Teacher Encouragement for January – Rest
This year, we want to add to our usual teaching idea blog posts and send you a letter of encouragement each month! We can all use some encouragement after all, right? Also, YOU are working harder than ever to make a difference in the little people’s lives, and WE APPRECIATE YOU! Soooo…..this month’s encouraging word for you is REST.
What do you think of when you say the word rest? What do you feel? Do you think of sleep…and possibly that you don’t get enough? Do you think of the deep, restorative kind of rest that reaches deep down to your soul? The kind of healing rest that restores you for the days ahead and that you hopefully had over the Christmas Break? Today, we want to encourage you to give yourself the gift of rest throughout each day, as we head back to school.
Rest is so needed in this time in which we live, isn’t it? And…..YOU are one of the keepers of children. Do you know how wonderful you are? You work all day long making a million decisions and lesson preparations, for the well-being of the little people you teach. It takes a lot of energy to do that every day! If you are a mama or a papa as well, then that energy load is doubled as you also take care of your family! We know HOW HARD YOU WORK! We see you…if only in our hearts and mind’s eye! YOU ARE SO AMAZING! Never doubt that! But….you are also probably tired……A LOT!
This month, January, is the perfect time to begin to do some things throughout each day to give you more rest. Teachers are notorious for nurturing others and not themselves. Hopefully you will nurture yourself by building rest into your days this month, and that it will spill over into the rest of the year. YOU ARE SO WORTH IT! YOU DESERVE IT!
So here are just a few ideas and tips for beginning to add more restful moments throughout your day:
- Take 15 minutes each day to just be still. No devices. Just find a cozy spot and sit still for 15 minutes. Relax your body from your toes to your head. Listen to all the sounds you hear. Notice the spaces between the sounds. Let your mind rest on these things only.
- Turn off the noise for a while each day, including music. This is a good thing to do on your way home from work. It will help ease the transition from work to home, and give your mind a chance to slow down a bit. Did you know that the repetitive, humming sound of your tires on the freeway is soothing?
- Pay attention to nature on your way to and from work. Notice the textures and colors in nature. Notice how the light and how nature changes each day. It is beautiful and different every day. Don’t let your mind think of your endless to do list. There will be time for that at work.
- Go for a walk in nature each day. Lunch time is a good time to do that, even if it means walking around the school and noticing anything from nature that might be there.
- Enjoy the weather in January, especially if it is snowy or rainy. These “hush” days are great for cozying in to rest.
- Breathe! You hear this all the time, but do you do it? Sit still, and quiet your mind. Then just listen to your breathing. Try this while the littles are at recess, or on your lunchtime.
- Take care of your sleep. Turn devices off 30 minutes before bed. If you read, which is of course a great way to encourage great sleep, do it with a real book. The light from a device can upset your circadian rhythm and make for less restful sleep.
- Read a beautiful poem about this season. Read it slowly. Really take the time to enjoy it and visualize it. Awwwww! We leave you with one of the great wintertime poems to read and visualize. It is easy to put yourself into this very quiet and wintery scene.
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if here is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- And one last idea, feel free to print out this blog, cut out the “rest” pictures, and stick them up in places that you will see them each day. They are a good reminder that you have permission to “REST.”
Have a rest-filled month teacher friends!
With gratitude for all you do,
Kristin and Lindsey