This week’s bite size balance tip for educators is a strategy to help you when you start to experience overwhelm…
- in your work
- as an educator
- and even out in your life beyond the classroom
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It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities that we have, all of the moment to moment decisions that we’re making, and all of the things that are going on during our day as educators
In the hustle bustle of those day-to-day activities, when we get into a period of overwhelm, it sometimes even feels like we’re floating above the ground, because so many things are going on, and we might feel like we’re losing our footing.
Then, that can cause a stress response in our bodies, but too often we power through whatever we’re doing, which then makes us feel less grounded. We’re moving too fast, we have so much going on and that feeling of overwhelm continues to hover around us.
When we’re in our school or in our classrooms, those times show up in that transition between classes and times when there are many students standing in front of us asking a question or needing our attention all at the same time.
We also have other things on our minds, like…
- the email that we need to respond to
- the work that we need to evaluate
- the other tasks that might be waiting on our list
And so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even to feel lost.
Today, I want to give you some strategies for when that starts to happen.
The strategy that I’ll share with you today, to manage the feeling of overwhelm, is the practice of mindfulness, with a focus on grounding and gravity. It’s a place where we can intentionally feel the support that’s beneath us because what can feel overwhelming, I believe, sometimes is feeling like I have to attend to all these things all at once.
And it can feel like we’re alone sometimes. Right?
Knowing that there’s support in many, many different ways, including just the floor beneath us and feeling held and feeling safe, with the support of others around us can be super helpful.
So, first remember to take that pause.
Then when it feels like all the tasks that you’re responsible for are pulling you up off the ground, remember to feel your feet on the floor. Feel your sitting bones in your chair. Take a moment to ground yourself, be present, and take a slow, full breath in and a slow, full breath out.
Because the reality is… wherever we are and whatever is needed in that moment – if it’s a student who’s asking a question, if it’s an email that we need to send, if it’s some work that we have to attend to, evaluating student work and giving feedback or planning our lessons for the time ahead…
It can all wait for the time that it takes to take those few slow, deep breaths and notice our connection to the support beneath us and all around us.
That is the first response that can help you to ground.
You can then respond calmly to whatever is in front of you when you allow yourself to make those quick connections.
Practice this throughout this week.
In your day-to-day life, feel your feet on the ground. Feel all the places that you’re connected to a chair that you’re sitting in. And whenever a stressful situation arises, always come back to the idea of grounding and gravity.
Because when you feel that connection, then you can know that you’re supported.
You can know that support is beneath you.
With the foundation of the building that you’re in, and know that you’re held there.
Know that you have the support of your friends, your family and your colleagues all around you.
I’ve shared a short practice to guide you in feeling more grounded. It starts at the 7:25 minute mark in this LIVE Instagram video.
Take moments like these to practice a little bit of mindfulness every day and eventually, it will become your natural response when life goes awry.
Also remember, doing these practices doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always remember every single time to take that pause. But the awareness will be there.
Remember that that definition of mindfulness is awareness, being aware of the present moment in a curious and open way.
So as we continue to build the skills of awareness through practicing, then we’ll be better able to be aware in our lives and know when we need to stop and pause.
This week, I invite you to take every opportunity that you can to practice the PAUSE.
Remember to feel the gravity and to ground down. Put your feet on the floor when life gets hectic and come back to that feeling of grounding. Take a full deep breath. pause and remember that you’re supported.
Reach out with any questions and I look forward to connecting with you again soon.