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?


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).

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 48

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.

2014 links love february


My Best Of…

 Shine II Series from Rosie Molinary – SHINE II: philosophies and practices to nurture and flame your self-acceptance.

Rosie is a master at breaking down things down into manageable and actionable steps. Shine II is another great series from her.

If you need some help setting up the systems in your life so you feel like you have more of a handle on things be sure to check out her Spark Series.


Soup! I’ve been having a months long serious head over heels love affair with soup. Check out these links for some favorites and ones I am making soon.

My current favoritesBroccoli Bisque, Lemony Soup with White Beans, Kale and Pasta, Carrot Coconut Soup.


Hanging By a Thread from Danielle LaPorte via Whoorl – Seriously helped when things were feeling bleak. Related: 19 Tips For Taking Care of Yourself While Also Taking Care of Your Loved Ones.


Looking for a CURVY friendly yoga retreat? I am totally going to this one, so if you want to go and are afraid you won’t know anyone I will be there. I am so excited!


The Incredible Importance of Sleep for Habits and Motivation by Zen Habits.


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

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

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: Death To Stock Photo


Tiny Tips Tuesdays: Look Back In Order To Look Forward

Happy New Year!

I know it is almost February, but I feel like celebrating.


Because I have learned some seriously powerful exercises I want to share with you!

But first, let me back up a bit.  Despite my best efforts, at the end of the 2013  I felt really spent. I purposefully kept the month of December pared back, and yet, it still felt like a lot – traveling, holidays, multiple birthday celebrations, the short and dark days, planning for a New Year’s Day workshop (my first ever – omg!). I ended up feeling out of sorts and overwhelmed and tired.

Definitely not how I want to feel in 2014.

In an effort to offer myself some kindness and grace, I decided I would spend the whole month of January retreating, reviewing, reflecting and ultimately deciding how I wanted the new year to feel.

In other words, I was going to live what I have been teaching.

But I was feeling unsure about actually taking the time I knew I really needed.

On January 1st I came upon 5 Tips For Choosing Your Word for the Year and Having A Bright, Peaceful and Transformative 2014 – a post from Jen at Inspired Home Office. This post cemented my decision to turn inward and really make the most of the time I had, in my mind,  devoted to reflection.

What resonated most was the idea of using the entire month of January to reflect of the previous year while giving yourself space to set intention for the upcoming year. THIS.

January can be a month of transformation – if you let it.

You can channel your new year excitement toward activities that clarify, nourish, and provide ballast so you can keep your momentum going all year. You’re so worth the effort. Your life and work are worth it…..

(excerpt from 5 Tips For Choosing Your Word of the Year (and Having a Peaceful and Transformative 2014 – Inspired Home Office)

With that in mind, I scheduled myself a personal summit.

First up, child care. My husband arranged to take my shrimp on an adventure leaving me six glorious hours of alone time the first Saturday of the year. In the days leading up to it, I gathered my inspiration and supplies. That morning I set the stage with my new work ritual. For me this means lighting a candle, making sure I have something delicious to sip on and firing up my Coffitivity.

To begin I made a page for each month using loose leaf lined paper and washable markers (you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but never really take the classroom out of the teacher), reviewed each activity in each month of the year (by looking through my Instagram, Cozi, Facebook photos) and reflected on what worked and what didn’t. Then I decided to either change or get rid of each activity for 2014. I added notes on how to improve what I decided to keep and added some new fun stuff because who really has too much fun in their life?

I know it seems like a lot of work, but it wasn’t. Looking back at 2013 was informative. Even though not everything that happened was fun, when I put all the pieces together, it turns out it was a pretty damn good year overall. Certainly a year where I learned a lot and grew a lot – personally and professionally.

I had never taken the time to really assess how my year went in a holistic way – work, family, social life and I’m glad I did. For the first time I was able to bask in my accomplishments, even just for a moment, and to assess if I’d like to repeat an activity. While looking back, I felt powerful, like I was truly in charge of my life.

