#

Hub Home #SelfCare
img

Why Self-Care Is Vital: A Perspective from a Teacher

Angeline Verzosa-Cayago
ICTC/CLACGS Faculty

Have you thought of yourself lately? For more than a year now of community quarantines, online teaching, Work From Home arrangements, coupled with government issues, socio-economic problems, global or local discord, health crisis, among other daily challenges and uncertainties, quality of life can be overwhelming that can take its toll on stability in health, emotions, spirit, mental state and over-all well being.
img
img
img
img
img

Education is one area that has been greatly affected by our global condition. Though we are prepared for remote learning, the teacher’s scope of roles and responsibilities have become vast that demanded more time, more presence, more assessments, more concerns. The academic experience is not the sole concern of our faculty but the student wellness is likewise given attention to since we operate on care, care that is more pronounced. The usuals were dropped, and paved way for new things, new innovations that in effect gave adjustments to keep on.

By this time, staying absolutely positive throughout is an undeniable daily struggle, especially if you have a lot on your plate and your being may be running out of fuel at times.

We recognize this kind of state, and we start by saying that this is not a case in isolation. Even the mature, the high spirited, the time-tested strength and your resilient you can really go through tough days, much tougher than the previous, with roller coaster of emotions, sadness, grief, downheartedness, and so the list goes. But it starts there. Recognizing that you are not fine signals your psyche that you are not that ok today; hence, you have to do something to be fine or at least go through the day and perform your to do’s even when not that perfectly ok.

Again, that is a good sign. You have recognized your low spirit; therefore, that gives you a mental note that you have to give time to you, your well-being, that you might be forgetting or missing out.

Teachers for instance have a tendency to put others first because caring for others is the priority of this noble profession. Caring for others has been ingrained in the very core of our beings. Beautifully crafting lessons for students’ development, critical thought and appreciation and designing them based on frameworks and pedagogical beliefs, monitoring and evaluating student performance and engagement, among other responsibilities entail dedication., not to mention the technical developments that we need to explore and learn. All these can demand so much which often leaves a little portion of compassion left for our very own being that we are either not aware of or sometimes we are conscious of, but more often not foregrounded because we choose others and our responsibilities.

It is important to be mindful of the care we give ourselves.

  •   The Self matters.   You are valuable. And the first to value you is you. Self-care should not be misconstrued as selfishness. It is not the same as self-centeredness or egotistic perspective but learning to give importance to your over-all well being that includes your health, your calm, your joy and your purpose. You have to be whole, complete and intact in mental and emotional health and sanity, in spirituality and in physical wellness. Giving your best, making sacrifices for others are in the very nature of teachers, but that self deserves to rest, to unwind, to pause, to recharge so the purpose and the goals worked on will be fully realized. Allowing such space and giving it to yourself could even ignite motivation and passion that you are chasing. Hurst (2021) mentioned that self-care boosts self-esteem. This is true as you send an optimistic message to your subconscious; as you gift yourself with care, you attend to your personal needs. And besides, caring for oneself is fundamental right.

  •   Caring for oneself blesses you with good health.   Medical journals and bulletins consider stress as one of the causes of most illnesses. A neglect of one’s health: physical, psychological or social, is a neglect of one’s life. There must always be an equilibrium of things in your life, primary is perfect health. Dr. Elizabeth Scott (2020) emphasized to have a stress-reduction plan to be able to prevent or at least alleviate the impact of stress to one’s health. One of the current characterizations of me-time should be time and choices devoted for personal health. Wellness is a gift you give yourself and that could be done by healthy eating and healthy habits that suit your respective needs and shape your happiness. Every engine that has been working triply hard has got to slow down, to recharge, to maintain its good functionality. As teachers, you have flourished in your respective crafts and have done an amazing job to respond to the needs of students, but you need to sustain good health to be able to serve others. Know your body and observe and explore healthy habits that are suited for you. You cannot be in your optimum if you are not in good shape and state. So constantly remind yourself that achieving good health will make you create possibilities for you and others. Remember that your armor in this global health emergency is your good health; and you can empower your immunity by making wise choices on the things, activities that you engage in that would strengthen and preserve your over-all wellness. Shrug off the unnecessary that may wear out all the positivity and pursue the reasonable and the necessary. Self-awareness and giving in to healthy choices build a conscious effort to the road of wellness which will help you manage your life and keep the balance and the tranquility you truly need during this uncertain times.

