We are all teachers, and it doesn’t matter if you teach kindergarten, at the police academy, your children, or a family members at home: You have to stop. Stop worrying about the list of ceaseless to-dos and extra-curricular commitments. Just stop and breathe. When was the last time you did that and noticed you did — noticed that you intentionally paused because you needed to stop giving and steal back a quick second for yourself?
Take back a few moments a day for just you. Not for your students, your own kids, your spouse, parents or other loved ones. Just. You. What do you like to do? You don’t have to carve out time to pick up a new hobby, but you do have to reclaim a few moments of joy into your day everyday. No exceptions. Contrary to popular belief this is not selfish — it’s selfless. You need to recharge your batteries so that you can continue to give full power to those you care about!
Start by putting on a song that brings you joy. Before you hit play, open up to a fresh page in your favorite journal or pull up a blank document on your computer. Then for the duration of the song, list out all the things that bring you joy. The large, the small, the actions, moments, and people who fill your tank when it’s running on E. Repeat this exercise until you define a list that you can draw from each day. The amount of time spent on this joyful activity is less important than the fact that the moments must be mindful ones. If you’re going to re-read a book that you loved growing up for five minutes a night, take time to feel the book in your hands and remember the details of the cover. Open the book with intention, feeling each page as you turn in. Make every moment of those five minutes mean something to you. It’s amazing how time stretches when you slow down to enjoy it.
Of course results will vary, but if you’re intimidated by starting a list of your own, keep reading. If not, stop, go do the experiment, and enjoy!
Still reading? Maybe you’d like to see what came out of my practice of this preaching. The list that follows was generated during Iron and Wine’s “Cinder and Smoke”:
- Hot towel on my face at the end of each day
- Homemade face masks
- Reading fiction
- Reading about people who fight for justice
- Watching a good television show
- Baking for a crowd for no specific reason
- Mushroom elixirs
- Handwriting random thank you cards
- Listening to lyrics
Try the experiment or have a ritual that brings you joy on a daily basis? Sharing is caring. Comment below, but only if it brings you joy! 😉