Taking time to remember the good, the bad and the ugly inspired my word of 2014.

In other words, taking the time and necessary action to care for and grow my business, relationships with family and friends as well as taking ridiculously good care of myself. Learning to say no when necessary and yes to the things and people that are good for me.

Are you ready to hold your own personal summit and choose a word for the year?

Resources to get you started:

Rosie Molinary’s Guide to Holding a Personal Summit

Rosie Molinary’s SPARK: Practices to Start This New Beginning

Rosie Molinary’s Guide to Choosing A Word of the Year

Inspried Home Office/Jen Hoffman’s 5 Tips For Choosing A Word of The Year (And Having a Bright, Peaceful, and Transformative 2014

Be Your Own Beloved’s/ Vivienne McMaster’s My Word of 2014.

It’s never too late to start this process or to have the life that you want. Take an hour or two this week (even in 15 minute intervals) and hold your own personal summit and choose a word for the year.

I would love to hear from you, so let me know what you think.


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?


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


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 46

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.

reading bench


My Best Of…

 Work Happiness Secret: Track Your Effort, Not Your Accomplishments  <–Holy WOW. Yes. I think my mind is blown in such a good way.

This one is from Sarah Von Bargen (of yes and yes)’s business blog.

Tracking effort and not accomplishment is absolutely revolutionary thinking for me. I can see how it can and will help me feel better about my current business work AND how I can apply the same principles should I return to the classroom.

I can also see how I’ve been able to track other people’s effort especially in the classroom, but judge my work by accomplishment. For some reason, I’m now thinking about growth and fixed mindsets and wondering if this is all somehow related.

I might have to print this post and frame it.


8 Steps to a Happier, Less Frenetic Fall by my wonderful friend, Rosie Molinary.

Since I started working with Rosie, I’ve started doing 5 of the 8 steps and I feel like I’ve finally got some control over my life/calendar. I’m looking forward to adding the other 3!


 Try This Tuesday – Solve An Easy Problem NOW – from The Small Change Project.

If you ever find yourself feeling paralyzed from overwhelm, Katie suggests completely solving an easy problem. I love this advice because I have found it works for me.

For instance, when I get stuck, I clean the kitchen. No matter what I’m stuck on, I get myself to the kitchen and make it sparkle. If nothing else happens, at least my kitchen is clean.

9 times out of 10 though, that sense of accomplishment gets me out of the overwhelm mindset and I can go on to accomplish other things on my list.


 How Technology is Making Reading Easier and Life Simpler by Frugal Mama.

Dude, so many of my favorite things in that title alone: technology, reading, easy, simple.

Check it out for lots of tips.


My Love Affair with Oakland by Lisa Congdon.

What she said. Oakland is awesome. I am glad some of my favorite people live there so I get to visit.


 How to Be Amazing At Social Media Without Letting It Consume Your Life. What can I say? I <3 Sarah Von Bargen.


 5 Dumb Ass Things I Learned This Week That Should Have Already Known by Smaggle.

Um, I learned two VERY important things from this post. Brilliant!


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: Reading by Moyan_Brenn on Flickr (cc)


Do you wish you could end the school year feeling as energized as you started it?

Is recovering from the school year going to take most of your summer?

Are you ready to press reset but have no idea where that button is?

The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher is the reset button.


Class starts in September – just in time for the new school year. Click here to register

Rosie Molinary of The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher: TGBTS Featured Teacher


Don’t you just love them?

I know I do.

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my series of teacher interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!


Have you met Rosie yet? She’s the co-creator of The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher,  author, speaker and college professor- and a former high school teacher.

featured teacher rosie

1. I know you used to teach high school. What are you currently teaching?

For a long time, I had a very specific idea of what it meant to be a teacher (for me). When I went to graduate school for an MFA (specifically because I wanted to be a more powerful teacher and I felt using writing in the classroom as a tool for self-awareness and empowerment was a natural expression for me), I didn’t attend any of the optional publishing workshops because I had no interest in publishing. I wanted to teach my tail off.

