Joy to the World starts with sending joy to ourselves. Most of us probably believe that but how many of us practice that? Here are some special tips for deepening your experience of joy and restoration during this holiday season. Included is a long guided meditation for better sleep. You can use this year-round and start to make your nights something to look forward to!Support the show
Welcome to the conscious classroom podcast, where we're exploring tools and perspectives that support educators and anyone who works with teams to create more conscious, supportive, and enriching learning environments. I'm your host, Amy Edelstein, and I'll be sharing transformative insights and easy-to-implement classroom supports.
That is all drawn from mindful awareness and systems thinking the themes we'll discuss are designed to improve your joy and fulfilment in your work and increase your impact on the world we share. Let's get on with this next episode. Hello.
Welcome to the conscious classroom. My name is Amy Edelstein. Today's session is a joy to the world. Starts with joy to you. Self-care is something that we know as educators is something we should do that will be good for us, will help us, and will help our students. And at the same time, it usually falls to the back of the list.
So maybe you got this entire week off. Our school district gave everybody this week off, not only teachers but everyone. And the question that I felt was arising to discuss today, and this week is that sense of care and, rejoicing. In our previous life, rather than feeling overwhelmed and burdened and frightened, it's been a holiday season.
Like no other, we wanna honour the fact that we're here, we're, we're alive. And that gift of all of the strength that we have. In all of the talents, we have all of the positivity and energy and love and care and passion that we, that that is part of us in our lives. We want to bring it to the forefront. We wanna nourish and feed, and we wanna be able to work with all of our natural resources and fortify.
So that when we go back after the holiday break, we are fulfilled and renewed and reconnected with our essential selves.
Let's take a moment to do centring mindfulness practice, wherever you are, allow yourself to come to stillness. Put the phone down,
put the email you're
working on, on pause, even turn off your screen. And as you let your body come to rest.
Notice the swirling and the movement, the physical activity, the mental activity,
and allow that momentum to start spinning more and more slowly. Like those little tops that we used to have when we were.
Where the rotation would slow down and then eventually come to rest.
Now take three deep breaths
drawing in oxygen. Through your nose, filling your belly, allowing the air to fill all the way up into the upper corners of your lungs, which are right under your collar bones and exhaling at your own pace. Watching the
next two breaths as you fill your body. Nourish your body with oxygen and allow your body to release that, which is old and used the carbon dioxide
and all of the little fragments of stress and stagnation.
Let's turn our attention to what fills us with joy. One of them is sleep, sleep, cleanses our bodies. It allows our cells, and our muscles to rejuvenate. It helps our brain reset. It lets the cortisol levels drop sleep is good. If you're on holiday break, really give yourself the full-hearted permission to go to bed early, get up late, take naps in the afternoon, and allow your body to.
Connect with itself to reconnect with its ability to heal and repair and restore. One way we get better sleep is by turning off our dis devices. Leave them in another room when we're asleep, cuz there are still various waves of electricity. Waves still can agitate our nervous system.
Also make sure that your, your environment that you sleep in is restful stacks of paper belong on the dining room table or in on your, your study, wherever your work area is not by your bed. Computers belong at your desk. To-do lists belong outside the bedroom,
create a space that's restful and peaceful. If you have space
for a little plant or some beautiful dried flowers. Bring them into your bedroom, reminding yourself that you are worth it, that you are valuable, that you bring joy to others and that the world can, in turn, offer you beauty and harmony back.
The other thing that helps is if we read something inspiring, Before bed, rather than watching the news
and give you, create a little rhythm for these holidays,
an after-dinner, walk around the block,
reading time for pleasure or inspiration, journaling time. If you're a writer. Practice time playing time. If you're a musician art time, if you're an artist
and then the ritual of turning off our devices, letting them rest for the night, it's good for our phones to be turned off periodically.
And then when you get into bed, Take a moment to locate your breath. We're gonna do a longer body scan practice in a little bit, which is one that you can do at night to allow yourself to relax and let go and nourish yourself.
Take some time and think through your routine. If you have a piece of paper right next to you do it right now. The four steps of your evening to take you into a more relaxed sleep,
giving our bodies the break they need helps us remember that we have so much at our fingertips that we can already do. Nourish and care for ourselves. Give ourselves the support we need.
