One area that we don’t often spend enough time thinking about in the realm of education is personal health and well-being. We focus largely on student health and well-being, and often put ourselves last in the haze of never-ending paperwork and responsibilities. We also tend to think about the well-being of our staff, and yet who is thinking about our well-being if we’re not?
As I consider this, as in years past, I know that making my own health is a priority. We all need to take downtime and find ways to positively manage stress. In my other life, I am a yoga teacher, and practice both yoga and meditation–when not distracted by school. It’s ironic that I counsel and teach others how to manage their stress, yet allow my own stress to remain unchecked.
One of the manifestations of a stressful career and lifestyle is being at an unhealthy weight. When I consider how many educators are at an unhealthy weight, I find it alarming. We are a group of adults who model and teach children and young people about health. Clearly as a whole, we need to change things up. Manage our stress. Exercise. Eat well. Essentially at the heart of it, if we’re not healthy adults, we are not able to do our jobs to the best of our ability. Which only compounds the stress.
I have done a significant amount of work with my board around the mental health and well-being of our students. I think it’s time that I invest my energies into working to improve the health and well-being of staff. One of the ways that I’ve already begun, is sitting on the local OPC group’s executive, and endeavouring to improve our working conditions and manage the amount of work and stress being downloaded by senior admin to principals and vice-principals.
I am happy to know that at our administrators symposium this August, in addition to having Dr. Marion Small present as our PD opportunity, I am offering yoga classes to anyone who would like to participate. It’s small, but it’s a start. And hopefully it will grow from there.