Skip to main content

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 this isn't the easiest thing to do.  We don't always want to admit to ourselves that we are feeling a certain way, especially if that "way" is sad, mournful, unhappy or simply crappy.  If you have realized that you need to do this, however, you are already taking a step in the right direction, and unpacking your feelings will definitely help you.  Some people may prefer to make a list of all the feelings they are having, but what I like to do is sit with my spouse if he is available, or call my sister or mom and "unpack" how I am feeling.  It may sound like venting, but there is one difference.  Don't lay blame.  Be accountable and aware.  I will explain by saying, "I can't explain it, but I am just feeling this way...", or "When I hear this, I feel..." - however you phrase it, use emotions to convey how you are feeling and unpack everything either to a piece of paper, journal, blog or to your person who is listening.  Once you finish, you will find yourself perhaps feeling a little lighter, I do!

2. Find a song that speaks to you.
Music is the soundtrack to our lives - cliche, yes, but very true!  Whenever I am feeling down, most of the time I hear a song that speaks to me.  When I hear the words of a song and they resonate with me, I feel connected in some way.  I feel more connected to my feelings, but also deep down in my soul, I feel like I am starting to heal the way I feel.  If I am in my car, or at home, I crank that music AS LOUD AS I CAN, and I begin to sing AS LOUD AS I CAN, and I feel that song and the words of that song AS DEEPLY AS I CAN.  I do feel better after doing that - it is a great release.

3. Shut the door.
Ever have one of those days when you just want to shut the world out?  I do...but I know that I can't hole myself up and completely shut the world out.  I can for a bit, though.  Whether it be going up to my room and locking the bedroom door to just breathe in the safety and comfort of my bedroom on my bed, or shutting the doors of my office and "working" (I pretend so everyone leaves me alone sometimes!), it can be such a nice reprieve for the mind.  Shut your door once in a while and just BREATHE.

4. Count your blessings.
Finally, when I find my peace and solace, it is because I have remembered what is good in my life.  Some days it may just be as simple as the fact that I have a roof over my head, but most days I am able to be grateful for so many other things.  Gratitude is a mindset, and when we practice gratitude, our mind shifts and things get more positive.  Life doesn't seem so bad anymore.  Count your blessings, keep track in a journal if you desire, but I guarantee that the more you do this, the easier it will become to release the bad and enjoy the good.

Not everything works for everyone, and by no means am I an expert on wellness.  I do have strategies that I use, and will continue to use, to help me stay well and practice a little self-care.  Self-care is not selfish, and I will always believe it.  

Best of luck to you in your journey.



Popular posts from this blog


My daughter recently took part in a poetry workshop at school.  Once it was over, her assignment for class was to write a poem and then deliver it in a spoken word performance to her class.  If chosen, she would then compete against the other top poems from the other 5 classes in her grade.  What she wrote and performed was so intensely personal.  I was blown away by her courage to share, but more so by the profound words, technique and delivery of the poem itself (the English teacher in me!).

She was extremely self-conscious about sharing with others in her school about her experience with anxiety, but I told her that she was likely helping others by sharing about what she has dealt with.  A friend of mine, who is a teacher at her school commented on how she impacted other students with her words.  My friend shared that at school she appears to be such a confident, composed and self-assured young lady, so in sharing her story and poetry, my friend overheard some students commenting on…

Be A Lighthouse

I was having a conversation with my mom over Christmas.  My mom is a worrier.  She has three children - adult children - and she still worries.  As a mother, I understand, as I will likely always worry and think about my daughters and their well being.  In this conversation though, I had to think as a daughter.

My mom is on the verge of retirement, along with her husband.  They are so close to moving on to that next phase.  They recently purchased a condo in Mexico and are anticipating spending the winter months under the sun in Mexico.  As her daughter, not as a mother, I wanted to share some thoughts with my mom.  For her own mental wellness, I had to tell her that she no longer needs to be as motherly - less worry.  I was not saying she needed to stop worrying all together - no way - a mother isn't capable of that.  What I did say was that for so long she has been the "buoy".  She supports and holds us up when times are tough.  Ten years ago when we lost our dad to ca…

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…