5 Easy Ways to Find Mindfulness at School


Find time for mindfulness at school | 5 ways to take a moment for yourself

 

I’ll be honest, when I first started going to yoga it was for the physical benefits. As a former dancer it was a style of fitness that I really connected with right away. It was a couple years later that I realized it was having a positive effect on my mental health as well. These days I don’t know how I’d get by without at least one yoga class a week. When I started teaching school I began to look for ways that I could bring that mindfulness into the classroom. Yes, I often use it with my students, but more importantly, I use it as a way to keep myself in balance. It can be tough in such a fast-paced job to find a moment to reset. I’ve included 5 techniques I use to give myself a quick moment of mindfulness.

1. Find a quiet moment: I know. Sometimes it seems nearly impossible at a school to find one quiet moment to myself. Quite honestly I start to savor a minute in the bathroom, or the lucky moments when I’m the only one making copies. The key is to take advantage of those moments and take a few deep breaths to reset. They are few and far between, so enjoy them.

2. Breathe deeply: the breath is a powerful tool. If you start feeling overwhelmed at any point in the day, start by slowing down the breath. Add 1-2 counts on to the length of your inhales and exhales. If you can, add a 1-2 count pause between each inhale and exhale.

3. Be present: part of what can overwhelm us is the running “to-do list” in our heads. Or stressing about what someone said to us earlier, or worrying about what we are making for dinner. Seriously, too many tabs open in the browser all at once. If you slow down and focus on the present moment you will not only feel less overwhelmed, but you’ll enjoy your days a lot more.

4. Reduce distractions: turn off your email and social media notifications. Close out of tabs you’re not using. Try to reduce clutter on your desk so you’re not overwhelmed (100% talking to myself on this one)

5. Use tools: there are tons of great mindfulness apps for phones these days. They can help you slow your breath, you can listen to a 1 minute meditation, or set reminders to be present. If you have an Apple Watch you can have all of these reminders on your wrist.

How do you find mindfulness in your classroom? Let me know in the comments!

Need to make some time for self-care? Get my FREE 5 Day Self-Care Challenge by subscribing today!



Kitchen Gadgets That Make Meal Prep a Breeze

These kitchen tools will make your meal prep quick and easy
By far the best change fitness has brought into my life is meal prepping. Not only has it massively improved my eating habits, but it saves me tons of time and money. I now spend an hour or so each Sunday, chopping, cooking, and doing dishes. It certainly makes the rest of the week a whole lot easier. I can have a week’s worth of lunches (like my Burrito Bowls), ready and in my fridge. Here are a few of my favorite tools I’ve started using over time that make my weekly meal prep so much faster and easier.  Read more

Burrito Bowl Meal Prep Recipe

Easy healthy burrito bowls for meal prepIf you’re anything like me, you’re always on the hunt for easy, delicious lunch ideas to take to work. I love meals that are  both flavorful and healthy. These burrito bowls are a snap to put together, and hold up well though the week. The fact that they’re also super easy to put together is a bonus.

This recipe make enough for me for 5 lunches. Depending on how much you eat, this might vary for you. I also don’t mind eating the same thing for lunch 5 days in a row. If that’s not your style you could make half and prep 2 different lunches for the week.

Burrito Bowls Recipe

2 chicken breasts, cubed

1 can low sodium beans
1 1/4 cups corn, steamed
1 cup uncooked brown rice (you can make more or less depending on your preferences)

-Seasoning-

1 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

-other toppings as desired-

Prepare rice per the directions on the package. I love using my rice maker for this and letting it cook while I prepare all the other ingredients.

Mix seasoning ingredients together and add to cubed chicken. Cook the chicken in a skillet with 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat until cooked through.

Drain and rinse the beans, and divide equally among your meal prep containers. Add about 1/4 cup of corn and 1/4 cup of brown rice to each container. Then divide the chicken breast evenly among the containers. Finish with desired toppings. I sometimes add cheese or avocado to top them off.



Why I Hate Diet Programs

Why your diet isn't working and what many diet programs get wrong

We are a culture that loves diets. We are always looking for a quick fix, something guaranteed to help us drop 20 pounds in 1 week. Instead of trusting that healthy eating and exercise will actually get us our goals, we want to simply cut one food type and all our weight loss woes will be over. Here are some of the things I’ve found that are less than ideal about some of the diet programs out there. Obviously I’m not a doctor, and everything in this article is based on my own opinion and experience. Read more

Knockout! How to Teach with a Concussion

teacher self care | teach with concussion | work with concussion

This week we have a special treat, Michelle from Teach Think Talk is sharing with us her story of everything going wrong. As a drama teacher I can totally sympathize with her struggles, tech week is no joke!

Knockout! How to Teach With a Concussion

This past week has caused a major shift in the way I think about my life and work. On Friday night, March 16th, I got home later than usual because we had our last Musical Rehearsal before starting Tech Week the next day…I go to do the first thing I always do when I get home…

Let my dogs out. Read more

Resource Roundup – Teacher Taxes

teacher-taxes

Tax season is here. For many of us we dread sitting down to wade through the paperwork we owe the IRS. (Comment below if you’re someone who actually enjoys taxes. I’d like to give you a virtual high five!) I’m often confused by the wording within tax forms, and even tax software that claims to make my life easier doesn’t always help. What am I allowed to claim? What box am I supposed to put that in? If you check box 5, enter the amount from form 32 into box 14a, and then multiply by the number of dogs you own… it reminds me of my high school math class. (Sorry math teachers!)

Now, I’m clearly no expert on the ins and outs of taxes, and I’m not really in any position to be giving tax advice. However, I am pretty good at searching the internet (if I do say so myself), and I’ve rounded up several resources that I found helpful as I was preparing my own taxes. I hope you find them helpful as well.

A word of warning: Tax legislation can change as often as our students interrupt our lessons. Some of these posts are from past years, and some information may be out of date. Please be sure to double check if you aren’t sure about something, and consult a professional if you need further help.

  1. Tax Hacks – A quick infographic about typical deductions for teachers.
  2. Finance for Teachers– I’ve linked to the whole blog, because I think it has incredibly useful information, but there are several specific posts about taxes.
  3. TurboTax- An in-depth post updated for the current year.
  4. IRS- If you feel like going straight to the source.
  5. IRS Tax Teacher- A cool resource if you teach taxes to students.
  6. Substitute Teachers- Some questions answered for subs.

One other thing I’d like to note, many tax professionals offer discounted services or free consultations to teachers. If you have extremely complicated taxes, or just don’t want to deal with them, it be be worth searching for a professional in your area.

Do you dread taxes, or do you enjoy the challenge? Comment below!



3 Quick Tips to Easily Improve Your Diet

start eating healthy | easy diet tips <

Most people I talk to say that diet is their number one struggle in living a more healthy lifestyle. They often have some kind of physical activity they are involved in, and they know they should be making healthier food choices, but for whatever reason they can’t. Whether they feel like they are too busy, or they just don’t know where to start making changes, the kitchen is their biggest stumbling block. Does this sound familiar? Did I just describe your situation? Well don’t worry, because I’m about to give you 3 quick and painless ideas that will help you start eating healthier today! Read more