Time to Take Care of Yourself

As the holiday season approaches, it has become a tradition to give my most important advice to all of you folks working in education: take time to take care of yourself.

All of you have experienced a seemingly endless list of challenges and demands already this year, and that is why my friends and I at TEEN TRUTH always spread the message of self care for teachers and administrators during this time of year.

In my experience, teachers are givers. It’s just in their nature to want to give and give and give, and help and help and help. While this is the special sauce that makes the world go round, I find that sometimes they have trouble giving back to themselves.

That’s right. We’re flipping holiday stress into holiday anti-stress! After all, who makes the rules about our culture? That’s right, we do. You and I can decide right here, right now, that this holiday season, we’re going to UNstressourselves.

Give yourself permission, here and now, to find a relaxed, distraction-free moment for yourself today. Even if it really is only a moment. Life is busy, and times are tough, but it’s amazing how much healing we can find if we just take a moment to stop, take a breath, and make a little space for ourselves.

Ideally, you’ll be able to do more, but like everything else, sometimes we have to start small.

As you begin to examine your own needs, you might find it difficult. Some of you might struggle to turn your efforts to yourself, but don’t worry, self care is a skill like any other, and it can be learned.

If you’re having trouble, a good place to start is by asking yourself, “What would I hope my best friend would do for themselves, if I knew my best friend felt exactly the way I feel?”

If the answer is specific, it’s a good place to start. But if the answer is a feeling, and you’re still having a little trouble, consider whether what you’re feeling is one of the relational needs which I address in my campus relationship workshops: Acceptance, Affection, Appreciation, Approval, Attention, Comfort, Encouragement, Respect, Security, or Support. Although these needs are important to meet in relationships with others, it is also valuable to know what they represent in ourselves.

This holiday season, take the time to take care of yourself. You are a school culture champion, and deserve to be taken care of like a champion. You are worth the time, and you deserve to feel good.

JC Pohl, LMFT
President & CEO, TEEN TRUTH

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