Fall can be a stressful time for educators. School is in full swing and holidays are right around the corner. Just when students figure out how to sit still after being out for summer break—they start getting antsy again for the coming winter break. For many educators, this is the Disillusionment Period; after an optimistic start to the year, the ever-present demands on our time start to wear us down. But reducing stress isn’t rocket science! Mindfulness provides us with an easy, “common sense” approach to minimizing anxiety. It includes being open to all of your senses.
The five traditional senses can support you in minimizing stress and finding a place of balance.
What are the sounds that are most relaxing for you? What sounds in nature are most soothing to you? Which musical instruments or voices bring you peace? You know what you love to hear. Include these sounds in your life. When is the last time you really heard the sounds around you that make you smile and bring you peace?
Do you see the beauty around you? What makes your heart fill with joy when you see it? Flowers? The ocean? A sunset? Art? Think about what is beautiful and calming to you and include it in the space of your home and your life.
What feels good to you? Silk? Wool? A hug? How can you include touch in your world? Giving your hands a massage or touching your tired neck is a nurturing act. Be kind and full of care for your self. You know what hurts and how to make it feel better. It is ok to be kind to yourself.
Slowing down to taste your food or drink will bring you a sense of control and minimize the anxiety associated with eating or drinking. Think of the “tastes” that bring you joy. Simply adding fresh lemon on herbs to your water or tea mindfully can add to your sense of appreciation.
What awakens your senses through smell? Do you love a flowery essence or a heady aroma? What happy memories come to mind from certain smells? How can essential oils be integrated into your life? Which scents are most appealing to you and offer you a sense of peace?
Expand your senses to include your 6th sense… your intuitive self.
- LISTEN…to your inner voice guiding you to healthy practices in your daily life. Use your intuition to maintain a mindful approach to your health and wellness. When you meditate listen to sounds or music that is healthy and healing for you emotionally and physically.
- SPEAK…kindly to yourself and others. Use daily affirmations to keep you focused on positive mindful yoga practices. Create your own affirmations. You know what you need to hear.
- BREATHE… and inhale from the deepest parts of your lungs. Breathe in joy, beauty and all that is good in your life. Exhale all that does not serve you.
All rights reserved. Copyright 2015, Carol Pelletier Radford, MentoringinAction.com.