Here's What Abbie Believes Keeps Teachers Well: Teacher Appreciation Week

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This Teacher Appreciation Day, Yoga Foster is giving teachers free tools to practice self-care, including yoga classes, mindfulness sessions, reflection prompts and more. Each day this week we've featured a teacher from our community with their approach to staying well. Today Abbie tells us her favorite way to unwind, her love of music, and always going back to her why.

1. What does self-care/wellness mean to you?

Self care/wellness to me is knowing yourself enough to know when you need to slow down, or know when you need a pick me up. It’s also making the choice to really recognize those cues your mind and body give you and do something about it. I know so many people who say “I’m so burnt out” yet they keep going at the same pace, doing the same things without paying attention to what their mind and body need. I recently heard someone say “If it doesn’t serve me, I don’t do it.” I reflected for a long time on those words, and even though to some they may sound selfish or idealistic it really is about choosing to honor yourself and recognize how valuable taking care of yourself is.

2. What is your favorite way to replenish yourself?

Besides loving to be with the people in my life, my favorite way to nourish my soul and replenish is to take some time alone. I love to go out to my deck where I have a gas fireplace and a bluetooth speaker. I turn on the fireplace, I turn on some music and then I just sit and get lost in the lyrics. I love music, I use it in every aspect of my life, my home, my classroom, my car. It soothes my soul every time. It’s like that one thing I know will always make me feel better. Sometimes it’s a particular song I need, other times it’s just that I need to hear someone else’s words and story and be able to lose myself in the imagery

3. Are there any helpful tools Yoga Foster offers to support your wellness?

I am so impressed with the tools Yoga Foster has to offer. As you already know I love music, so my favorite tool is of course the playlists! My students love it, and I’ve even found myself using it at home! I love the Facebook community! I have not had a chance to participate in the recent community circles you have had, but find that so powerful, just knowing I have a community of people on a similar journey that I can connect with.

4. Do you have any tips for teachers for their wellness journey?

I have always found teachers are naturally humble people. I believe teachers need to be more vocal and tell their stories. I would tell a teacher on a wellness journey to journal, to document, to share with others their journey. It’s so important that we do. People will never understand the job we do if we don’t share our stories. Be open, be honest, be ready to take criticism and questions, but also be ready to take praise and compliments because you will get both! At the end of the day remember why you teach, remember why you started your journey and if needed always go back to your why!

5. What is your favorite thing about teaching yoga/mindfulness to your students?

My favorite thing about teaching yoga and mindfulness to my students is that they become aware of the lifelong benefits to both practices. When I began teaching both to my students I talked with them about how yoga and mindfulness can really play a big role in their desire to be the best version of themselves. I have always tried to inspire my students to strive to be the best versions of themselves, but by incorporating yoga and mindfulness into the classroom they’re able to really learn about themselves and become more in tune with their moods and reactions to situations. I teach 5th grade in a high poverty, high trauma school, so for my students learning how to be more in tune with themselves, and how to use that  to self regulate is truly a beneficial life long skill.

Interested in receiving our free week of resources to practice self-appreciation from May 7 – May 11, 2018? Sign up here!

Nicole CardozaTAW