MINDFULNESS AND SELF-CARE
GROUPS FOR TEACHERS.
I worked for years in many capacities in schools in Washington State, Washington DC, and Alaska. I've worked in large Seattle schools, tiny bush villages with Yup'ik Eskimo students, residential deaf schools, and small and large mainstream rural schools. I've been a substitute teachers aide, sign language interpreter, dorm assistant, after-school program teacher.
For several years, I was a school psychologist and a Deaf program coordinator/psychologist in Alaska, prior to opening my full time psychotherapy practice in Anchorage, and then moving to Washington State where I continue my therapy practice via distance delivery.
I've witnessed the long hours teachers, principals, therapists and paraprofessionals dedicate to their classrooms, students and their profession. After learning about, using, and teaching mindfulness and meditation to my therapy clients, I now am helping teachers- particularly those in Alaska, who may live remotely, who may work too many hours, who are exhausted, and stressed.
I offer Mindfulness and Self Care Groups (via computer) designed specifically for school personnel. Each group meets once a month starting Mid September-Mid May, with a break in December. Each member may also meet individually (via phone or computer) with me every month or two, and will be a participant in a private facebook page.
These groups will help the participants of course, but will also benefit school districts who struggle with teacher retention.
My Mindfulness and Self Care Groups for Teachers will help participants:
~ enjoy their jobs and students more
~ learn the benefits of employing mindfulness techniques
~ practice and use mindfulness techniques on a regular basis
~ support, and be supported by other the other teachers in the groups.
~ create a better work- life balance
~ reduce stress, and have more fun
~ share teaching and planning tips to reduce work hours
~ identify feelings, thoughts and behaviors and learn the `FTB Triangle'
~ improve relationships with self, staff, and students
~ rewire their brains for less reactivity and more calm leading them to be calmer, happier teacher, leader, friend and person.
The Mindfulness Group focuses on practicing and incorporating Mindfulness techniques into your life and classroom.
The Self Care Group focuses on 6 key habits ( one of which is Mindfulness) that are crucial for a happier, healthier, balanced and more peaceful life.
I developed this program and the key habits from my many years providing therapy. These key habits would benefit anyone and everyone - f particularly those in helping professions, such as school employees, those in the medical field, policemen, stay at home parents, caregivers etc. I teach the habits, and the tools to implement the habits. and provide the support necessary to create the habits and remove all barriers to success. The group will support each others' habits and efforts throughout the school year. These habits result in improved physical and emotional health, happiness, less stress and more calm in life, and the classroom.
Check out the following resources that address common challenges faced by educators and other helping professionals by clicking here
Coping with Stress and Burnout
Calm Down and Reduce Your Stress: Tips for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers
Body-based practices to help us focus on the present and stop ruminating.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... for teachers
Six reminders to keep things in perspective, based on the popular self-help book.
How Burnt Out Are You?
you just having a bad day, or is it time to quit your job? Or are you
in serious need of some R&R (if only you could find the time)?
Answering these ten questions should point you in the right
direction... or confirm what you already suspect.
Mindful Teaching by the Numbers
This poster/infographic shows a a few important numbers to keep in mind as you 'keep calm and carry on.'
Mindfulness and Self-Care for Caregivers
for professional and family caregivers (carers), based on my family's
experience taking care of my mom during her four-year struggle with
Mindfulness and Self-Care for Teachers
In this interview, I discuss how to take better care of ourselves so we can better meet the needs of our students.
One-Word Labeling: Thoughts, Emotions, Sensations, and Urges
purpose of mindfully labeling thoughts and feelings is to recognize
that they’re distinct from the person who’s having them. You are not
your thoughts and feelings; they come and go while you remain yourself."
Quick Sanity Breaks for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers
This poster/infographic shows half a dozen quick ways to clear your head and take care of yourself.
Recharge and Avoid Burnout: Tips for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers
Suggestions on setting limits, work-life balance, and self-compassion.
Relaxed Abdominal Breath: Stress Reduction through Mindful Breathing
breathing ('chest breathing') can result in a vicious cycle: We breathe
shallowly because we’re under stress, which makes the body feel it’s
not getting enough air... Relaxed abdominal breathing ('belly
breathing') is one of nature’s best anti-stress medicines."
Restless Mind: Typical Strategies for Denying Stress
"Most people have a preferred tactic to avoid painful stress reactions... Becoming aware of avoiding a stressful emotion is often the first step in learning how to do something different."
Should I Quit My Job?
