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Rid Yourself of the Winter Blues

Rid Yourself of the Winter Blues

Do you ever feel similar to a hibernating animal in winter? When the weather starts to cool off in fall until spring you crave fattier foods and have the feeling like you need to stock up? Well, it’s not entirely clear whether the desire to eat more during winter is instinctive, due to our current food environment. SupermarketGuru has collected some of the top theories:

Is it SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs when we don’t get enough light, i.e. short winter days and long winter nights. If you’re feeling a bit down during winter and craving a lot of carbs, it could be SAD. Studies have demonstrated that the brain produces feeling of happiness when high-calorie, high-fat foods are consumed — but don’t rely on these foods to keep your mood up or you’ll be on a mood roller coaster and might pack on a few pounds. Instead, work on eating more whole unpackaged, unprocessed foods. Feeling this way might be a signal that you need to get outside when it’s bright, as well as eat more vitamin D-rich foods like sardines. Omega-3 rich foods are also mood boosters; try flax, chia, salmon, and mackerel. Switch to complex carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and even legumes and leafy greens to provide the body with steady energy, therefore balancing your mood.

Dr. Ira Ockene, a cardiologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School told NPR that "the tendency to overeat during the winter might come down to basic biology — winter eating could just be our primitive impulses urging us to stockpile for the cold months ahead." In a 2005 study, Ockene found that food intake patterns and weight vary seasonally. Study participants consumed an average of 86 more calories daily in the fall, versus the spring. In the fall, total fat and saturated fat were greater than springtime consumption. Physical activity declined in winter.

SupermarketGuru has some tips to keep your mind and body in check during the winter:

Get moving: Exercise can work wonders. Working up a sweat releases endorphins and will help give your mood a lift. You will feel good about yourself and if it was part of your resolutions to be more active, than you can also invoke a sense of accomplishment. It's a great way to get rid of the winter blues.

Your Z's: Getting enough sleep is key to a good mood and good health. Make it easier on your body by waking up and going to sleep as close to the same time every day as possible. A consistent routine will make the morning alarm a little more manageable. On the same note, sleeping too much can make you groggy, so try to get adequate sleep but don't overdo it.

Soak up some rays: Many studies have shown that sunshine is an effective and natural energy booster. If you live where there is sunshine (as sporadic as it may be in the winter) take advantage! Get outside for a bit and just enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Go for a walk or a run and you've got yourself a double dose of mood-lifting activities!

Get together with friends: Arrange to have coffee or a meal with friends, invite them over, invite yourself over to their house (hey, with some friends, it's a perfectly acceptable proposition). Surrounding yourself with people who love you, don't judge you, let you be you (however silly, childish, or ridiculous that may be), and who you know you can't stay in a bad mood around is an easy way to have fun, let your problems go, and come out with an overall positive feeling. There's nothing quite like friends because you know they will be there for you, especially when the rain starts to pour.

You time: Carve out space in your day for you time. Make it a point to do something that makes you happy and makes you release whatever else is happening around you. If you have to schedule it in, do it. Eventually it will become routine, but it is a necessary part of your day and it is well deserved.

Laugh: At yourself, at a movie, read the comics, watch the comedy channel, heck, sit outside and people watch (you'd be amazed at how entertaining that can be). Laughing is a great stress reliever and the easiest way to get you smiling. Learn not to take life so seriously and have a little fun. Friends often come in handy for this one too!

Good nutrition: Eat a variety of whole foods every day and take note of the tips mentioned above and you will sail through the winter free of the blues!


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.


Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues

As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves.

This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself. Below are some of my favorites. I encourage you to embrace at least one of these or something similar every day for the next two weeks and then recycle.

Just Move

We can often raise our spirits through simple physical actions. Try one or more of these:

  • Sit down during one or more of your breaks. Close your eyes, drop your head and shoulders, and take notice of your breathing for a few moments. When you inhale, fill yourself with renewal. Rid yourself of tension each time you exhale.
  • Whistle or hum a tune you like while you walk through the halls or the cafeteria, and from room to room.
  • Give yourself a hug at least twice every day. Wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself as you would a friend in need of nurturing.
  • Change it up. Most of us stand in the same spot and/or move around in a predictable pattern every day without even noticing. Get off your spot today. Start each class in a different place, and move to a different spot at least once every five minutes.
  • Indulge in a loud belly laugh that lasts at least 30 seconds, once in the morning and once after lunch. If you can find someone to join you, great! If not, close your door during a break and start laughing.

Brighten Up Your Room

It can also help if we take action to improve our surroundings. A few ideas:

  • Bring a bouquet of flowers to work. Stop to admire them and take in their fragrance at least once every half hour. If you don’t like flowers, bring in an object that offers a pleasant aroma instead, and take a whiff whenever you feel stressed.
  • Bring to work some pictures of places or people that usually give you great joy. Keep them on your desk or in an easily visible location. Focus your attention on them at least once every 15 minutes and allow your emotions to drift into the pictures.

Take Stock of Your Emotions

And of course, if we want to improve our sense of well-being, it’s very helpful to pay attention to our feelings and to take steps to direct them in positive ways. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Put on a pair of rose-colored glasses. Make a point of noticing as many positive things as you can that are otherwise easy to miss. Is your room clean? Who cleaned it? Have you expressed appreciation? Which kids came prepared and on time? How many parents haven’t called to complain about something?
  • Notice any and all negative emotions (e.g., anger, annoyance, stress, disappointment, anxiety). If you feel any of these, take a moment to acknowledge them and then let them float away like clouds in the sky.
  • Share a feel-good story with each class.
  • If it feels as if nobody notices your contributions, silently say to yourself, “I work hard. I am in a tough situation. I get better results than I usually acknowledge and I deserve to take good care of myself.”

And since you do deserve to take good care of yourself, make sure you actually do that. Enjoy at least one relaxing meal. If you love to cook and have the time, make the meal from scratch. If not, go to a restaurant you enjoy. Savor every bite and sip let the food fill your mouth as you taste the flavor and feel the texture.

If you have any other favorite techniques for lifting your mood and fighting the winter blahs, please share them in the comments section.