The Conscious Classroom

Finding Balance - Work Life and Work Again

February 02, 2021 Episode 32
The Conscious Classroom
Finding Balance - Work Life and Work Again
Show Notes Transcript

Does work ever stop these days? It's not just negotiating with all the demands, it's setting boundaries. Here are some ways to set limits and allow yourself to keep your sense of energy, agency, and positive parameters. Mindfulness tools really do help stretch time and enforce boundaries. In this era of ongoing demands, there's no better time to work with them to support your own wellbeing and that of all those you live and work with. 

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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 you. D Amy Edelstein and I'll be sharing transformative insights and easy-to-implement classroom supports that are 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 podcast. My name is Amy Edelstein. Today. We're gonna talk about work-life work balance during the time of COVID 19 working from home and during. The regular school year that we can imagine going back to so many teachers, I know even before this time were feeling exhausted and burnt out, there was a lack of focus.

There's so much uncertainty. It makes it hard to know what to do next. There are so many changes we don't need to take on any big projects.  so how do we create balance in our lives? How do we define boundaries? When we feel like all the edges are getting blurred today, we're gonna talk about that and we're gonna do some practice because more than anything, we probably all need to simply put self-care first, not learning more about it.

but learning from the actual doing. And with that in mind, let's start with a simple and easy mindfulness exercise.

Bring yourself into a comfortable position with your spine tall, and your vertebrae evenly stack.  and if you're listening to this, multitasking, put a pause on that email, put down the paper. You're grading, put away that book that you're scanning and allow yourself the luxury of enjoying existence like it.

Notice your body from the inside and out

without judgment,

without criticism,

let a smile come to your lips. A little curve upward

enjoy being you for a short moment.

Simply being you.

And allow that smile on your lips to spread

a happy feeling throughout your body, a happy feeling in yours.

Appreciating being you appreciating, being alive.

appreciating all the emotions you're able to feel. And the

wonder it is that we have such a rich human experience.

Let yourself exhale. All the tiredness,

exhaling, all the pressure,

exhaling, all the worry.

Exhaling all the sadness

and now exhaling because it feels good to be able to breathe.

exhaling because it feels good to be alive

exhaling because you have so many gifts to share with yourself first and foremost. And with all those you love and with the greater.

and you can bring yourself back

and allow the sound of the bell to gently bring your attention back into the complexity, into your surroundings, noticing the room you're in noticing the objects in yours.

One of the cornerstones of work-life balance.  which means many different things at many different times

is making sure that there's something that you do regularly. Maybe every day. That's a little passion. It's a little thing you do because you simply enjoy it.

Maybe you like journaling, maybe you like writing poetry, maybe you like playing the guitar. Maybe you like doodling.

Maybe you like putting your feet up and playing with your pet.

Maybe you like getting up very early when it's still dark and lighting some candles and putting on music that you enjoy simply to be not to do, not to get ready for, not to. Not from any sense of lack,

but from that sense of enjoyment

and acceptance celebration, respect, and honour of who you are.

So if you like to.  if you always feel better when you meditate or read contemplative poetry or pray, give yourself the time regularly to do that, whether it's in the morning or it's when you finish your work obligations.  before grading papers and calling students, parents bleed your day in tonight.

Do that. What do you love to do for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or 30 minutes? Give yourself

that joy. When you give yourself that joy.  when you come to the end of the day, you'll feel complete. You'll feel like it was a day well lived because that joy is more than simple appreciation or happiness, lighthearted happiness at a particular hobby. You enjoy. There's quality.  of wholeness and value of our own lives.

That comes to the forefront of our awareness when we do that. And when we let that value that caring for our own lives come to the forefront, it can rejuvenate us and restore us when we do that. We have time and energy for our students who may be struggling for their parents who may be stressed and putting that out on us

for the school district, with their endless demands that we're never gonna fulfil

when we allow ourselves. We to do those things that are deeply nourishing and meaningful. We have the ability to, with kindness and compassion for ourselves, for our colleagues, for the people asking unfair things of us, to draw boundaries, to set limits, to contain. The endless demands

so that we're living our lives as we're living them

so that we're experiencing fulfilment amid unprecedented times.

Teaching can take over in a way that is UN wholesome, but when we nurture ourselves, teaching can fill us with love and illumination and satisfaction and joy.

I'm gonna give you three more pieces of advice, tools that I use to keep things at bay. And one of

them is as simple as removing stacks of unfinished work from our desks. From our hallway, entryway, all those envelopes of junk mail that, you know, you need to open before you toss them out, but they don't mean much, only takes 15 minutes to go through them. But when they're there reminding us that they're piling up, we feel burdened and oppressed.

Just knock 'em off your list. Clear that hallway and sort out that stack of papers on the corner of their desk. So you don't or put them away somewhere if you don't need to look at them,

but take away that sense of undoneness that sense of accumulation. And allow yourself to feel complete as you are

the third and final tip I'm gonna give you is to break down those big projects into smaller ones. I'm building a new online course for my students. So many pieces it's not gonna be done for at least six weeks, but I know that today I finished something important. I hit a deadline. I made my timeline for one pro for one part of the project.

So I can't see the end yet, but I did accomplish something today. And so instead of feeling like I still have so much more to do. And endless things to accomplish. I know I finished that piece and that's satisfaction. So you come to the end of the day, may you be, you've graded 10 out of 24 papers for your students and submitted six out of 18 grades that you need to get in.

So you've finished a third. Well done.  tomorrow. You'll do another third the day after you'll do another third. They're not all gonna get done today, but note the accomplishment.

And when you're done with that milestone resist the temptation of checking your email one more time or fitting in just one more later on. Allow yourself to finish and be done for the day with tasks that are gonna take longer

caring about ourselves in this way, in this mindful way, and allowing ourselves the joy of resting our attention just openly with love. The ease with the generosity of spirit ensures that we're living our life as it's happening, even amid so much uncertainty and change, this is the only life we have.

And it's now that we're living it.

So I support you. And I encourage you and I praise you for building some structure into your life. That's focused on joy. That's focused on your wellbeing, your upliftment, your satisfaction, and your positivity.

Let's close this conscious classroom

with a love and kindness practice. Bringing yourself

to your mind's eye.

Let any of the imperfections.  you may think that you see in yourself, let them dissolve, let them be like snowflakes. On a spring day, they flood around, but once they hit the ground, they vanish. Let those imperfections vanish.

And holding your own heart with the utmost gentleness and care. Send yourself this wish.

May I always experience the wonder of being alive?

May I always feel the grace of the unknown and unexpected that will light up a smile on my face?

May I always be safe and protected and cared for.

And may I surround me

with a huge bouquet of. And kindness

as you go about your day tomorrow, greeting your students, going through the motions of teaching and grading and inspiring and correcting. Give yourself. Those moments to do something you simply love doing,

weave it into your day, make it a priority

and allow yourself to permit yourself to be, and to be valued as you.

Thank you for listening. I wish you good health. Until next time.

Thank you for listening to the conscious classroom. I'm your host, Amy Edelstein. Please check out the show notes on inner strength, and 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.