Then, my final advisor confronted me about not attending publishing workshops. I told him that I wasn’t meant to publish, I was meant to teach and he responded that thinking of my teaching as just something that could exist within the four walls of a traditional high school classroom was limiting what I could teach and who I could impact. He encouraged me to think about my writing as a way of teaching and that idea was revolutionary for me.

So, now, when I think about my teaching, I think about the traditional classroom—I primarily teach Body Image for the Women’s and Gender Studies department and Honors College at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte (sometimes I also teach Women in the Media) and I am currently designing a course on Latinos in the US Education system for another local college. And I also think about my less traditional classrooms—I offer workshops for women on authentic, empowered, intentional, self-accepting living and try to write regular columns and blog posts as ways of being a teacher in and student of the world.

2. How did you make the move from high school teacher to self-care advocate/ body image expert? Workshop leader extraordinaire?

Well, they say that you teach what you most need to learn and, in the case of self-care this was absolutely true for me. I fell in love with writing and reading when I was young and really valued knowing how I felt about things. Being self-aware was what brought meaning and grounding to my world, and it still does.

And while that was a really positive experience for me, the other thing I was was incredibly self-sacrificing. I thought it was incredibly selfish to care for yourself and, as a young teacher, I felt that my students needed everything, deserved everything. Who was I to be having fun or taking a break when I had runaways and alcoholics in my classroom who I absolutely adored and felt needed more from me to help them make different choices that took them out of danger.

In my third year of teaching, I got incredibly sick and the doctor who treated me made a remark that I could keep landing myself in the emergency room if I wanted. I was so offended. I worked in a high school riddled with germs; I wasn’t landing myself here. But after a few days on bed rest, I came around to his point that I didn’t intervene on my own behalf- go to the doctor six weeks earlier when the infections were first starting, for example- and that had contributed to my sickness. And so I started very slowly, very self-consciously working on my self-care. But I knew that I couldn’t learn what I needed to learn fast enough to not do this to myself again- and soon- if I stayed in the same work environment and I also knew that I wanted to get an MFA (ultimately in non-fiction and poetry) because reading and writing had been my tools to boost my self-awareness and they were the tools that I wanted to use in helping others.

The book that I wrote during graduate school- a collection of non-fiction essays and linked poetry called Giving Up Beauty- focused on coming of age, ethnic identity, beauty perception, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. Though I never sought to publish it, it ignited a passion in me for empowering women to embrace their authentic selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world.

I am still so compelled and inspired about being in space with people and so I love teaching workshops for groups that cover all these themes but I also love sitting alongside one person and really considering where she is and conceptualizing where she can and so I also love facilitating one on one retreats. I am just at the point where I am beginning to take these experiences and offer them in less conventional forms—away from four walls—whether on Skype, teleconference lines, or, maybe one day soon, e-books.

3. What kinds of stuff do you teach now? Who is your ideal client and what is your ideal work?

Every semester, I teach a course that I just adore on body image that focuses on the things that impact our sense of solves—from parents and peers to race, religion, and social class. This is a university, for credit course.

But away from the university, I facilitate several different workshop experiences from:

  • visionSPARK:  a beginning of the year workshop that guides participants in creating vision boards and choosing a word for the year)

  • Mission::Manifest:  a workshop where participants are guided in penning their own mission statements and manifestos

  • First, Love You:  a self- acceptance retreat for women

  • Beautiful You(th):  a body image workshop designed for moms so they can empower their daughters to have healthy body images

  • Unbridled Authenticity: an equine facilitated learning workshop that I do in partnership with Triple Play Farm and uses the intuition of horses to generate self-awareness and confidence

  • aware: a yoga and self-awareness workshop that I do in partnership with a friend who is an amazing yoga teacher

  • The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher: Sustainable Self-Care for a Successful School Year – teaching teachers how to take care of themselves.