Let's look at some of the other things that fill us with joy during the holiday season, holiday cookies are one of those. If you are not a baker like I'm not find yourself a simple recipe online. Take the time to go to the corner store and pick up all the ingredients you need
and bake just one batch and get over-ambitious. Don't try to do everything but make one batch of holiday cookies. Sugar cookies with sprinkles, oatmeal cookies with raisins
chocolate chip cookies,
whatever your favourite is, and let yourself give yourself the time, give yourself the time to do it so that the shopping. And the finding of the recipe, the shopping for the recipe, the making just that in the kitchen, not trying to do five things at once. Just making the Christmas cookies, enjoying the texture, enjoying the smells, enjoying the warmth of the oven, enjoying the crisp golden colour of the cookies.
When they come out of the oven,
let yourself. Lean into the sensory experience, the immediacy of the beautiful smell, the immediacy of the beautiful colours and the immediacy of being able to create something
that is beautiful and tasty. And.
There may be other simple activities that you like to do.
You may, you may love to spend time with
animals, dogs, cats, whatever pets you may have. Or if you don't have pets, maybe you just enjoy watching the squirrels, watching the sparrows, watching the pigeons, connecting with other living beings, not just other humans, but other living beings on our planet helping us feel more at home on the earth where we live.
It helps us feel less frustrated. All the things that we see that are complicated in the human environment that is challenging in human relationships are painful in our social interactions are sad in this
time of the pandemic. Spending time with animals helps us feel that sense of just the simplicity of life, of being alive, the delightful little things of searching for seeds in the grass, the way the sparrows do digging up the flower bed to plant another acorn, the way the squirrels do
you're taking your dog for an extra long. Or giving your cat a new ball to play with spend time without guilt, know that this is a part of restoring yourself during this time. And that that is what's gonna help create a more conscious C.
If you live near a park, take time to go walking and look at a local map and see if maybe there's a little lake, a little state park, or a shoreline that might only be an hour.
Take the time now, pack a lunch pack a Thermo, bring some water and drive that hour to a wide-open space. The negative ions from the beach will restore you the Vista of the water and the trees by a. Or a little walking path in a park near you
take the afternoon, set aside those three hours. Maybe it's an hour to drive in an hour to drive back. Maybe you just have 45 minutes there, but that 45 minutes will be so worthwhile. It connects us. The land that we're on with the sense that we're on this huge planet, it's so much bigger than our issues, even our cultural issues, even our global issues, the specifics of this moment, and we start to connect with the 13.7 billion years evolutionary history.
That brought the earth to this point and us to this point, cherish it, spend time with it, and let yourself drink in the cycles.
Sometimes there's that feeling that we need to be held by something bigger than us. And that is something more than another human being. It has the sky and the earth or the ocean.
We want to be intentional during this time. And especially if it's a holiday time where you, have some space to choose how you wanna spend your time, who you wanna spend your time.
Allow yourself to connect with someone you like that you maybe haven't spoken with for a long time, just to say hello, a little text. I was thinking of you it's been so long. I just wanted to send you a wish for happy holidays and an easeful.
Appreciation always is nourishing. So cultivating gratitude, spending time with those things that give us joy, recognizing those things that give us, give us joy. Despite the hardships, we may be experiencing those things that we're fortunate.
We're fortunate for our love of learning. We're fortunate for the curiosity that connects us with other people and other ways of thinking we're fortunate for our intellect, our education, our position, teaching, and working with others.
So many things that we. Forget or that cause us irritation. And we neglect those aspects of our job, our life, our home, our city, and our environment that also generate support and positivity.
And finally, before we, extend into our relaxation body scam, I want to encourage you to let this time be simple. Let this time be one of fewer decisions.
Let yourself rest, come to rest, come to stillness so that when you do pick up the mantle of responsibility, all the complicated decisions that you need to make every day to better serve your students or yourself.
You'll have that sense that your brain has had a break. It has not been so pressured every day with so many ongoing decisions.
Give yourself some time,
let yourself simplify. Leave the decisions that you can. For next week, not indefinitely in the future just next week.
