.

I offer these tips to you because they’ve already begun to help me. If you have a secret self-care tip to share, please message me. I am all ears.

Wishing you a week filled with love and self-kindness.
xo,
Tami
PS – If you know someone who is in need of some self-care or wants to help someone out, please forward this on to them.
taking care

And you don’t even have to do all of them to feel better.

1. Reach out. Friends, family, loved ones, your primary care doctor, a therapist, a support group. Any and all of these can be helpful. A text, a phone call, a Facebook message. Isolating yourself is not the answer. No one can go through crisis alone, so please ask for help or at least let people know you need help.

We are programmed as humans to need connection and one of our basic human needs is to tend and befriend not just fight and flight. So reach out.

The number one thing take away from friends is we can’t do it alone. Ignoring our own needs and those of our immediate family does not help anyone – not you and not your ailing loved one.

2. Accept help when it is offered.  I struggle with this, but I am trying to change that because I am finally understanding you can’t do it alone. If people offer you dinner, take it. If someone you trust offers childcare, take it.

3. Slow down. Take it one day at a time. Or one hour. Or one minute.4. Clear your schedule as much as possible.

5. Meditate.

6. Let people physically comfort you. Embracing long hugs and hand holding and letting yourself cry in front of others.

7. Recharge your batteries. Go on a walk, hit the gym, take a yoga class

8. Nap. Rest until you are better.

9. Sleep. We’re all just giant two year olds without it.

10. Laugh. Some people watch funny movies. I like to exchange ridiculous comments on friends’ Facebook statuses – usually on Friday nights. Because we old, but we are still funny as hell.

11. Stay away from negative media/the “news”.

12. Cry. Watch a sad movie and cry it out. Ugly cry on purpose.

13. Let your kid watch TV sometimes. And don’t feel guilty about it. (We’ve been loving Sid the Science Kid, Elmo’s Potty Time and Little Einsteins. Someone else recommended Kipper for its mellow vibe).

14. Keep a gratitude journal to keep perspective that not every single thing in your life sucks. Take time to add five small things that delighted you each day. I’ve been doing this on and off for years and it has made a huge impact on my happiness.

15. Silly play with your kid. We’ve been puddle splashing and mud stomping lately and while dirty (and gross) little girl has been lit up like a Christmas tree. And in turn, I’ve laughed and played and felt good about connecting with my kid.

16. Solo movie watching during the day. With popcorn. At home or the theater.

17. Eat soup.

18. Eat chocolate – if that’s your thing. Apparently it’s my peeps’ thing. Lots of chocolate on my list.

19. Read a lot.

BONUS!

6 Ways To Reach Out To People Who Are Hurting:

1. Offer to Skype with a friend if you are out of town or scheduling makes it impossible to get together face to face. While it doesn’t allow for hugging, talking to another human’s face is remarkably comforting.

2. Offer to babysit their kids. Nothing is more helpful than someone else taking your kid for an hour or two for fun. Especially if the parents are struggling with depression and fun isn’t on the forefront of their minds (but they still manage to feel terrible about it).

3. Offer to cook them a meal or pick their kids up from school or get them coffee. Families struggling with the basics of life need help with the basics. So if you’ve got an extra batch of veggie soup in your freezer, offer it up. When we first returned from picking up our kiddo, the last thing on our minds was food. And then like magic it appeared on our front porch and I never felt more loved or cared for.

4. Offer to take them to the gym or on a walk or run or yoga class. People need physical activity and to get the ickies out and yet they might be stuck in the caring for others instead of themselves loop.

5. Stop by to give your person a hug. Maybe bring a treat (or not), but hugging them longer than they want to be hugged.

6. Listen and allow people to just be sad without having an solution at the ready. Just being a shoulder to cry on.

Please leave any tips you have used in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

8 Tips: Self-Care for the Holiday Season

8 tips self care holidays

1. Start now.

I know the holidays – Thanksgiving, Hannukkah, Christmas – are weeks away. Now is the perfect time to start taking really good care of yourself or at least start planning what you are going to do! It is so much easier to do something that already has momentum.

Remember – self-care doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It can be small steps each day depending on what you need.

Let’s start now: What can you do today that will show yourself you care?

It can be as simple as going to bed 15 minutes earlier or eating a piece of fruit instead of a cookie.

2. Prioritize feeling good/taking care of yourself over whether you might disappoint others.

Yes, disappointing others sucks. But here’s a secret, it only lasts a little while. This isn’t to say you should not take other people into consideration, it means you deserve to be considered as well.

Taking care of yourself has lasting effects, well beyond the holiday season.

The 100th holiday celebration will go on without you, I promise. Those extra hours you spent soaking in the tub reading a novel you have had trouble making time to read will live on and on in a feeling of deeply caring for yourself.

3. Make a list of what is your minimum self-care.

Get real with yourself. What is the bare minimum for sleep, movement, food, quiet and fun? Not the kind of fun where you spend days recovering (I am looking at you boozy night out), but the kind where you make it through cold and flu season without really ever getting sick?

I have super high minimums for self-care. I share this with you because until really recently I used to think something was wrong with me because I need all this self- care to stay healthy. Turns out, everyone does. Even you!

My minimum self-care is at least 8 hours of sleep a night, some sort of yoga most days (some days a 90 minute class, other days 15 minutes of reset button or some simple cat/cow) fruits and vegetables at most meals (green smoothies make this tons easier) meditation at least 5 days a week (I still love Headspace) and a friend connection – usually a tea date or a lunch out once a week. Oh, and let’s not forget avoiding all forms of cow dairy and shellfish!

Not sure where to get started on your minimum self-care? Want to write your own wellness prescription?

4. Make a list of maximum self-care.

Just for fun take your self-care a step further and imagine if time and money were not a consideration, what would you do to take care of yourself?

I would have weekly therapy, weekly massage, access to a steam room and sauna, at least quarterly girl friend getaways, twice a year yoga retreats and quarterly yoga workshops. And that is just off the top of my head!

That’s fun, huh?

Now let’s try to make some of that happen. Maybe you do something for your birthday or add a massage gift card to your holiday list.

It’s all in the name of good, so do it.

5. Set yourself up for success.

Don’t buy the chips at the store. Or the cookies. Or whatever is your go-to crap food when you have had a terrible day or stressful meeting.

Not sure if you are an emotional eater?

Take a week and write down every single bit of food that passes your lips and for each thing that is being eaten for something other than actual hunger- write the feeling you are eating or the event the came right before you downed those chips or cinnamon toast.

PS – Sometimes my feelings taste like French fries, burgers and bourbon. 

What about yours?

