Getting in the groove after the Holidays! Time to Practice Habit 7 as we Teach and Learn!

January, February, and March can be gloomy, compared to the glitter and lights of the holiday season. It will be a tough transition for some who may have experienced challenges during the holidays.  We need to practice care for self, and for others!

Remember to “Take Five” when you Practice Habit 7!

Adults, like students, need a break during the day! Sneak some Zen into your day with these stress-busting tips.

  • Imagine this: First thing each day, close your eyes and imagine your day going well. Trace the letters C-A-L-M on your palm several times.

  • Find your happy place: Do you love the beach? The forest? Post a photo of your favorite outdoor spot somewhere in your work area. Channel calm by focusing on the picture and taking three deep breaths.  Follow the 5-7-9 method: breathe in through your nose for 5, hold for 7, breathe out from the mouth for 9. Repeat this at least 3 times.

  • Sip smarter: Buy an insulated water bottle, keep it near your work area, and take mini H2O breaks. A cold sip can work wonders for stress levels.

  • Think in threes: When you’re overwhelmed with tasks, prioritize: What three things must get done today? Once you check those off your list, then add three more.

  • Celebrate success: At the end of the week, grab a Post-it and write down one thing you felt went well, the name of a student you made progress with, and something that made you laugh. Put it on Monday’s lesson plan or work calendar. Every few weeks, flip through your plan book or calendar to see all your successes.

  • Relax your eyes with palming:

  1. Find a comfortable position. Rest your elbows comfortably on a table or desk. You don’t want the weight of your head to rest in your hands.

  2. Straighten your back and neck. Your back and neck need to create a straight line.

  3. Warm up your hands. Rub your hands together, creating some warmth or run your hands under warm water.

  4. Place your hands over your eyes. Position your hands with the base of the right pinkie on the base of the left pinkie and make an upside-down V with your palms.

  5. Cover your eyes with your relaxed hands. The base of the pinkie fingers should be on the bridge of the nose without obstructing the ability to breathe.

  6. Check your position. Be sure there is no light between your fingers. If there is light, correct the placement until there is perfect coverage. Be sure to not put pressure on your eyes or cheekbones.  Palms should be resting over the eyes.

  7. Begin relaxing. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling.

  8. Clear your mind. Relax. Visualize total blackness. If total darkness is difficult to achieve, visualize a comfortable image or bring up positive thoughts: a starry night, or a favorite moment, person, place, or object.

  9. Enjoy the moment. Feel your breaths getting longer and longer. Concentrate on the warmth of your palms. Immerse yourself in relaxation, let go, and breathe.

Find at least five minutes without disturbance each day to practice palming. Try the first few moments of your lunch break or right after the school day. Or get into the habit of preventative relaxation by palming in the morning to alleviate the stress and tension before it builds.

Make your physical and mental health a priority!  Find 5 minutes to incorporate these practices into your day. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by “taking 5”!

*The January Tip of the Month was modified from the following sites: