If you’re anything like me, you just don’t love exercising, no matter how much you try to like it, you just don’t. Of course you want to eat that delicious cookie, ice cream, or chocolate, but you don’t dare because it goes right to your hips and you’ll feel oh so guilty! Sound familiar…..Sooo, you begin your dreaded routine and then have that bowl of chocolate almond fudge. Well I’ve been there and done that.
This summer I took a wonderful course by Kelli Alaina, called Balanced Teacher Life, and was introduced to Qigong (chi gong). One very important aspect of her workshop focused on having us to do a morning ritual of our choosing for at least 5 minutes a day. Someone in the group mentioned Qigong , so I checked it out and fell in love. Can you believe it, I actually fell in love with an exercise, unbelievable, huh! Anyway, I found a routine on the web that took 20 minutes, I kid you not, I felt great after doing it and immediately noticed I was breathing better, and my entire attitude changed. A great way for teachers to begin their day…
Many of you have probably never heard of qigong so let me give you some background info. Qigong can be described as a mind-body-spiritual practice that improves our mental and physical well being by integrating posture, movement, correct breathing, self-massage, sound, and deep focus. Lee Holden a Qigong teacher/master explains it this way ,”Simply put,.Qi means (“subtle breath” “vital energy” or “life force”) and Gong means (“skill cultivated through steady practice”).”
“Qigong opens the flow of energy in meridians used in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. It increases our ability to feel the “Life Force” or “Qi” underlying the physical world and to enhance our communication with it.”
“Qigong movements are slow and gentle.They warm our tendons, ligaments, and muscles, while giving tone to the vital organs and connective tissue. This practice also promotes circulation of body fluids (blood, synovial, lymph). Thousands of studies have shown qigong to be effective in helping to heal life challenges ranging from high blood pressure and chronic illness to emotional frustration, mental stress, and spiritual crisis.” Click this link to learn more from the National Qigong Association
Sooo….What will you guys be doing to de-stress from the back to school lunacy? Remember you need to take care of yourselves in order to be the best you can be for your kiddos, who are depending on you.
Here are a few of my tried and true teaching tips:
✿ When you get to your classroom in the morning, chill for a few minutes, play some relaxing music. Take full deep breaths, visualize the day going as smoothly as possible. See yourself responding to every situation in a calm and positive manner.
✿ Deep breathing works wonders, breathe in for 7 seconds then slowly breathe out for 11 seconds, this really helps to alleviate stress and gives you time to calm yourself before acting.✿Take one day at a time, pick your battles and don’t sweat the small stuff.
✿ You know the old saying, “Music tames the savage beast,” it’s so true…Play some relaxing music in your classroom, it will calm the kids and help you to feel better too. I use music when the kids are taking a test to relax them.
✿ Remember that things happen that are out of your control, don’t blame yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
✿ Plan on leaving school no later than 4:00 so you can get home and spend time with your family. You don’t have to get all the paper work done in one day. Your kids won’t mind and there’s no one telling you that you HAVE to get it done, other than yourself. Give yourself a break!
✿When planning, prioritize the most important things that you need to get done for the day and don’t get upset if you don’t complete everything. Jot down why you didn’t get something done it might be that you had to spend time talking with a distraught child, which of course is much more important than correcting those papers. Always remember tomorrow is another day.
✿Don’t take things to heart, be able to laugh at yourself and share humor with your students, they’ll love you for it.
✿ Be prepared for that first day with some fun projects that you’ll find in this bundle Back to School Activities for Getting to Know Each Other, or Back to School SCOOT Game & more, which is part of the bundle.
✿Here’s an activity for building classroom community: Caught in the Act of Being Kind .
Some teaching besties and I have started getting together (from across the country by phone) each Sunday night to laugh about some of the things that have stressed us out as teachers. It’s the best cure ever for the Sunday night blues. We have had so much fun laughing at ourselves and the overwhelming tower of things we have taken soooo seriously that we decided to start a podcast! We hope you will join us by listening and by interacting with us on our Facebook page We Teach So Hard. Because we know that you teach so hard too! I hope this teaching year is the best one ever for you!
We Teach So Hard is currently available on several platforms. As an iPhone podcast addict, I of course am THRILLED to see it on iTunes. Meanwhile, meet up with us here:
Podcast on iTunes Podcast on Anchor Facebook Group
This post is part of our monthly Teacher Talk Blog Link Up. Be sure you read what the rest of our awesome members have to say.
Lisa Robles says
Love this. I already do yoga and pilates with my kids. Going to try this! Thanks, Deann.
Great for those much-needed brain and body breaks!
I love teaching my students strategies to relax and focus. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on the podcast. Can’t wait to listen.
Kathie Yonemura says
I practice yoga & pilates, but now I’ll have to try qigong! Love your tips for applying this in the classroom!
Sally Hansen says
I try to practice yoga and pilates during the school year and I’ll admit, I’m not consistent with it. I already apply some of these techniques. I will try some more of the qigong practices. Thank you for sharing!
This reminds me so much of Tai Chi. I’ve been practicing Surya Kriya and Sukha Kriya for 6 months now, and the change in my mind and body is amazing. I need to try this, too. Your tips are fabulous.
Michelle Webb says
I love these tips! I also tried the qigong video this morning. It was a nice way to start the day! Thanks for sharing.
wendy mccarty says
This is great! I sit outside with my coffee in the morning! I love to start the day with calm! Wendy 1stgradefireworks
Margo Gentile says
I totally agree about getting into a positive mindset! Love your podcast! Laughter IS the best medicine!
Margo Gentile says
I totally agree about getting into a positive mindset. Love your podcast idea! Laughter IS the best medicine!