As we sat quiet and cozy on the couch this past Sunday morning, my 4-year-old daughter read her favorite Fancy Nancy book and I outlined in a notebook what I wanted to say in this very blog…
My daughter: “Mama, you need a break!”
Me: “A break? A break from what?”
My daughter: “A break from thinking so hard. Your face is all scrunched up. I think you should take a rainbow breath. Here, I’ll teach you!”
And then my precious little peach proceeded to hop up off the couch and teach me the very breathing technique I had taught her almost a year ago to work through some big feelings she was having at bedtime.
I closed my notebook and joined her in taking three deep rainbow breaths.
In… the arms go up with hands together, hold 1…2…3…
Out… the arms come down making a rainbow arch above our heads 1…2…3… again, again.
It felt good! This deep yoga breath was something I valued enough to teach my child, but I didn’t ever use it in my own day-to-day life. All the things I have taught her and the hundreds and hundreds of children I have taught in classrooms over the years started running through my mind—ways to be healthy and strong emotionally, physically, and mentally. And I realized that I don’t actually do these things regularly myself.
Instead of spiraling into judging myself for that, I decided to make a list with my daughter of all the ways we know to be good to our minds, hearts, and bodies.
It’s now posted prominently on our front door as much of a reminder to me as a reminder to her!
For me, and I’m sure for many of you, the world feels a bit upside down right now as we face a long list of stressors and many unknowns that are outside of our control. My hope is that in the coming weeks, with maybe some days off from school, each of you in our educator community can carve out some time to take a break and get back to things that ground you and help you take care of yourself. Your list may look very different than my family’s, but I certainly hope some laughs, snuggles, and deep breaths are on the agenda.
This field gives so much to so many; I firmly believe that each and every reader of this blog can’t hear enough how valuable, important, and critical you are to helping so many others navigate these continuously uncertain times. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do—please don’t forget to make yourself a priority as well.
Check out this webinar where some of my colleagues shared self-care strategies that have been working for some of our partners in the field.