Key self care strategy – revealing and revealed

While caregiving over the past few months, my sister Barb (the Danish Viking) taught me a self care strategy that she promised would clear my brains and freshen my perspective.

Off to the beach we went.  With ice on the ground and towels freezing to the rocks… we went for a swim!

And Barb was right… I returned to the house refreshed!

Self Care Strategy – a quick dip in December off the coast of BC is sure to liven your day and lighten your moment!

(The boater passing by mistook us for a few grey whales!)

The two grey whales....??

Other ideas for self care strategies… do tell!


Teaching Self-Care to the Teacher

How I felt when I finished a teaching term

I found that at the end of teaching I felt quite disheveled (looking like Charlie Brown’s friend PigPen) and felt tired, impatient and irritable. Literally out of steam. Not really the best way to finish off a class, let alone prepare for the next class.

How about you? How do you feel at the end of the term?

It was feeling this way at the end of classes that made me believe that despite loving teaching, it didn’t love me back. I eventually realized that teaching wasn’t the problem. Taking care of the teacher was the problem. In racing teaching and meeting student’s needs, I wasn’t taking care to fuel myself.

I know from my own youthful experience that if I don’t feed a car with gas, oil and maintenance, the car breaks down on me. That’s expen$ive! People really aren’t that much different in this respect from cars. We start to fall apart if we don’t fuel ourselves. We are tired, have less enthusiasm and energy for students and teaching.

Personal experience taught me that putting energy back into me (self-care) was essential to keeping me running. While self-care is recognized as a valuable practice for caregivers, it isn’t yet a universally adopted practice for teachers. In the same way that caregivers cannot provide excellent care if they don’t care for themselves, you also cannot teach if you do not care for yourself. To maintain the energy and enthusiasm that you start out with requires commitment to self-care before, during and after teaching. Caring for yourself will refresh you with new ideas and energy for teaching a new set of students.

Now that we are in the summer break is a good time to ask yourself

Did I feel like I finished a race after teaching last time?

If you did, then consider whether you took time to “take care” of the teacher?

Do you have a regular practice of self-care? How do you know when you aren’t getting enough self-care?

If you’re comfortable, share your experiences in learning self-care as a teacher with us.



Take a break before you break!

This morning I walked with my dear colleague Janice Robinson. Janice is a Nurse Practitioner. She is passionate about providing excellent care and passionate about furthering education regarding unique aspects of Dying with Dementia! Janice is bright, brilliant, energetic, high energy, and committed to work!

Today we walked through the fields, down to the beach, along the beach and back home – all in the morning sun.  She is on day three of a three month leave from work.  The first month she plans on playing, holidaying with her hubby, their dog Jackson, and some family.  In September she is going to take Italian lessons, cook lots, and reflect.  In October she is taking her father in law to Italy for one month.  Then she returns to work.

As we returned from the walk  I realized that there was something unique about our visit.  She has just started her leave, but she is energetic, excited, delighted, and well.  She did not wait until she was tired, broken, exhausted, and/or depressed…. before taking time off.

I have heard it said (source?) that “illness is the westerners form of meditation”.

I wonder if we sometimes forget to meditate until we need to medicate!

Way to go Janice!