6. Start a weekly review.

Every Tuesday I sit down with my wellness prescription (part minimum and maximum self-care list) and I schedule my sleep, food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), exercise (yoga, cardio and strength training), meditation,  plus my birthday list and I plan my week.

The simple act of visiting these lists at least once a week helps me actually do more self-care and getting it on my calendar makes it feel important and real.

7. Plan something special just for you during the holidays.

Maybe a vegan cheese making class or a yoga workshop or even an at-home pedicure. Something that makes your heart sing.

8. Make your plan visual.

I keep all my wellness prescription items on individual post-it notes on a price of construction paper. I hang this elementary school masterpiece on my closet door. As I complete each item I move it to the done place. Each night I review ( without judgement!) how my day went and note where I might need extra support or focus in the next few days.

It is simple and for me, it works.

How are you planning to take care of yourself this holiday season?

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If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

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In case you are looking for more holiday self-care ideas,you might like:

How I Overcame the Holiday Humbug in 7 Steps

75 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love Today

The One Thing You MUST Be Ready To Do To Take Care of You This Holiday Season - a must read for anyone wondering how to respond to rude comments we get from those who love us most.

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 47

I’ve found some links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.

best of the blogs i read volume 47

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My Best Of…

I Spy Kindness.

I love me some kindness so much I wrote a Kindness Manifesto. The stories of kindness in the big city warms my heart.

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Too Small to Fail.

Have you heard about this initiative yet? Oh my goodness, it makes my mama/teacher heart go all pitter patter. Finally, someone is addressing what school teachers have known for years.

Turns out the achievement gap starts before kids even enter school with what researchers are now calling the word gap. Basically middle class kids hear a gazillion more words than their less affluent counter parts and that word gap has significant meaning over the course of a life time.

We can help close the gap. All of us.

Thanks to GoMighty and specifically Blog con Queso’s post The Next Generation of My Goals for the heads up about this work!

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Offended or annoyed by people?

Zen Habits offers 3 Tricks to Deal with People Who Offend You

Yes and Yes offers What To Do When Someone Says Something Offensive – just in time for the holidays!

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 Alexis did a 30-Day Self-Care Adventure. Here she shares her “Best Of”. You may recognize a contributor or two!

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Pumpkin-Pistachio Kale Fried Rice Bowl with Maple Tofu Cubes. That is a whole lot of hippie goodness, friends. I sauteed the kale and added it at the end (the kale was left out of the directions in the recipe) and I used lots more maple syrup than the recipe called for because well, yum. FYI: even more delicious as leftovers.

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That is the In Case You Missed It Edition, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

Image Source: morgue file.com

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Blogs I Love: Rosie Molinary

Blog I Love: Rosie Molinary.com

rosie molinary

Who they are: 

blogs i love

Rosie Molinary is a lot of things to a lot of people. She’s my co-creator/facilitator of The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher, author of two books - Beautiful You and Hijas Americanas, she’s a body image expert, teacher, board chair of Circle deLuz,  adoptive mama and friend. She’s also a prolific writer, fantasy football nut and cardigan collector.

When asked what work she goes, she invites us to take a peek under the hood and a peek inside her classroom.

Why I love Rosie Molinary.com and what I learn from it:

Rosie is a master at self-care. She wasn’t always. When she started out as a teacher in her early twenties, she ended up in the emergency room twice. In a week.

She learned self-care the hard way. And she writes and teaches what she does, so you don’t have to. I love her for that!

All of her self-care posts show how busy people can make their lives better by taking the time to take care of themselves.

She shows you how to say no so you can say yes to the things most important in your life.

How scheduling a break can help you be more productive in the long run.

Her starter steps to self-acceptance is an absolute must read.

Flipping the switch (from self-hate to self-acceptance).

Quieting the anxiety. The name says it all.

A road map for resilience.

 Posts I find inspiring:

Spark Your Systems is a series of posts which for me are completely awe-inspiring. Rosie outlines how she handles various aspects of her life and she makes organization seem completely reasonable and doable. Some of my favorites are: Menu Planning and Planning for What You Need, Want and Have To Do (my want-to-do list somehow always gets lost).

Giving up The Facade – would you go au natural, even for a day? Rosie challenges her students (and the community at large) go forgo make up and hair products for a day and to let the world see the real person. I’m fascinated by this phenomenon because I grew up in an era where make up was optional for a lot of us. Not so much for this next generation. In the past she has shared photos of her scrubbed clean students and they all look beautiful.

Getting Over A Break Up: A Primer. Who hasn’t been there? Here are real steps to help you feel better.

 If you haven’t already, go check out RosieMolinary.com and then tell me what you think.

What blogs do you love?

Self Care for Teachers

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Know that self care is important and don’t know where to start? Wish you had time to gather the information, but right now you’ve got to wrap up your school year?

I’ve got the perfect solution!

Self Care for Teachers board on Pinterest is made with you in mind.

Already on Pinterest? Great! Follow the board.

Not on Pinterest yet? Sign up here.

What other boards would you find helpful?

Self Care Tip: Schedule Yourself A Break

schedule a break

This time of year is busy, busy, busy. Report cards, field trips, high stakes state testing wrap up, finals, marathon grading sessions, end-of-the-year celebration planning and all those hormonal students with spring fever… it is enough to make anyone want to schedule a mental health holiday.

The end of the school year always reminds me of a championship baseball game that has just gone into extra innings. Everything feels completely necessary and like every second counts.

My friend and author, Rosie Molinary used to think, “Maybe something mildly bad will happen, like a really bad flu or a minor car accident, so that I can take a little bit of time off.”

Sound like something you might say to yourself? Me too.

Let’s face it, even if you don’t work in a school, spring is an extra busy time. Even nature is going a million miles a minute: the birds, the bees, the pollen and the trees.

Stress city!

So rather than trying to keep going and going and going until you completely burn out, why not schedule yourself a break?

Start with an hour for yourself in the next couple of weeks: a restorative yoga class, a nap,  a massage, a manicure or pedicure, a run outside without any distraction.

Then why not schedule a half day? A hike at a nearby river or lake, a picnic by a stream, a good book under a tree, a yoga workshop with your favorite teacher, an afternoon taking pictures of signs of spring, writing in your journal in a café.

Then try a whole day and schedule absolutely nothing and see how the day unfolds. Maybe try a pajama day and see how you feel.

The idea behind these breaks is to give yourself a bit of space and breathing room. You may find you are happier and even more productive than you would have been without the break.

Does the idea of scheduling a break freak you out or are you already grabbing your planner?  Please share in the comments.

Post inspired by Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary. Specifically Day 306: Take a Personal Health Day and Day 57 Schedule Breaks.

Image Source: Serenity Retreat – Early Fall by FreeWine on Flickr (cc)

10 Self-Care Ideas That Take 10 Minutes or Less

small improvements

Do you feel like you don’t have the time to do self-care because you don’t have an hour plus a day to devote to it?