Have you been feeling frustrated and burnt out? Maybe you've started wondering whether it's time to move on? Answering these ten questions should help you make up your mind.
Step Back, Then Tackle Your Frustration: Tips for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers
A few strategies for dealing with the frustration that comes from feeling like we don't have control over our work.
Striving for Work/Life Balance: Five Great Posts from the Guardian Teacher Network
Five teachers describe their strategies for balancing their personal lives and work commitments.
What's the Best Mindfulness Practice for Me?
in mindfulness, but not sure where to start? Or looking for some new
ideas to add to your existing practice? This quick quiz will help point
you in the right direction.
Body Scan: Awareness of the Body
purpose of the body scan is not necessarily to relax or to go to sleep,
although it can help with that sometimes. The important thing is that
you stay open and curious to your body's experience."
Five Senses Snack: a Mindful Eating Chart
It isn't a treat if you're not enjoying it. This
chart can help you truly appreciate what you're eating by slowing down
and noticing not just the flavor but also the texture, scent, color, and
"Healthy" Snacks to Avoid for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers
Many convenient snacks aren't nearly as healthy as advertisers would like us to believe.
Is Your Mind Connected to Your Body?
a quiz to help you measure the strength of your mind-body connection,
followed by suggestions for practices you might find useful.
Quick Healthy Snacks for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers
A couple of tips for incorporating healthy food into a busy day.
Rainbow Walk: a Mindfulness Activity to Move the Body and Rest the Mind
is probably my favorite mindfulness practice. I tend to spend too much
time sitting around with my mind running in circles, and this helps get
my body to move and my mind to rest.
Trying on Different Shapes: Mindfulness of Mood and Posture
"Changing our shape, in its many parts, can change our mood, our awareness, and what actions we’re able to take."
Wellness and Weight-Loss Tips for Stressed-Out Teachers
this interview, fitness expert (and former kindergarten teacher) Debra
Mazda gives specific suggestions for how teachers can integrate
healthier eating and exercise habits into a busy workday.
Compassionate Image: a Guided Visualization Practice
Imagining what complete compassion might feel like can help us access that feeling during difficult times.
Next Time I'll Do Better: Recognizing and Learning from Mistakes
It’s uncomfortable to feel guilt or shame over something we’ve done. But instead of trying to push away these negative feelings, we can use them to avoid making the same kind of mistake again.
Personal Triggers: Recognizing the Causes of Problematic Behavior
of us have some type of behavior that’s gotten us into trouble. It
could be overeating, drinking too much, using drugs, or responding with
anger and aggression. Think about what triggers (causes) you to engage
in this behavior... What is your plan to deal with those factors you can
control? What about the ones you can’t?"
The Sound of Self-Acceptance: Songs for Reflection and Discussion
Eighteen songs about being true to ourselves and recognizing our own strengths and vulnerability.
Wise Elder Visualization: a practice for parents and teachers
Imagining a supportive elder can help you respond mindfully in emotionally-charged situations.
Links to More Resources such as these below are found by clicking here:
"The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project
is dedicated to educating caregivers about authentic, sustainable
self-care and aiding organizations in their goal of providing healthy,
compassionate care to those whom they serve."
Free personal advice, from "an online inter-generational program
pairing advice seekers with a network of seniors (“Elders”) who provide
empathetic, caring, and supportive advice based on their own life
measuring compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary trauma.
guided meditations and exercises on coping with emotions, self-nurturing techniques, and changing critical self-talk
Back to School Stress: Establishing Good Habits
Don't Quit: Five Strategies for Recovering After Your Worst Day Teaching
End of Year Burnout: How to Finish the Marathon in Stride
Five Myths That Sabotage Our Love of Teaching
The Oasis Within: Mindfulness Practice for Teachers
Seven Self-Care Strategies For Teachers
Twelve Choices to Help You Step Back from Burnout
When Teachers Compete, No One Wins
Can Compassion Training Help Physicians Avoid Burnout?
How Self-Compassion Can Help Prevent Teacher Burnout
How to Build Trust in Schools
Seven Ways Mindfulness Can Help Teachers
Daily tips to help teachers stay happy and healthy during the week
Five ways teachers can fit exercise around work
How to balance work with family life: a teacher's survival guide
Stress-busting snacks: easy recipes for exam season
Teacher's guide to sleep – and why it matters
Ten tips on how teachers can improve their work-life balance
Morning Guided Meditation for Teachers
Mid-Day Guided Meditation for Teachers
Evening Guided Meditation for Teachers