  •   Banking on self-care makes you even more ready to seize the day and keep on.   The pandemic has differently demanded so much resilience, so much forbearance, so much trusting, so much pushing to the limit. All aspects of our lives are challenged. This is the time that we heeded more prayer time alone, with family or with a community. St. La Salle underlines the worth of prayer by teaching us that we need to “turn to God in confidence” especially during hard times. Had we not allowed ourselves to submit to prayer, we would not have surpassed or at least gripped on to where we are now. That spiritual care and introspection have been so necessary and beneficial. We had been clouded with doubts and fears , but we persisted in faith, and such is considered self-care. Allowing yourself to move away from current turmoil, and be in that sacred moment of dialogue and worship, you and the Lord, conversing wholeheartedly, is a kind of self-care that empowers and reboots you to fight, believe and keep on. The same goes with your daily choices to commit to healthy options may it be food, exercise or any past time. These activities that you consciously strive to be dedicated on are your investments for a renewed courage, health and happiness that fire you up to productively survive each day.

  •   The more you care for yourself, the more you can give to others.   You cannot give what you do not have. You may be always driven to be of help to others, that you lose sight of your needs which includes time, rest and balance. When you do not take time to rest, to do what relaxes you and to pursue your other interests, you lose your sense of balance which is a great factor in sustaining your holistic growth and your happiness. And if you are empty or drained, what can else can you give others? Thus, giving conscious time for self-care allows you to extend your creativity, your time, your knowledge and assistance to others. You have no idea how deciding to provide self-care poses a lot of benefits to you. That one decision to turn your spotify on to listen to Beatles, Eraserheads or Ben & Ben, do a 30 minute walk, propagate your ornamentals in the garden, or try doing sushi bake or explore new interests would improve your mood and reset your exhausted mind and body. It allows you to have that simple gratification that will manifest as positivity or rejuvenated energy when you go back to your routine, your deskwork, your online class, even your daily grind of guiding your children in their module or online classes. The little rewards you give yourself that uplift you and your spirit, can be transformed into more generosity, more good disposition, more patience towards others which include your respective family, colleagues, superiors, friends, students and loved ones.

Despite the craziness and the uncertainties around, it is essential to be certain on how well you can best take care of yourself as you efficiently perform your duties at work, with your family and your other circles and turfs. Let not the apprehensions and exhaustions triumph in these challenging times. And if feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not the only one.

The actualization of one’s purpose is always tied to serving and being compassionate to others, one that we thoroughly learn this pandemic. But it is not healthy as well to deprive yourself of your most deserved rest, recreation and replenishment.

Do not wait to be down the drain.

Please be kind… to yourself as well!



Physical

Our bodies are the external machinery that keeps us going. Keeping it healthy and strong is paramount to achieving our goals. Having a healthy balanced diet, keeping ourselves hydrated, constant physical activity and exercise, maintaining enough sleep and rest and having regular check-ups are just some of the things we need to safeguard in order to stay physically well.

Mental

Our brain and mental faculties are situated on top of anatomical structure for a reason. It dictates the direction where we are going. As the seat of our logic, reason, and intellect, keeping it well is essential to our being productive beings. Reading, watching educational or entertaining materials, engaging in simple mental exercises, mindfulness practice, yoga, listening to calming music and plain mental rest are just some of the ways to keep oneself mentally well.

Emotional

We often hear the expression, “emotions cloud the mind” and it couldn’t be farther from the truth. When we lose hold of our emotions, drastic actions that we may regret at a later time may happen. In order to rein in our emotions, we need to recognize and process them properly. Resources attest that mindfulness practice, yoga, artistic hobbies and daily exercise helps. Further readings also correlates physical wellness and sufficient sleep to emotional well-being. Likewise, we often hear “think before you act,” and truthfully so. Emotional wellness equates with our motion’s harmonious relations with our cognition.

Spiritual

Faith is complete trust and confidence on something. It is that one’s strong belief in God and the proof of His presence in our church doctrines and our daily experiences. Keeping attuned with our spirituality is one way to keep balance in life amidst struggles. Conversing with our God through daily prayers and meditation, scripture reading, listening to uplifting, inspiring gospel songs, attending mass and church services, recollections, retreats and other religious, or social civic activities, or engaging in a few moments of silence are some ways on how to keep oneself attuned to the Divine and keep balance.

Environment

We call Mother Nature as such because of human’s inexplicable connection with it. Our belief tells us that we, after all, came from dust. Spending time with nature, breathing and feeling the air, smelling the grass, flowers, feeling the leaves, barks of trees, the rain gives us a calming experience. Being Plantitos or Plantitas and engaging in green hobbies or participating in environment advocacy activities are some of the ways where we can be Environmently well.

Financial

Being secured for life emergencies give us some kind of comfort and peace of mind. Not having to worry much about the inevitable future in terms of finances is a worthy kind of wellness. Saving something for the future is a habit that should ideally be started early. Reading and watching materials on finance management or engaging in talks and discussions (and actually trying to work on it) are some ways to keep oneself financially fit.

You Matter

Self-care is an important aspect of your overall well being. Explore the different sections of our Self-Care Hub with contents that cater to every sector.