I definitely have a long history of not doing things because I couldn’t do them perfectly or the way I thought they “should” be done. I figured the small things didn’t really matter, but boy I was wrong.

The first time I really noticed how small things added up was when I was taking a self-guided classroom management course. As a life long procrastinating perfectionist with an already over booked schedule, I was anxious about finding the time to actually get all the work done.

My plan was to work for 20 minutes every day on it. Just 20 minutes. My promise to myself was that I would stop working as soon as the timer went off even if I had’t finished anything. I just needed to start something.

Well, two weeks later of daily 20 minute bursts of actual work (it’s really hard to procrastinate when you only have 20 minutes) and I was finished with the class and feeling quite accomplished.

With that success under my belt, I started looking for other areas in my life where I could put 20 minutes of attention.

Kitchen duty that used to completely overwhelm me? – Done.

Mounds of laundry? – Done.

Yoga home practice? – Done.

If you are looking for ways to help take care of yourself, why not start with small ways that don’t take much time?

10 self care ideas that take 10 minutes or less

1.  Sip a cup of tea in silence.

2.  Go to bed 10 minutes earlier and get a bit more shut eye.

3.  Read a book for pleasure.

4.  A single restorative yoga pose.

5.  Schedule a massage, a much needed doctor appointment or a visit with your insurance agent to review your life insurance policy (ok, maybe that one is for me).

6.  Slather lotion on your hands and feet and let it soak in before you move.

7.  Snuggle with your sweetheart.

8.  Cook a warm breakfast or make a green smoothie to go.

9.  Take yourself on a walk.

10. Make an appointment to talk to a therapist if you are really struggling.

How do you manage your self-care?

Image source via pinterest.

Free Restorative Yoga for Sacramento Area School Teachers to Celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week

thank you

National Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up – May 6-10th and to show my gratitude to my fellow educators, I’m offering a FREE restorative yoga class at It’s All Yoga.

Why?

Because I know how hard teachers work and I feel like they deserve a little mini vacation during the school year. I’d like to share a little rest and relaxation with my colleagues and friends. Plus I’d like them to indulge in a little self-care.

If you are a school teacher in the Sacramento area – you are invited!

This class is limited to 16 lucky teachers and will fill up. If you would like to reserve a place, please register online and click the workshops tab.

Want to learn more about restorative yoga? Try here.

Still have questions? Contact me – Tami – tgbtsblog AT gmail Dot com.

How will you celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week?

Be Your Own Valentine!

loved

February is all about the love, obvs. But rather than focusing on other people’s love and such, I’m inviting you (and me) to be our own Valentines this month.

We can create some self-love by practicing extreme self-care this month. I’ll be posting some ideas during the month and I’ll keep you posted how I’m doing as well.

My first self-love/self-care challenge comes from Rosie Molinary‘s book, Beautiful You:

Day 223: Listen to Your Body and Respond

We spend a whole lot of time berating our bodies and not nearly enough time caring for them. It’s time to start focusing on being responsive to our body’s needs.

Challenge: Every hour stop and ask yourself “What am I feeling right now? What do I need?”

If you discover you need water, get some and drink. If you need to stretch your legs, take a short walk. If you need some connection, reach out to a friend. Whatever the need, take a few minutes to take care of it. Your body will thank you.

How are you planning to love yourself this month?

If you’d like to spend some time taking it easy and deeply relaxing in the company of others, come join me at It’s All Yoga on Sunday afternoons for restorative yoga.

Image Source: Pinterest

10 Ways To Practice Self Care

Earlier this fall, Ashley of Our Little Apartment – wrote a post called How I Practice Self-Care and I have been inspired to share my self-care regimen.

Image source: Google images

Before we get to the good stuff, can we all have a collective groan/shutter/giggle at the phrase self-care? I am not a fan, but it is what it is. Being able to take better care of ourselves so we can really be there to take care of others is what is up. Like it or not.

Without further ado, 10 Ways To Practice Self Care.

1. Go to yoga class. I go even when I don’t want to. Especially when I don’t want to. I find the more resistance I have to going – too tired, too cranky, too busy, too…, the more I need it. My people thank me for going. Yours probably will too.

Classes can be expensive, but there are ways to work around that. Practicing at home on your own, with a video or podcast. Attending community classes or classes with new teachers. One studio in Sacramento is by donation only. When I wanted to go to more classes than I could afford, I started volunteering at the front desk at my yoga studio in exchange for classes. It never hurts to ask.

2. Lay down often. Sometimes on my yoga mat with props (and I feel very virtuous for practicing restorative yoga on my own) and most days with my daughter in her bed for a couple of hours. There are days (usually in a row) when I am so tired by nap time I sleep with her and wake up with her patting my face and other days when I watch Netflix or catch up on my blog reading.

Most nights I am in bed ready for sleep in the nine o’clock hour. Going to bed on time is a struggle and I know it’s early, but I’ve got to be rested in order to keep up with the baby.

How much sleep do we really need? Probably more than you think.

3. Cook at home. I derive a huge amount of accomplishment from having cooked, so there you go. Plus I am allergic to dairy and oh so many other foods that eating out or packaged foods is a pain. Feeding myself well and gold stars? Sign me up!

I live a dairy-free life and am always in search of yummy recipes. If you are interested in my treasures, check out my Food Finds Board for recipe ideas.

4. Read a book every day. Some days it is just a few pages, but I make sure I do it. Reading is what makes me happy.

Looking for something good to read?

5. Go for a walk. Usually with Ruby in the stroller or Ergo, although recently I’ve been having her walk to wear her out for her nap. In any case, my feet are hitting the pavement every day and I feel so much better for it.

Need help getting started? 

6. Connect with friends. Park dates, walks with kids, brunches, yoga classes, texts, phone dates, Facebook messaging – I make time for connecting with people I love.

The upshot of 50 years of happiness research is that the quantity and quality of a person’s social connections—friendships, relationships with family members, closeness to neighbors, etc.—is so closely related to well-being and personal happiness the two can practically be equated. People with many friendships are less likely to experience sadness, loneliness, low self-esteem, and problems with eating and sleeping.   Source: Happiness Is Being Socially Connected

7. Kid-free time – daily. Luckily my husband is a teacher and can come home in the afternoon to take care of little girl before dinner. Mama needs some time to herself. Most of the self-care tips mentioned here aren’t for toddlers.

8. Couple time – this is new. Very, very new. And may become my new favorite thing. Thanks, Grandma!

9. No television news or women’s magazines. I’ve learned I’m a pretty delicate flower prone to depression, so I keep the visuals of depressing things to a minimum. I get my news from NPR and Twitter. I’m fancy that way. My ears do not betray me the same way my eyes do.