Excellent. It's very good. Just allow yourself to let go, allow yourself to be still allow yourself to come to rest and in that space and that still. There is the presence of love that isn't just transactional. Doesn't come from one person to another, or from something that loves that is part of the fabric of our living world, our living consci.
Let's take some time now to do a nice body scan. If you're listening to this while you're driving while pushing, pause now and continue when you're at home
and you can keep this for the evening. For when you're ready to unwind and settle into bed, nourishing yourself with good sleep. Remembering that joy to the world starts with giving joy to yourself, giving joy to yourself, rest on a foundation of peace and balance rejuvenation. And.
So, if you can take your, posture lying down and as you lie down, feel the parts of your body that are making contact more fully with the surface beneath you, where do you feel the contact?
Where do you feel the natural curves in your body?
shift? A little bit so that your hands are facing palms up. If that's comfortable or facing Palm down, if you prefer resting by your sides, your legs are straight UN uncrossed. You can allow the. To fall away from each other.
Now breathe into your toes. You might want to crunch up your toes, just letting out any kinks or tightness, squishing your toes up, relaxing them, squishing your toes up, extending them, wiggling them up and down.
And breathing into your toes, sending that breath there, allowing the breath to create some space and relaxation and your toes,
and now pay attention to your ankle. Do some circles, clockwise and counterclockwise, so that you're feeling you're rolling out the kinks of your ankles,
letting them be lubricated and smooth. Now let your feet come to rest. And breathe into your ankles as you inhale, send that breath down to that joint that holds our weight.
That moves as we walk up.
Breathing in and breathing out.
And as you finish your last breath, sending it towards the ankle,
allow your feet to settle in for the night,
letting your body get that message. That your toes and your ankles won't be needed to carry your weight or balance you that now is the time for their rest and rejuvenation. And
on your next long inhalation, send the breath down through your legs. Your thighs, your knees, your calves
with the inhalation, bathing your long muscles
with your exhalation, allowing the toxins to clear out from your cells and your muscles, letting the nerves of your legs. Relax and settle in.
Just take some breaths in your own time, using the breath to allow your legs to settle down for the evening
and on your next.
You can send that message to your legs so that your body knows it's time to recharge to
time to be.
And as you start feeling your body soften and being held by whatever is beneath you, breathe into the entire midsection of your body.
Your lower back holds so much of your upper back and shoulders, your stomach and digestive system
filling. filling your whole torso with oxygen, exhaling out all of the toxins. The carbon dioxide, the stress,
use your breath to send love and care
throughout your torso throughout all those vital organs
and exhaling. Any strain or tension, worry or criticism.
Now turn your attention
to your hands. Let's wiggle your fingers. Stretching them, stretching the palms.
That you have thumbs crossed across your palms, your fingers, stretching away and closing up, stretching away and closing up. And when you feel that you've loosened out all those little kinks in your arms, in, in your fingers,
let your hands be.
Breathing in peace and ease, breathing out the appreciation for all that your hands have done today. The ideas they've typed,
the glasses of water they've held.
And anything else that your hands have done for you today? They're pretty amazing.
Just rest your attention on all the different activities that your hands have done for you.
And let your hands snow, let them get the message that they can rest.
Now let's bring our breath to our arms and shoulders and our.
Moving in any way to take out the kinks,
turning your neck from side to side
as the neck loosens, the energy flows more easily throughout the arms.
Notice the connection. Between the different parts of our body
breathing in and exhaling out
any stress or tightness or frustration or boredom, or just general malaise. And.
Breathing in restful sleep is on its way, breathing out the activity of the day.
Breathe into your face and head, you can squint your eyes and crinkle up your nose. Just letting your ma your face, the muscles of your face, tense and release and tense and release. Allowing
the muscles of. The face which is so animated all day to relax using the breath, to soften the tension in the jaw
and the tongue around the eyes.
And as you breathe in. Fill your entire head with relaxation, freshly oxygenated, air-breathing out the activity of the day.
And now allow your whole body to accept the gift of sleep and relaxation,
the gift. Of rejuvenation and restoration
wishing you well, wish you health wish you peace. And wishing you joy.
Thank you for listening to the conscious classroom. I'm your host, Amy Edelstein. Please check out the show notes on inner strength and foundation.net for links and more information. And if you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend and pass the love on see you next time.