Wednesday / July 24

Using Your Common Sense(s) to Reduce Stress

Using Your Common Sense(s) to Reduce Stress

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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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,

Written by

Carol Pelletier Radford is the Founder and CEO of This team is a group of dedicated teacher leaders who offer expertise and resources in the spirit of paying in forward to support the success of students. The mission of Mentoring in Action is to empower mentors and novice teachers in realizing their full potential as effective teachers and emerging leaders.

She received her EdD from Harvard University where she focused her studies on teacher leadership and professional development. Carol began her career as a public school teacher where she learned the value of student engagement, teacher collaboration, and using student voices to improve teaching practices. She served in higher education as a teacher, administrator, licensing officer, and alternative certification program director.

Carol is the author of three books that support novice teacher and mentor leadership development. Two books with Corwin Press: Mentoring in Action: Guiding, Sharing, and Reflecting With Novice Teachers and The First Years Matter: Becoming an Effective Teacher, offer school districts a month-by- month curriculum. Her third edition of Strategies for Successful Student Teaching guides the student teacher through the practicum, the job search and into the first year of teaching.

Dr. Radford is actively engaged in designing online mentoring graduate courses that use videos, reflective journals, and mindfulness practices. She is a passionate advocate of teacher leadership and the development of mentor leaders who can transform their district induction programs to bring joy back to the classroom.

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