Body acceptance is always a work in progress and so keeping women’s magazines full of air-brushed images and “tips” for “improving” me out of my life also helps.

According to one study conducted by researchers at the Uni­versity of Missouri, after just one to three minutes of exposure to the types of images routinely found in women’s magazines, young women hate themselves more than they already do. Source: Excerpt from Airbrushed Nation found on Rosie Molinary’s blog.

10. Ask for help where I need it and live with good enough rather than seek out perfect. Recently someone posted on my Facebook wall a card saying “Cleaning house with kids around is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.” Um, yes. So twice a month California Green Clean comes and cleans while I take the tiny mess maker out of the house. It usually lasts until the next meal, but it is totally worth it for my sanity alone.

Does the mothering olympics make you crazy? Check out Good Enough Is The New Perfect.

So tell me, how do you take care of yourself?

How Restorative Yoga Healed My Body Image – A Guest Post from Anna Guest-Jelly of Curvy Yoga

How Restorative Yoga Healed My Body Image

Let’s party like it’s 1999.

Or, let’s at least go back there in our minds. Picture this: I’m a curvy gal in my first year of college. I’m away from home. I have terrible migraines (this is nothing new). I hear that yoga can be good for pain, so I somehow get my hands on a Rodney Yee VHS tape and start practicing.

Only when my roommate is in class. Always with the door locked.

As I practice, I like it. I love it, in fact (which is weird because I have never liked any form of anything that looks remotely like exercise). So I want more of it — but I want more of what I see on the videos.

More tone on my body, more gymnast-like flexibility, more speed — more, more, more.

More to Less

As the years went by, I did get more of that — mostly the speed and flexibility. But then things shifted in my body: my curves got curvier, and I couldn’t go as far into poses as I used to.

To say this was a hit to my already fragile body image was an understatement.

I think I took about a year off practice at this point. I was so discouraged that I couldn’t do the poses I used to that I thought I shouldn’t bother. I thought I had finally reached that point where I was just “too big” for yoga, so it was time to move on.

Except, of course, I couldn’t. I still found myself surreptitiously doing poses — but “just to stretch,” of course. Not yoga.

Gimme Gimme

During my more, more, more days, no one could have convinced me to do a restorative yoga pose. One of my teachers would teach Savasana and then leave the room; students could leave whenever they wanted. The intention was to give people the space to take their time.

I took it as the opposite, though. I usually reached for my car keys while we were getting into position. Then I would politely wait as long as I could and bolt for the door. I’d say on my more restrained days that this took approximately 42 seconds.

I just didn’t see the point.

But then one day after my self-induced yoga break, after feeling particularly stressed from work and school, I decided to indulge myself in a full restorative workshop. What possessed me to do this, I’ll never know. (I think I thought of it more like a massage than yoga, so that made it okay with me.)

All I know is that after the careful precision of set-up, the internal (and sometimes external) groan of delight after settling in and then fully letting go into the poses, something shifted.

I felt relaxed, grounded and centered. And, yeah, I wanted more again — but this time it was totally different.

Me Time

You see, restorative yoga is all about y-o-u (or, in this case, m-e). Everyone’s set-up is slightly different.  This is really the goal of all yoga, but restorative invites you into it differently. The goal is to make yourself as fully comfortable and supported as possible. This was new to me as I’d been “raised” in a yoga environment where competition wasn’t explicitly encouraged, but it also wasn’t exactly discouraged.

This restorative yoga was about meeting yourself exactly where you are — and loving every minute of it.

When I realized that, I felt a marked turn in my relationship toward my body. For the first time, rest, ease and letting go entered the equation. For the first time, self-care became my priority, not what I tried to avoid.

After that, you couldn’t get me out of a restorative pose if you wanted to (but who would want that anyway?).

Thank goodness.

Want the low-down on Anna’s restoratives? Click here to download the Restoratives chapter from her book, “Permission to Curve,” for free!

Ten Things I Loved In September

My friend, Rosie Molinary, made a list and I loved hers so much I stole her idea. Now I’ve been inspired to pause and notice the good stuff each month.

Ten Things I Loved In September

Things I/We Did

1.      Old 97′s Too Far To Care Tour

My favorite band playing my favorite album start to finish in one of my favorite cities in the world? YES, please!

Seriously, one of the best shows of my life.

Imagine orange cowboy boots, Maker’s Mark up, and very, very loud singing along. Oh and the in-between-song hopping up and down in anticipation of the NEXT.FAVORITE.SONG!

Old97s know how to take care of their fans. For years, my girlfriends have talked about how “wouldn’t it be great if the 97s played TFTC at a show? Like, the whole thing?”

True story.

Dreams do come true.

-Thanks to fellow superfan/photographer, Lori Hillhouse of I’ll Show You My Four Leaf Clover, for the photo.

2.      I started teaching a WEEKLY restorative class at It’s All Yoga - Tuesdays, 7:15-8:30.

You should come. It’ll be fun.

Seriously, even if you aren’t in Sacramento or haven’t ever tried restorative yoga, you can do this pose (Viparita Karani or Legs-Up-The-Wall) for ten minutes and you will feel so much better than you do right now.

Check here for potential health considerations.

3.     I went to the movies! In the theater! Again! This time with a friend!

4.    We went to a swimming pool party at our friends new house. So happy to have even more friends close by.

5.     I taught a class for Sacramento Free Day of YogaSo awesome to meet so many new people. Labor Day Monday – get it on your calendar now for next year.

On The Plate

6.     Fat Face strawberry coconut popsicle. 

7.    Sweet potato black bean stew.

September, in a nutshell – too hot not to eat frozen treats, but the calendar says fall and so we eat fall food.

Products (and Services) I Love

8.      Evernote. It is changing my life by letting me organized in one place.

9.      Pinterest. Meal planning just got ridiculously easy by dropping pins in my Evernote file.

10.     Emailing with my doctor. So efficient!

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So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

7 Steps to Jump Start Your Meditation Practice

1. Read every meditation book you can get your hands on.

2. Think about meditation. A lot.

3. Sign up for a group meditation.

4. Collect meditation accessories – bolster, block, blankets, scarf, cushion, timer, candle, mantra, essential oils, CDs.

5. Check Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader to see if you are missing anything.

6. Check your phone. In case you missed a call.

7. Sit down, set the timer, press start.

SIT. {Really the ONLY step necessary}.

5 minutes daily to start.

We can do anything for 5 minutes a day. Even listen to the crazy people screaming in your head.

Image Source 1: We Heart It

Image Source 2: We Heart It.

Clearly this is my reminder to myself to sit.

Do you have a meditation practice?

