Comments (10)

  1.' James Hopkins says:

    As the term begins to wind itself into full swing, this post has come at an amazing time. Reports, planning, assessment, camp- teachers I work with are swamped and it's seven days in! I will wholeheartedly share this with them and further afield. The ending questions are a wonderful way to reflect on tougher days and assess just what's needed to keep the resilience strong. Thank you for sharing. James

    1. Anne Kenneally says:

      Thanks James for taking time to read my post and comment.  Like you I think the timing of this post is great.  As we enter term two and winter starts to bite, it is even more crucial to really care for ourselves. I can't wait to see ideas shared here for how to continue to ensure we make time to fill our own cup, to take good care of ourselves.  

      I wonder if you have one way of really making time for you that you would be prepared to share?  


      Anne K

  2.' Vicki Hagenaars says:

    Thank you, Anne!  I agree with James – one week in and the teachers I work with are also feeling like the break is a distant memory.  This is especially so for those that did not take a huge break over the non-contact time to revive.  

    I have also shared it with my student daughter and ecouraged her to share further.  The pressure on them at the moment is huge with their assignments piling up as well as exams looming. A little emotional hygiene may just be what they require to make a difference to their stress levels.

    I have already had discussions with you about this and have begun to make changes that are making a difference for me.  One app that I love is called 'Calm' – it provides you with mindfulness meditations of varying lengths that can be guided or unguided, with some as short as 2 mins. Great for those moments when you need to count a little higher than 10.

  3. Anne Kenneally says:

    Hi Vicki, 

    Thanks for taking time to read and respond. 

    I remember, very vividly, a lecturer at Teacher's College stressing to us that we had to find a way of unwinding each day or week, rather than waiting for holidays to get off the treadmill of teaching.  This has stuck with me and stood me in good stead, to make sure each week I have some rest and relaxation.  

    Thanks for sharing with your daughter.  Students are in great danger of succumbing to the stresses and pressures without 'emotional hygiene'.  I would love to hear some of the ways your daughter and colleagues have on ensuring they stay as well as possible. 

    Thanks so much for sharing "Calm' app. I would love to hear of successes people have with this.  

    I am thoroughly enjoying the reminders from my fitbit to get my 250 steps every hour.  I am taking this as a chance to indulge in a short walk outside, or in the garden, or near trees if possible. 


    Anne K


  4. Suzi Gould says:

    Anne! Thanks for reminding us what matters and providing practical ways to take care of ourselves.  You are MAGIC! 

    In a human-shaped profession such as teaching it is very easy to feel at the end of the day that you have not done enough, helped enough, been enough. I recently 'found' Brené Brown who reminds us to consider 'No matter what gets done, and what gets left undone, I am enough." Brené is a researcher who studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. Grab a cuppa and watch her poignant, funny talk, TedX talk.  

    This post is particularly relevant for me living in Christchurch. Post earthquake, even five years on, high levels of anxiety still exist. Many teachers are working hard not only finding their own equilibrium but also supporting students and their whānau to actively manage anxiety and wellbeing. The Mental Health foundation, using up-to-date evidence and research, found that building five actions into our day to day lives is important for the wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and organisations. They provide useful tools to help Christchurch and others rise strong each day! 

    You shared many  of the suggested ways to wellbeing in your post Anne. The five ways to wellbeing are;

    Connect, Me Whakawhanaunga 

    Give, Tukua

    Take Notice, Me aro tonu

    Keep Learning, Me ako tonu

    Be Active, Me kori tonu

    Read the Five Ways to Wellbeing Best Practice Guide,

    And write a mental note to self "I am enough" 

    Love your work – and play, Anne.

    1. Anne Kenneally says:

      Hi Suzi,

      Thanks so much for your wonderful response.  I love the way you have reminded us 'we are enough'.  I remember the countless hours I would spend desperately trying to get 'everything done', ready for my learners, and the countless hours I would spend frustrated that there was always so much more to do.  Realising 'I matter', and 'I am enough' is a journey. The more time I spend acknowledging that I am enough, I have done enough, the better I feel.  

      Thank you so much for sharing the five actions to fit in our day!  The world will be a better place for us all as we embrace these five actions.

      Today, my sister shared a link on facebook that I believe is worth adding to this post.   5 Things To Do Before You Die – Robin Sharma I love number five… Help as many people as possible!  As simple as being generous with a smile to someone in need.

      Thanks again for sharing.  

      Anne K


  5.' Maree says:

    Thanks for sharing Anne – some great ideas here. At the end of the holidays I was really struggling with the thought of getting back in to it. I was sick of always being busy, always having work to do and always feeling guilty about how much or little time I am giving my family. As it turns out getting back into it wasn't as bad as I imagined.I have also started admitting to others that everything feels 'hard' from time to time and to my surprise no one thinks less of me, my boss isn't upset and I feel better! It certainly helps to realise this is a problem faced by many teachers.

    As a side note – I enjoyed the workshop today.Thank you to you both.  Having time away from the classroom has been really energising. Now I need to tackle sharing and using what I have learnt! Thanks Maree 

    1. Anne Kenneally says:

      Hi Maree,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.  I wonder how many educators experienced exactly what you describe, the struggle of getting back into it.  I think it will be all too common.  

      Thank you for your very honest sharing of the steps you have taken.  Admitting to others when times are tough is such a sign and strength, rather than what can be perceived as weakness.  How wonderful to hear the responses you are experiencing.  I wonder how many schools are encouraging staff and learners to share challenges, and celebrate 'failures'.  Unpacking a challenge or 'failure' with a supportive team can be incredibly valuable.  Sharing our vulnerability takes courage and I thank you for sharing this.  

      What could we do to encourage more educators to admit to challenges, and ask for support? 

      Thanks again for sharing.  I thoroughly enjoyed working with you today too!

      Anne K

  6.' Rachelle says:

    Thanks Vicki for the idea of using Calm…I've just downloaded it and lay on the floor in my lounge to have a wee moment!  It's so easy to forget ourselves in our busy lives as teachers and forget that taking time-out benefits the children we teach in the long run.  I am particularly bad at doing this…or not doing this as the case may be!!

    My other 3 plans are (putting this in writing so I actually do it):

    1) Read for pleasure again (no time limit given)!

    2) Exercise again (maybe not a fiercely as I used to but just do something each day…perhaps get out a skipping rope and skip with the kids at school when I'm on duty…just so it's fun).

    3) Go to bed earlier – 10.30pm at the absolute latest (I better get to bed)!!

    Thanks Anne and Vicki

  7. […] have previously blogged about mindfulness in a post titled You Matter. A book I am currently reading has a section of mindful art quotes. How could we use this skill in […]

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