Self Care NSVs -6/28/2020

Summer officially begins for me lately when the pd4uandme community starts Blogging Bingo. Last summer was the first time that the pd4uandme bloggers organized this fun way to get us blogging during the summer. I participated and loved it!

So when I found out that the 2nd annual Blogging Bingo would be starting this yesterday, I was all in! Once again, I reviewed the board and determined what posts that I would complete "to win." With so many great prompts, I know that I will have plenty to write about this summer.

I decided to start this summer with Self Care. Why Self Care? Well, today, I completed a milestone for myself when it comes to self care.

In my 5/10/2020 blog post, Using a Lens of Gratitude, I described how I had been focusing more on gratitude using three simple questions after listening to an episode of George Couros' podcast.

  1. Did I learn one new thing today?

  2. Did I help or inspire one person:

  3. Did I show gratitude to someone who had a positive impact on me?

As part of this post, I shared the positive impact of a #crazyPLN chat had on me. During this chat, Matthew Joseph discussed how he used training as a way to be more positive. I used to train. In the past, I completed 5Ks, 10Ks and even completed my second half marathon in May 2019. But after that half marathon, I stopped running. I could say it was because that last race was so miserable. Last year, I described how miserable it was in my 5/6/2019 post. But looking back, I don't really know what stopped me from continuing running, I just did.

But on that Saturday chat, I decided why not try again. I downloaded Couch to 5K again and started running again on May 4, 2020. I started slow using the program- Day 1 Week 1 has six one minute runs with five 90 second walks in between. It didn't matter how long I ran or how fast I ran, I was running again.

In Matthew Joseph's name card for the #crazyPLN chat, he shares the mantra, "Turning Potential into Power." In many ways, over the past couple of weeks, this is what I have done. I knew that I had the potential to run again and now, I have the power to continue running. This also fits into the Teach Better mindset. Every time I completed a Couch to 5K workout, it was my goal to be just a little bit better than I was the workout before. That first workout turned into a week's worth of runs. Before I knew it, several weeks had passed and I was ready to complete my final run of this program.

Today, I finished the eight weeks of training with a 35 minute run in my neighborhood. Wow, I went from six one minute runs to a 35 minute run. I am so excited to have accomplished this. Although I did Couch to 5K before a few years ago, this means so much more to me.

First of all, all of this happened during COVID-19. Running on the trail near my home became such a therapeutic practice. Being in nature on the days I trained grounded me. It helped me focus on the positive and work on incrementally getting better each day.

Second, all of this happened as we were dealing with the racial crisis in this country. As I ran, I listened to many podcasts and embarked on a learning journey. I got inspired listening to amazing people share their stories on many of these podcasts: Timothy Alexander on Teach Better Talk, Evan Whitehead on Teachers on Fire, Mandy Froehlich on The Innovators' Mindset, just to name a few.

But more than that while I listened to these podcasts, especially Intelligogy, I realized the privilege that I was enjoying- running on my neighborhood trail was not a privilege that all people have. It gave me insight into another area that my white privilege afforded me . This made me both sad and angry that our world has so many inequities and more determined to learn more about being an anti-racist.

Another part of my self care has been attending WW workshops on weekly basis. In WW workshops, we often discuss NSVs or Non Scale Victories, rather than just focus on the numbers on the scale. This practice has also been very beneficial for my self care and mindset.

Identifying my self care NSVs is a mindset shift. There is so much in the world that we can't control, but taking time to acknowledge things that we have improved in, small victories, is a huge motivator. Those NSVs matter and have impacts far beyond our initial goals.

As educators, it is our first impulse to take care of others. Intentionally taking time to nurture our souls, hearts and bodies is a choice. For me, I find that starting the day with those choices is most impactful. Waking up in the morning, walking the dog, taking a run while listening to podcasts and then reading to learn- they are all vital self care habits that I have established.

Yes as I revel in my accomplishment, I want to continue to do better. Yes, I have downloaded Couch to 10K and am determine to keep up this progress. During the summer, I have more time- I am off contract until July 15th and this is the time to continue this quest. My #oneword2020 is CHALLENGE. One of my CHALLENGES is to exercise regularly and this fits in perfectly,

There is no doubt in my mind that this fall will be challenging whether we are 100% virtual or in a hybrid situation. Continuing self care habits during this time will be essential. We need to model what we want to see in our students and our children. As I train and maintain my self care habits, I do this. I am modeling the process of continuous improvement and always learning.