Do tell me all about it.

You may also like: Tips and Tricks for Starting and Maintaining a Daily Meditation Practice.

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

So You Think You’d Like To Teach Part 2: Time Management

Here’s part 2 of the So You Think You’d Like to Teach School series. The idea for this series came out of some questions I’ve gotten from folks interested in making teaching their profession.

Time Management

My first couple years of teaching were intense and exhausting – mentally and physically.  Changing my career in my early 30’s meant I had something to prove {at least to myself} and so I set out to be the best teacher ever.

The first few months of my new career I went to every single afternoon, evening and weekend teacher training offered because I wanted to, no, needed to KNOW IT ALL – NOW!  As a result, I worked a ridiculous number of days in a row without a break.

Something like 62. Completely nuts, I know now.

I assigned loads of homework and stressed out about the mountain of ungraded work quickly filling my otherwise empty filing cabinet. {I ended up just tossing it all in the recycling bin ungraded at the end of the year}.

Days started before sunrise and most nights I came home ravenous after dark.

I agonized over lesson planning, parent interactions, and special education plans.

Even though I had a mentor and was married to a teacher who kept telling me to slow down, to take care of myself and to understand I was still learning, I just kept going and going and going.

Looking back, I’m not quite sure how I survived.

I set out to be the best teacher ever and instead I got strep throat by Labor Day and pretty much stayed sick all year.

Strawberry Twizzlers were consumed by the pound.

I gained weight, slept horribly and developed an enviable case of stress acne.

My stomach was constantly in knots, as was my back.

My students were nervous around me, by winter break I was convinced I didn’t have the energy to finish the school year and someone’s mom called me a bitch at Open House {true story}.

Why am I telling you all this?

I hope you can learn from the mistakes I made my first years and learn how to take care of yourself while you are becoming the best teacher you can be.

How much time did I put in to teaching my first year?

All of my time. I wouldn’t let myself have any fun. I just worked. I barely had time to groom myself because I was completely obsessed with school work.

My friends told me they felt like school year widows because they never saw me anymore.

Would I do it like that again?

I would hope not! Old perfectionism habits are hard to break, but my aim would be to not run myself ragged.

Here’s the thing, teaching is like a marathon – slow and steady really does win the race. It is physically, mentally and emotionally impossible to sprint a marathon.

Time Management Tips for New Teachers

Do not expect to know it all right away (or ever). That is ok. You are human and a beginner. Be nice to yourself.

Look beyond your school for help and community. You may find kindred teaching spirits online, so develop your tech muscles. Twitter has changed the way I think about teaching. I no longer feel completely dependent on those people I know in person to give me some direction in my classroom.

Ask for help in your classroom – what can you delegate to parents? Some really do want to help.

Suggestions for things in the room and ideas for things for them to take home:

  • grading quizzes
  • filing your papers (if you choose to handle your papers like this)
  • updating your class website or blog
  • updating classroom bulletin boards
  • writing your class newsletter (edited by you, of course)
  • making copies
  • making academic posters for your room
  • organizing class parties/field trips/class speakers/libraries
  • teaching art lessons
  • coordinating the garden project you’d love to do, but simply don’t have the time to do all by yourself
  • reading one-on-one with students
  • running a math center station
  • tutoring students with specific gaps – addition/subtraction facts, fluency.

Ask yourself what can you do LESS of? Grading homework? Having perfectly crafted bulletin boards may look lovely, but it is worth your sanity?

Decide what you how you will handle your papers before you get your classroom keys- I was astounded my the sheer volume of papers coming into my classroom. Please for the love of god, whatever you do, don’t just pile it on the corner of your desk or dump it in a filing cabinet. Take it from me, you’ll want to make it a priority to only handle papers once. Also: get a huge recycling bin.

Seek out a mentor who you admire their work/life balance – again, you may find this person online rather than at your school site.

Set a time limit for the number of hours you will work each day and then stop. Finally in my third year I decided I had to leave school by 4:00. I could work a little at home and on the weekends, but 4 was my school limit. I found after that I was just spinning my wheels, chatting with other teachers and generally not getting much accomplished anyway. I promise, the work will wait for you.

Exercise daily. Can you combine obsessive teacher talk (we’ve all got it at some level) with a brisk walk? One of my friends walks every morning before school with her grade level partner thus killing two birds with one stone.  Absolutely brilliant if you ask me!

Go to bed early. About 5 years ago while trying to battle yet another illness, I started going to bed in the 9 o’clock hour instead of 10. Changed my life! So much less need for caffeine and sugar when I am properly rested.

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Did I miss anything? If so, leave me a note in the comments.

Stay tuned for upcoming topics in the series: Classroom Management, Taming the Homework Beast, Parents: Friend or Foe?

A Challenge: Claim Your Care and A Wellness Prescription

I’ve always had trouble with the holidays. Even as a child, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about them. Yes, I liked the presents part and some of the traditions and routines, but given I am such a creature of comfort and regularity, they tended to take their toll on me.

The rich food made it hard to sleep.

All the people made it hard to sleep.

Are you noticing a theme here?

Generally the loss of routine care got lost in the excitement.

As an adult, I’ve tended to be quite ill during the holidays. Colds, flu, respiratory infections.

Too much stress?

Too much food?

Not enough self-care?

I’m not quite sure of the answer, but I’ve made changes the last couple years to make the month of December more enjoyable {or at least more tolerable}.

This year, I will live with intention to truly take care of myself.

Starting in December, I’m following Rosie’s lead and making myself a wellness prescription and claiming my care.

Specifically I will:

  • First thing in the morning, a walk with Ruby – at least 30 minutes
  • Using Madeleine’s Manuel as a guide, I’ll consult my book of me when I’m out of sorts and try to solve my problem.
  • Back to the weight room twice a week – 20 minutes is all I need.
  • Soak, steam, sauna at least once a week – the Church of Quiet awaits.
  • Water, Emergen-C, multivitamin and vitamin D daily.
  • Listen to music – such a pleasure in my life and yet I need a reminder to do this.
  • Connect with my spouse – even if for just a 5 minute hug {Do you do this? If not, try it}.
  • A fruit and a veggie at every meal – remembering if I’m not hungry enough for an apple, I’m not really that hungry.
  • Minimize processed foods.
  • Keeping dairy out of my body – that means no cookies, no cake, no desserts unless they are vegan. {ps – I’m not saying you, dear reader, must say dairy-free, I must}.
  • Reading for pleasure – from a book or magazine – every day.
  • Schedule a massage {or two} before the end of the year.
  • Sleeping at least 7 hours at night – even if that means missing a turn or two in Words With Friends and going to sleep before 10.
  • Being with friends – in person, if possible – seriously, if we don’t have a date already let’s get something scheduled STAT.

