Welcome to Wellness Wednesdays!
Welcome back from February Break! We hope that you are incorporating self-care into your daily/weekly/monthly repertoire. We are grateful for our community that continues to work together to be healthy. It is hoped that these eblasts reinforce our commitment of caring for ourselves and others. Please send us ideas to share with our colleagues and families across the district. (WellnessWednesdays@Lawrence.k12.ny.us)
In 3 Misconceptions About Educator Self-Care, in Edweek.org, (Feb. 25, 2020), Brandi Ansley speaks about her experiences in mental health care and as a special education teacher.
Here are some excerpts from her article that hit home:
There is no universal definition of self-care. Exercise, mindfulness meditation and relaxation techniques are often recommended. So is soaking in a warm bath, reading for pleasure and snuggling with puppies.
To be clear, self-care doesn't always need to be overtly healthy. Some educators have told me their self-care includes self-soothing behaviors like binging on brownies. Others push back with suggestions that self-care must be healthy—otherwise, it is self-damage.
Recently, I heard an engaging speaker declare that self-care is not bringing M&Ms or other chocolates into the workplace to share with co-workers. So, the next day, I brought Almond Joys to share. As these contain two superfoods—almonds and coconut—that meant I was promoting self-care, right? All joking aside, my humble opinion is that self-care may not always constitute a health-promoting behavior. If small indulgences generate positive mental and emotional gains, why frown upon them? The catch, though, is knowing the line between beneficial indulgence and detrimental debauchery. This varies individually and is not universally defined.
Self-care is also not limited to specific activities. In our focus on evidence-based practices, we have greatly underestimated the intangible aspects of our well-being. For example, another form of self-care is setting boundaries on our time and availability. By ending our workday at a certain hour and including downtime on our agenda, we promote a work-life balance necessary for our health.
We also can care for ourselves by being choosy with our commitments. Saying "yes" to everything invites more expectation and less appreciation.
In addition to boundaries, the benefits of positive reciprocal human connections need no explanation. Do the people in your life enhance it or drain it? How about vice versa, and how you treat others? Self-care works in conjunction with—not in isolation from—community care. Overall, we need social networks that support the best versions of ourselves and therefore, the best we offer others.
LMS Celebrated PS I Love You Day:
On Friday, 2/14/20, LMS participated in PS I Love You Day 2020. Students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to wear purple to show their support in recognizing the importance of mental health. Students wrote kind messages about themselves on puzzle piece, which further reflected the message that every puzzle piece is important in creating a whole puzzle. If one piece of the puzzle(student) is missing, our puzzle (school) would be incomplete.
Celebrate you, every single day!
“SELF LOVE ISN’T SELFISH, IT’S IMPORTANT.”