Wellbeing with you

Feeling run down? Find yourself reaching for the sugary snacks to lift your mood?
What you really need to do is prepare for these moments. They are always going to come. Actually resisting it, telling ourselves to ignore those feelings (slight headache, aches, pains, fatigue, sensitivity to lights) is going to wind up with you feeling worse. Trust me - I’ve been there.

My top 3 wellbeing tips are:
1. If you find yourself saying “I don’t have time to rest”, you probably need to rest!
2. Rest doesn’t have to take up too much time.
3. You can put healthy, low-fat, nourishing preventatives in place to help you with those dangerous energy drops.

You know you are getting run down. Your days are getting later and mornings are getting earlier and you know you’re going to have a burn out. However you don’t  really know because you’re so caught up in what you’re doing - the thing or things that are running you down - that you haven’t taken time to notice how you’re doing. Your friends, family may have begun to notice. They may have said something caring and kind that in your fog was received as annoying and “not helpful”... I can recount myself doing this, as I type this now, many many times as a busy teacher.

Ok - so what can you do?

1. If you can - take your lunch break (or part of it). The only way you can do this properly is to avoid anyone who is going to ask you to do something. So my advice is to take your sandwich/salad/whatever pathetic excuse you packed for a lunch for a walk. If you can, get outside, if not, stroll round the corridor, go to the library and find a quiet corner or - if all else fails - lock your classroom door and put some music on/headphones on and close your eyes.
It is proven that even ten minutes of this time to yourself is like a 45 min power nap.
Make sure you’re alone. Make sure you’re NOT working- I repeat - NOT WORKING. Not looking at your phone. Not engaging in technology. Eating or walking or sitting or lying with your head on the desk. The walking thing might sound strange but actually the physical activity and fresh air will help your body and mind to be stimulated. It might not feel like a ‘rest’ but it is better then sitting at desk and eating lunch as you check emails etc...

2. Resting doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing for long periods of time. Although that is the dream!
As I said, short periods of time in a meditative state can be as beneficial as a nap. Meditation takes practice and practice makes perfect. You could YouTube a video or try this:
- Lie down on your bed, sofa, with the car seat back, the floor? (Basically, what ever is available to you - finding somewhere to do this must not hinder your opportunity to do this). So you’ve turned everything off or on silent. There is no one around. It’s almost.... what is that... quiet.
- Focus on your breathing. Really focus on it moving in and out of your body. It’s a calming thing to do. I like the image my yoga teacher used to paint [i’m no yoga guru - i still can’t touch my toes] which was that the air is like a wave washing in and filling us up, from the stomach and lung area, like a cave and then washing out again as we breathe out.  As the wave washes in it brings calm and positive energy and as it leaves it takes stress, any anxieties and negativity. I know this sounds quite ‘hippy’ but as you allow yourself to think about this you begin to feel it and all you are really doing is thinking about your breathing and nothing else. You may even feel like you are falling asleep but your not. Don’t resist, you’re fine.
- After a while, begin to wiggle your toes and fingers. Acknowledge the different parts of your body - work from your feet, up your legs to your hips, waist, chest, shoulders, arms, wrists and hands and then the neck, up to the head and top of the head, your face. As you wake up each area, breathe a little deeper - fill your lung and maybe force out the air once or twice - these are what my yoga teacher called ‘life breaths’. I like that notion. If you’re living down are fully sit up, look around, do you feel different? Maybe at first it feels strange and a bit silly and you’re still tired. But get up slowly, stretch yo your arms and your legs. Doesn’t it feel good? Don’t you feel better then you did? If you can practise when you’re feeling run down it’s a quick easy and FREE to perk yourself up.

3. My favorite one - food. As a teacher I had to make sure I always had a health snack in my desk drawer for that 4 o’clock crash. If I forgot, I’d find myself eating bags of sweets I’d bought as prizes or demolishing the biscuit barrel in the office/at the meeting, or if there was nothing, I’d fall into a hunger coma. And then, into a ‘Hungry Rosie’ state - and no one liked her.
So what can we do? Preempt it! Expect it! And be prepared with something sweet and something healthy! Put aside about 30mins this weekend and make a big batch of these delicious power balls. I attended a workshop and kicked myself at how easy they were to make. And the other thing is, you add whatever you like... I mean, you’re doing the shopping for them after all.
But when you’re planning your power ball sessions and shopping for ingredients (which might seem expensive the first time round - trust me they go a long way! This is an investment after all and much cheaper and better for you  than funding the staff biscuits every week)  get a friend or two involved and split the cost. Also, it’s a really nice activity to do together. See the recipe post for the ingredients and three types that I made and loved!

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