What would be on your prescription for wellness? How would you claim your care?

At Home Yoga Retreat {and Mini Restorative Yoga Class}

This coming Sunday, November 6th, instead of teaching my regular Sunday Snooze restorative class at It’s All Yoga, I am lucky enough to be able to participate in the Emotional Rescue Retreat with Michelle from Love Wasting Time. {Don’t worry regular Snoozers, I’ll be back in the first Sunday of December}.

Check this out.

The purpose of the retreat is to:

• restore
• be pampered
• be in silence
• slow down, tune in, and align with your higher purpose
• reflect on the upcoming holiday season
• give yourself permission to take a day, just for you

A day of restorative postures, journaling, breath-work, discussion, meditation, an organic lunch and the support of a circle of women. Held in the sanctuary of the It’s All Yoga studio.

Sounds good, huh?

Want to join me in this day of retreating in the comfort of your own home?

What you’ll need:

45 to 90 minutes {or whatever you can do}

a quiet spot where you can be alone or with other retreaters

comfy, warm yoga clothes

yoga mat

pillows

blankets

eye pillow or dark scarf

ear plugs

blocks, bolster and straps if you have them {no biggie if you don’t}

quiet alarm

Or if you find this list to be too much, just yourself and a way to keep time.

To begin:

Turn off your phone, unplug your computer and shut off the TV.

Bring mat and all your props with you – including your quiet alarm.

Lie down in Constructive rest – flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip distance. Knees can be hip width or rest toward each other – whatever feels comfortable for your body. Hands can rest where they are comfortable.

Stay here and breathe normally 10 minutes.

When your alarm sounds, bring your knees to chest and gently rock side to side.

Find your favorite savasana (corpse) position using all the props you’d like. Some suggestions: knees over a bolster or pillow and covered up with a blanket, legs up the wall, a bolster running the length of your spine and soles of feet together with pillows/rolled blankets under the knees for support.

The idea is to make yourself as comfortable as possible so you can just relax. {For more information on restorative yoga}

Stay here and breathe normally for 30 minutes.

Yep, 30 minutes.

What if you fall asleep? You are probably tired.

What if your to-do list is suddenly in the fore front of your mind and you feel as if you must get up NOW? Let it go and know it will wait for you.

What if your mind jumps from topic to topic to topic? Just notice the breath coming in and out of your body and try to watch your mind instead of hanging on to each story.

When will the 30 minutes be over? In 30 minutes.

When your alarm sounds, gently awaken your body. Wiggle fingers and toes, slowly roll ankles and wrists, stretch arms over head and catch a deeper breath and maybe a yawn.

Wake yourself as if you’re sleeping in a really nice hotel and you have absolutely nothing to do.

Roll to the side – and rest – before you use your arms to push yourself to a comfortable seat on the floor.

Write about your experience while drinking a warm cup of your favorite tea and enjoying a healthy lunch.

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Have you ever taken a day for restoration? How did it go? Please share your tips, fears and thoughts.

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Books I Love…Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives

purchasing information

Happy Sunday!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy (end of) Teacher Appreciation Week!

I’ve been trying to write this post all week and yet between being crunched for time and technical difficulties (could be WordPress or user error – the jury is still out on that), it just hasn’t happened.

I am happy to finally be telling you about this book.

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You all know I love me some rest. In fact, I am currently enjoying a Pajama Day and I even have a Rest Manifesto.

Part of what I see as my role in life is to try to convince people to slow down and chill the hell out a bit. What is the damn hurry, anyway?

I found this book on a blog {forgive me, I have since lost the link} and when I asked the always lovely Madeleine about it, she highly recommended it.

Let’s be honest, the title alone was enough to pull me in.

I’ll admit, I cringed a bit about all the religious stuff. That’s how I knew I really loved this book, I kept reading despite the cringing. The resting suggestions are cringe-worthy if you ask me.

Here’s a little gem I shared with my Sunday Snoozers last week:

Remember the Sabbath. Rest is an essential enzyme of life, as necessary as air.

Sort of sums it up, right?

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

My life is so.much.better. when I take the time to chill out and get enough sleep. It’s better when I don’t take on every project offered or try to do everything in one day…or even all the yoga poses offered.

Having a hard time convincing yourself rest is time well spent?

Well, Wayne Muller (the author) has pulled evidence from many world religions arguing GOD wants you to rest.

Yes, you read that right: even GOD wants you to rest.

With chapters titled Rest for the Weary, The Joy of Rest and A Life Well Lived plus micro actions and poems, this is a perfect yoga book for the most non-yoga person.

I highly recommend this book.

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Poetry Break!

LET EVENING COME

Let the light of late afternoon

shine through chinks in the barn, moving

up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take chafing

as a woman takes up her needles

and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the abandoned

in long grass. Let the stars appear

and the moon disclose her sliver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.

Let the wind die down. Let the shed

go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop

in the oats, to the air in the lung

let evening come.

Let it come as it will, and don’t

be afraid. God does not leave us

comfortless, so let evening come.

–Jane Kenyon

Saturday Senses

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tasting :: brown rice toast – absolutely love this bread!

hearing :: can we stay in at recess to blog?

smelling :: sweet potatoes baking

seeing :: the week flying by so quickly i didn’t quite ever know what day it was.

feeling :: so.much.better!

wishing/hoping :: hoping round 2 of parent teacher conferences go smoothly – emphasis on listening and team building. and remembering to just breathe.

What about you?

What are your senses this Saturday?

Looking back, how was your week?

Leave a comment and tell me all about it.

This weekly tradition inspired by Pink of Perfection’s Five Sense Friday.

Don’t forget to click the links!

In Case You Missed It Edition, Volume 16

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Each week I’ll give you links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.

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My Best Of…

Teaching Simplicity got it right with Nurturing the Nurturer – teachers take note. Take the time to take care of yourself. Of course, we need to take care of ourselves when we’re sick but wouldn’t it be nice to nurture and nourish ourselves so we don’t get sick?

Another reason to get more zzzzzzzs…. to look prettier! It’s scientific.

Having a hard time thinking of things to add to a gratitude list? This blogger writes a thank you note a day and some of what she is thankful for is not the usual. Love, love, love it.

Are you a sunflower too? I find I perk up like a blossom with the lengthening days. Here’s a sunlight calendar to help keep track of your daylight minutes.

In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore {one of my favorite reads of the last few years} – he talks about it here. Slow down and stay awhile…

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Cleanse update:  a cold takes away a lot of desire to cook nourishing food. I really wanted someone to cook for me.

So I ate out.

Twice.

I didn’t follow all the rules, however I didn’t give in to all my comfort food throw backs either. I wanted a cheeseburger (I know, huh?). Instead I had a burger sans cheese. I ate some of the bread and threw the rest away.

