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What YOU can DO to make your year stress free and more joyful.
STOP and take a mindful moment.
S is for STAY in the present moment.
Notice your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly. Whatever is happening at the moment will pass. Notice your emotions and remember that the only thing you can control is your reaction to the situation. Your willingness to be present will give you the space you need to gather your thoughts and emotions before moving forward. Take a mindful moment and just breathe.
T is for THINK about what is working.
We often spend so much of our time thinking about what isn’t working that we fail to focus on what has gone well. Take a mindful moment to write a note to yourself highlighting all the successes so far this year. List what you are grateful for and acknowledge the strengths you bring to teaching and leadership. Be intentional about your goals for the new year. What do you really want?
O is for OPEN your heart to include other perspectives.
When we are stressed and challenged by situations beyond our control we often close our hearts and minds to others. It is a way to protect ourselves and our opinions. Take a mindful moment and think about a student or colleague who puts you on the defensive. Now instead of automatically taking your position and being right. Put yourself in that person’s shoes – just for a moment. What does life look like from that person’s perspective? Notice how keeping your heart open can minimize your stressful reaction and clarify your perspective.
P is for PRACTICE being non-judgmental.
We all have that inner critic who is constantly telling us what to do and what not to do. The critic not only judges our behavior it also judges the behavior of all those people around us. Judging takes time and is exhausting and can produce lots of anxiety and emotions that take our attention away from the joy in our lives. Lots of our stress comes from internal worry and expectations that we put on ourselves to be busy and to constantly be doing more. By being non-judgmental we clear our mind space so we can see the all the good that is happening in our lives.
In this new year let’s STOP reacting in ways that no longer serve us. Let’s stop being so busy that we miss the magic moments in our lives and classrooms; the moments that make us laugh or perhaps cry – in a good way. Let’s START paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment without judgment. May this New Year 2018 be mindful and full of joy!’