I love doing work that inspires self-awareness, hones our vision, motivates us to be intentional, grounds us in our authenticity, and allows us to be vulnerable.

My ideal client is someone who isn’t afraid to do this work, in fact, hungers for this work and is receptive to journeying together.

4. What are your Top 5 self-care must do’s?

Self-Care Tip #1

Right now, I am really into the Magic Hour– an early morning hour to myself that unfolds as I wish in a space of quiet before my boys (the big one that is my partner and the little one that is my teacher) need my help in some way to acclimate to the day.

Self-Care Tip #2

I move my body in some meaningful way at least five times a week.

Self-Care Tip #3

I drink copious amounts of water.

Self-Care Tip #4

I plan with a great awareness of what I can fit into a day and don’t expect too much from myself.

Self-Care Tip #5

I do not ever criticize myself (this is different from giving myself feedback— which I do often, but when I look at the work that I do or the decisions that I made, I consider the challenges as growth opportunities and never a reflection of my worth. It is simply an assessment of how I did in that moment with that thing).

5. How do you manage working from home without driving yourself bonkers?

This is so dependent on what might drive you bonkers.

When I work, I very rarely do any house chores unless they are very brief chores- putting a load of laundry in the machine, for example. Chores are for off time.

I really treasure the time that I have in front of the computer and protect it because my work time is limited to when my son is at preschool or after he goes down at night.

Out of those five days that he is at preschool, one day is my teaching day at the university and then two other days I am usually working away from the home- either in meetings or facilitating a workshop or retreat. That gives me six hours a week to work at my computer.

Put that way, it is fairly easy for me to have a sense of urgency to get my bottom in my chair and get things done. I know some people might miss the interaction with coworkers on those two days where I am sitting in quiet (I don’t even play music or turn on a television), but I am a natural introvert and so my energy is restored by that quiet time. Protecting that quiet time to allow myself to distill ideas and do my work is another way that I practice self-care.

6. Do you have a yoga practice? What about meditation/quiet contemplation?

I do yoga at home during my Magic Hour, sometimes guided by Yogalosophy by Mandy Ingber. I really love being able to go to yoga classes but with, at most, six free hours a week, it is hard to find just the right yoga class for me during the time that I am free and so I have found a way to give myself what I need in that early morning quiet.

I most love journaling as a tool for quiet contemplation and do it whenever I need it—sometimes I get on a daily run and sometimes it might be a few weeks in between paper processing. I’m pretty aware now of when I need to return to the page and get myself there asap.

Aha—another aspect of my self-care practice!

Do you have any questions or comments for Rosie?

Are you a rock star teacher (or know one)? Would you like to be a TGBTS Featured Teacher? Send me a message or leave me comment here.

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 44.

best of blogs i read vol 44

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.


My Best Of…

Learning to Set Boundaries and Getting Comfortable with Being Less Agreeable. Do you find yourself apologizing and trying to make everything alright for everyone else? Rosie did and boy has she learned a thing or two. I liked this one so much I almost linked to it twice.


The Key to Success? Grit. Love this TED Talk from Angela Lee Duckworth. In it, she mentions Carol Dweck’s (of Mindset) research on the growth mindset. People, I think they are on to something here.


Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with mint and (sheep) feta – pool food! So easy and so tasty. We had it at the pool the other night and again for lunch the next day. Summer food is the actual best. Well, until fall. And winter. And then spring. Dude, I think I just like to eat.


Holly Would If She Could is Practicing Tolerance in yoga.


Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies. Shutterbean strikes again.


And last, but not least, it is starting to be that time. So rather than deny its existence, let’s Start The School Year the Frugal Way. At least we can all save some money, right?


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: Sam Reading in Badlands by CaptPiper on Flickr (cc)


Do you wish you could end the school year feeling as energized as you started it?

Is recovering from the school year going to take most of your summer?

Are you ready to press reset but have no idea where that button is?

The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher is the reset button.


Class starts in September – just in time for the new school year. Click here to register