Monday, March 11, 2013

"As we learn to have compassion for ourselves, the circle of compassion for others - what and whom we can work with, and how - becomes wider."
Pema Chödrön
 A terrible flu kept me in bed a few weeks ago and caused a lot of unforseen changes in plans I'd made. While being sick, I thought about how taking care of myself is a skill that I shouldn't relegate only to times of sickness. "Health is wealth" was written on some product, I don't remember which, but after some visits to the doctor recently, it really dawned on me that healthy habits are sometimes hard to come by. Where do we learn to eat well, sleep deeply and enough, to balance work and home life, to stop and rest, to exercise and laugh, to find time to connect with each other? Where do we learn consistently do all those important things in life that keep us happy and in good condition physically and mentally?
 Taking good care of myself is not something that I remember learning at school, and for some reason I don't think I learned it at home either. As far as I can tell it's been a process that I've come about in adult life, slowly and with much repetition of mistakes. I often forget, and then either my body tells me in some painful way, or my mind becomes unbearable and I realize, hey! "slow down and pay attention." If it was a subject taught deliberately somewhere it would certainly be worth the tuition. It is indispensable to know how to care for ourselves especially when others are in our care.
In terms of our time in the classroom, how do we model this self care? Do we take enough breaks during the day? Drink enough water? Take time to sit back and just observe? Stay home when we are sick?

I am thinking about this as I get over the effects of a body meltdown and normalcy returns. I want to be mindful enough to create a normalcy that is sustainable and that will point my sails towards wellness.


Anonymous said...

When I was teaching public school, I kept healthy snacks in my desk and sometimes ate them in the hall as the kids were entering the room. I also taught health in the afternoon and we touched on subjects like eating, water, exercise. One thing I think is missing in our country is afternoon nap time for ALL people. Some Latin countries still have siesta. I think it's a good practice for all people.

Laura S. said...

Hi Susannne,
Glad you're feeling better!
In my Montessori training I remember hearing at some point, if your class seems too chaotic, look to yourself ... slow down, sit down, watch, take out some Montessori materials that YOU enjoy and work through them with joy and concentration, just for yourself, and breath!