The next day I went to a pot luck and skipped the dessert and soda table – my usual favorites.

The bowl of M&M’s sitting right in front of me didn’t go untouched, however after I realized I was eating sweets (the cold medicine made me really, r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w), I hid them behind the centerpiece on the table and promptly forgot about them.

Baby steps.

Things I have noticed: comfort food isn’t just about the food when I am sick, it’s also about someone else cooking. Processed foods are convenient, but don’t taste nearly as good as not processed foods. My cold isn’t nearly as devastating as ones I’ve suffered from in recent years. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

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That is the In Case You Missed It Edition for this week, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

In Case You Missed It Edition – Volume 10

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Each week I’ll give you links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.

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My Best Of…

One of my 11 for 2011 is to get more consistent cardio in my life, apparently I’ll be doing it in the morning via Becky and Hollee’s (Good Enough Is) The New Perfect.

Are you looking for some last-minute crafty gift ideas you can use to keep your kids busy? Check out Molly’s ideas on Charlotte’s Fancy.

What are you working on? Are you excited about it? Excitement is key.

In my quest to dump cable tv, I’ve run into some problems. Our internet connection is inconsistent, so watching TV and movies is remarkably maddening. In researching our options for new internet, I’m more confused than ever. Just how many monthly bills will I have to commit to? – If you have any advice for a solid connection in Midtown Sacramento, I’d appreciate it.

Give yourself the ultimate gift: You – via Rowdy Kittens

Just to further cement my giant crush on Gretchen Rubin, there’s this: Treat Yourself Like A Toddler.

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That is the In Case You Missed It Edition for this week, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives: Volume 9, Volume 8, Volume 7,  Volume 6,  Volume 5,  Volume 4,  Volume 3,  Volume 2,  Volume 1

Saturday Senses

Saturday Senses is a way to capture the spirit of each week.



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tasting :: apple cranberry crisp.

hearing :: patty griffin station on pandora.

smelling :: cookies baking.

seeing :: resting yogis.

feeling :: loved. friends, students, readers – old and new.

wishing/hoping :: everyone finds some time during this busy month for some relaxation and self-care.

What about you?

What are your senses this Saturday?

Looking back, how was your week?

Leave a comment and tell me all about it.

This weekly tradition inspired by Pink of Perfection’s Five Sense Friday.

Don’t forget to click the links!

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Curious about #Reverb10?

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 7

Each week I’ll give you links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.

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My Best Of…

The Six Best Gifts You Can Give Your Partner – (thanks to Gwen Bell for the link) – these gifts are way better than the ones you can find at a store.

The Holiday Gift Guide for the Yogi

Why yes, that is my favorite Tuesday and Thursday afternoon yoga teacher, Madeleine. She pretty much nailed this list – I added my 2 cents in the comments – Big thanks to Erin from Bows and Sparrows for giving me a link to my holiday wish list.

Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving

from Hyperbole and A Half – I laughed until I cried.

Top 10 Fantasy Fixes in Elementary Education – title says it all.

Taking Care – from Pink of Perfection. This post really spoke to me.

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That is the In Case You Missed It Edition for this week folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives: Volume 6,  Volume 5,  Volume 4,  Volume 3,  Volume 2,  Volume 1

Interrupting Your Regularly Scheduled Life – A little Rant and A BIG plea

Starting the school year out on crutches was a huge lesson in letting go of what you have planned to do and dealing with the situation at hand.

Lesson learned:

Be flexible and let go of expectations of how things “should” be or at least how I’ve always done them.

Got it.

See, this yoga thing is working….

Or so I thought.

Then I caught the Worst.  Cold.  EVER.

Exactly what life lesson is there to be learned from the cold that I think is going to kill me?

Last week I wrote about being sick. Convinced that if I just stayed home and took really good care of myself, I’d get healthy faster and be able to return to my regularly scheduled life of anniversary dinners (missed it), birthday parties (stayed home instead) and yoga classes (who wants old misses tissue-stuffed-up-her-nose on the next mat?)

When I finally called the doctor on Day 7 (because I seemed to be getting worse, not better) – he said this round of cold viruses is particularly nasty. Feels more like a flu than a cold (blah, blah, blah)…  and really does run the entire 7-10 days of feeling completely like crap. Not 7-10 until recovery. 7-10 days of being actively sick.

Boo.

Since I’m still sick (day 10!) now I’m wondering if it was worth taking all that time off work and doubting whether self-care really does anything.

And I have noticed I seem to get sick more often and longer than other teachers. What is up with that?

Not just this year. Every year.

About this time every year I start to hesitate in making plans because I’m not sure if I’ll be sick or not.

Thanksgiving? Just a quick drive to the Bay Area for dinner and back – I hope.

Christmas? Fingers crossed!

New Year’s Eve? Probably not going to happen.

I am tired of being sick all the time.

I want to make plans to have some fun and be able to keep them.

Not coughing?

Yes, please.

Remember last fall when I got sick? When catching the flu during yoga teacher training almost sent me to the nervous  hospital?

Who had infected me?

When would I get better?

Didn’t those damn germs know I had THINGS to do?

So what do I do?

Start wearing one of these all the time?

I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing wrong.

So dear readers, tell me what to do. I’m all ears.

Self-Care Versus the Dreaded Shoulds

My name is Tami and I’m a Should-A-Holic.

This weekend I had some tough choices to make.

Do I spend my limited time away from work doing more work?

-I really should figure out my timed math ‘system’

-I really should spend more time with the math curriculum

-I really should fill-in-the-blank unfinished teacher work

Or do I invest some time in self-care?

Sunday afternoon I found myself having a serious case of the I-don’t-wanna-goes/why-can’t-weekends-be-longers which is what happens when I don’t work on Saturdays.

If I don’t work on Saturdays, I feel compelled to work on Sundays.

Never mind that I worked Monday-Friday.

At my two jobs.

So I consulted the Book of Me.

This weekend I remembered why I wrote the Book of Me in the first place.

It’s so I don’t lose my shit when I go back to work.

See, self-care is much easier when I have less demands on my time.

Of course, I’m going to spend time with friends.

Of course, I’m going to eat healthy food.

Of course, I’m going to go to bed early and get enough rest.

When I’m on break it’s much easier to take good care of myself. It’s when suddenly there are demands on my time that I have to remind myself that even though I am working and have responsibilities, self-care is IMPERATIVE.

My solution? 

To focus on some simple activities that make me happy.

Some things I will add to the Book of Me.

  • Mini-pedi {everything except the polish}
  • Phone date with a lifelong, now long-distance friend
  • reading a book for pleasure {Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert}
  • making an easy, tasty dinner

Let’s be honest, work will always be there.

