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My Self-Care Strategies

Lately, the topic of wellness has been a prevalent one among myself and several of my colleagues and peers.  This world in which we live can deal us incredible highs, and what may sometimes seem like insurmountable lows.  With so many strings pulling at us each day and multiple stressors and factors that play a role in our lives daily - sometimes we just need help, and that is OKAY.

Recently, several people I know have been struggling to find their happy place, myself included.  I don't know if it is the weather here in western Canada (we have had a ton of snow fall recently, along with low temps), or if it seems like the perfect storm of personal and professional matters, but the question, "What do you do for self-care?" seems to have come up a lot lately.  I have been thinking about what I like to do for self-care, and what I could do more of in times when I am feeling like I could use a little more of it.  This is what I came up with:

1. Unpack your feelings.
Sometimes t…
Recent posts

Unlocking Teacher Wellness Through Awareness, Agency and Connection

I have to be honest, the thoughts of wellness at work haven’t always been at the forefront of my mind.  
I actually remember being a young teacher who took tremendous pride in arriving at work so early that
I needed to disarm the alarm and leaving only when the night caretakers were finishing their duties.  I
remember looking back at it and thinking of this work ethic as (a) a necessity (b) an acceptable level of
dedication (c) a badge of honour. I suppose in some respects, I was right on both fronts. I needed to work
the long hours to hone my craft and be best prepared for my students and I am certain my colleagues and
principals took note of my endless burning of the midnight oils.  However, as ‘right’ as I was, I had obviously
overlooked a concerning blindspot, emotional wellness.
Things started to change for me when I stepped into a school leadership role.  All of a sudden, I was faced
with difficult professional conversations on topics revolving around ‘workload,’ ‘stress’ and ‘w…

We Are Longing for Stories

Last night I was watching the Oscars with my family - a tradition we have.  We like to fill in our own ballots and then wager a bet on who will have the most correct winners on their ballot. 

As I watched Rami Malek win for Bohemian Rhapsody - a movie I truly enjoyed - I was fascinated with his acceptance speech, and something in it struck me.  He said:

"I think about what it would have been like to tell little bubba Rami that one day this might happen to him and I think his curly-haired little mind would be blown," he said. "He was struggling with his identity, trying to figure himself out. And I think to anyone struggling with theirs, and trying to discover their voice: Listen, we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself. The fact that I'm celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we're longing for stories like this." When he said, "we're longing for stories like this", I r…

Napa for Wellness

Recently I was lucky to attend, and present at the EdTechTeam Napa Summit.  This year's Napa Summit was surrounded around wellness, as well as educational technology for the classroom.  It was such a different vibe, and the reception from people who attended was a positive one.So many participants commented on the wellness piece, saying that they enjoyed having it as a focus because so many educators don't necessarily prioritize it. 

My sessions were focussed on the teacher and the student.  In each of my sessions, I had a diffuser running with essential oils to create a relaxing, calm atmosphere.  I also had lights dimmed in the room.  So many people commented on the environment - so that meant we were off to a good start when it came to talking "wellness".  In my first session, we talked about self-care for teachers.  The discussion was fantastic, as it revolved around what we can do to make our space, our routine and our priorities "well".  I asked, usin…

How I Not Only Survived, but Thrived During My First Semester Teaching High School!

As a new teacher, I have been sharing my learning journey from the Faculty to the Field since early 2016. I have contributed in many ways; whether it was through a series of blog posts on my website, podcast episodes with Que sera Sarah, Twitter chats, EdTechTeam Summits or even live radio shows such as #onEdMentors. I have continuously taken the risk in opening up my journey for people to read/listen and hopefully be inspired. This openness has allowed me to reflect, share my highs and lows, receive constructive feedback, have a dialogue with other educators as well as contribute to the world of teacher candidates and new teachers in an online space and beyond. 
As a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa, I am very fortunate to have gotten hired in June of 2018 for a full time teaching position with the school board of my dreams! I am now working in a small rural school, only a short distance away from my house, teaching grade 9 and 10. I must admit that my previously mentione…

What Makes You Happy?

I have spent far too much time away from blogging for BeWellEDU, but it's time for me to make this a priority again.



This is my beautiful daughter, Ava.  She is on the verge of so many changes in her life - she turns 13 in April, and she is in her first year of junior high.  She makes me happy.  She also inspired this post.  Recently, she was texting with a boy and she showed me the texts, at one point she asked him, "What makes you happy?"  He responded by saying that nobody had ever asked him that.  I felt both proud, and sad.  We all should have someone ask us that and mean it.  I was proud that she was truly interested in the answer, and she made him feel good and likely put a smile on his face.  He went on to respond with a list of things, and then asked her for her list.  What a great little conversation for two 12 year olds. 

She makes me happy.

What makes you happy?

Desk De-Stress

I have recently been thinking about small things a person can do to de-stress and/or meditate while at their desk.  Many of us sit at a desk for prolonged periods of time for our work, and often it is hard to get out and get active midday when we are buried in a project or deadlines. 


I was searching online and found a few things that would be great and easy to do.  Blogs these are taken from are credited at the end of this post.

1. The biggest and most important thing for me to remember while I work is to have good posture.  When I first started working from home, I noticed by back was really achy after a few days.  I realized that it was because of how I was sitting at my desk.  I was slumping and curving my back.  It is so important to be aware of your posture, so adjusting your chair and keyboard are two good ways to improve this.

2. I have found that my mind is well when I have a clean space.  Another point in a blog I read reinforces this.  A clear space leads to a clear mind an…