Time away, truly away to recharge your batteries and enjoy the simple things, is limited.

My friend, Johanna, is taking a whole year off from teaching so she can recharge her batteries, connect with her family and find a place of self-care. She writes about it here.

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Tell me, how do you take care of yourself when life gets busy?

Saturday Senses

Saturday Senses is a way to capture the spirit of each week.  

  

tasting ::  perfect farmer’s market strawberries in august.

hearing ::  lots of great feedback on the michelle from it’s all yoga interview. {stay tuned for part 2!}

smelling ::  a mid-week spa day: sauna and hot tub. 

seeing :: students working for preferred activity time! fred jones is a secret genius.

feeling ::  tired. the first few weeks of school keep me up too late and wake me up too early. can’t.turn.off.my.brain.

wishing/hoping ::  everyone has a safe and restful holiday weekend.

What are your senses this Saturday?  Looking back, how was your week?    

Leave me a comment to tell me made your week memorable.    

This weekly tradition was inspired by Pink of Perfection’s Five Sense Friday

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Back to School Is the Perfect Time for Resolutions

It’s that time again… back to school.

Back to school for kids means buying new school supplies, daydreaming about their new teacher and getting up early. For teachers it can be a perfect time to renew and refresh your teacher tool belt.

Every year I make new school year resolutions and this year is no different.

This year I have decided to work on my classroom management.

My goal for this year:

Work from the positive, reinforce appropriate student behavior, and help students struggling with appropriate behavior make better choices.

In other words:

I don’t want to be such a grouch, I want to enjoy my well-behaved kids and stop the knucklehead behaviors in their tracks,  preferably before they start.

Oh and I want to do this without raising my blood pressure.

Tall order I know.

Reflecting on what has worked well in previous years and what needs refinement, I’ve decided to brush up on tried and true methods for classroom management and student discipline.

Today I participated in a brush-up course on the methods taught in Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones. After the training I was inspired to dig out my copy from the bag I’d stashed it in back in June {Apparently, this new-school-year resolution was on my mind when I left my classroom for the summer}.

With chapters like “Being Consistent”, “Staying Calm” and “Keeping It Positive, Keeping It Cheap” this book is a treasure trove of simple to implement lessons to teach and reinforce appropriate classroom behavior.

My favorite parts of the keeping calm are the deep breathing exercises. What a great reminder of how you can incorporate your yoga practice {or start one!} right in your classroom.

If you’ve never read Tools for Teaching, please stop what you are doing {ok, finish this post first} and order yourself a copy or check it out here for free. Be sure to check out the illustration on page 176. I may or may not have been the model.

Do you have any classroom management tips that consistently work with your class? How do you keep your sanity during the school year?

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Please leave me a comment and let me in on your secrets.

5 Reasons To Go On A Yoga Retreat

1. The clean break

Taking time away from the piles of laundry, unfinished work and miles long to-do lists can be just what the doctor ordered so you can recharge your batteries.

2. The food

Fresh fruits and vegetables in all the colors of the rainbow and you don’t have to do any of the shopping, chopping or cooking. Plus no dishes!

3. The connections

When you aren’t laying out next to someone’s mat, you may find yourself lounging by the swimming pool next to them – sharing sunscreen, magazines and favorite book titles.

4. The yoga

Two to two and a half hour-long practice sessions twice a day. Long luxurious warm ups and deliciously extended Savasanas.

5. The quiet

No phone. No television. No newspaper. No internet.

What are your reasons for going on retreat?

Catching Up with the Runaway Train

School years are like cross-country train journeys.

Both follow a particular route, on a schedule at a fairly predictable pace. 

The typical school year looks like this: 

183 days of work {180 with kids}

New students every August {who you hardly recognize until January}

Professional development trainings {with varying degrees of usefulness}

Staff meetings {no comment}

Refining best practices {making the already good teaching better that is kind of painful in the process, but worth the effort}

A bunch of fun activities at the end-of-the-year {well, fun for the students}

Post high stakes testing, both students and teachers exhale.

Then we continue the job of teaching and learning at a much more relaxed pace until the last bell rings on the final day of school much like a train finally chugging into the last depot at the end of a long journey.

By mid-May, we’re starting to look toward closing out the year:

Completing report cards

Adding some ink to the permanent records 

Spending some time outside {go egg drop, field day, track meet, water play day!}

 Finally learning some science and maybe even doing some art.

I start talking more about how long we’ve been together and how much they’re going to miss me I’m going to miss them when they move to fourth grade.

Except this year was different.

Instead of winding down and closing up shop, we experienced a lot of changes, mostly at the administrative level.

Serious stuff.

Stuff one needed to pay attention to, but I can’t help but feel a bit like my long journey on my predictable train was hijacked my the time bandits and my even-paced end-of-the-year calendar filled up with meeting after important meeting.

I was left feeling quite disoriented.

Today is finally the last day of our long journey.

I’m looking forward to the downtime and battery recharging so necessary at the end of each stressful year. This summer will be filled with some stay-at-home relaxing, some thoughts of how to improve next school year, some traveling with friends and of course, lots and lots of yoga.

How will you recharge your batteries this summer? What will you do to take care of yourself so you can make sure your train stays on the track?

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The In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 3

I’ve recently discovered the wonderful world of blogs, Twitter and the idea of creating community online. I am aware I am late to the party, however it’s better to be late than never arrive.

Who knew the Internet was full of such wonderful, caring, compassionate people?

Occasionally, I’ll post my favorite posts from other people here.

The In Case You Missed It Edition!

The Book of You – on The Fluent Self. I think everyone should start writing theirs.

Jennifer Louden, author of  The Women’s Comfort Book and others, also writes a blog. Here’s a can’t miss post – Choose Your Life Mondays – the It Isn’t A Big Ding Dang Do Edition where she talks about minimum requirements for self-care (MRSC).

“MRSC’s are the basic things you need to stay in touch with yourself, to have a strong foundation to meet the rather constant challenges of life, and to ease the noise in your head.”

Michelle asks, “What One Thing?” – as in what is YOUR special talent?

Homemaking - Amanda explores what it means to be a SAHM. Really hit a chord with me.

If you have a favorite blog that you’d want everyone to read if you were in charge of the universe, please let me know about it here. Leave me a comment about your favorites and maybe I’ll start reading them too.

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Yoga+Music(notquite)365 (day104)

Today’s yoga brought to you by the kitchen home practice.

Today’s music is Elephant by The White Stripes.

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Yoga Teaching Update:

Free class for School Teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week – May 1st. Yoga Nap+Milk and Cookies.

FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online www.itsallyoga.com

I’m teaching with Donna – May 14th!