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Episode 12: AAWs FTW

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Description: Attitude Adjustment Walks for the win! Ever wonder what an AAW is or how to incorporate it into your practice? This week's episode is just for you! 


1. To explore more research on how walking improves your attitude, see

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The Self-Care for Educators team cares about the content-accessibility for all educators. If you have trouble accessing the audio for the podcast, the transcription has been provided below.

Transcription: Hi, and welcome to episode 12 of Self-Care for Educators. I am your excited host, Tina Boogren, and in this episode, we're going to explore the theme of AAWs—Attitude Adjustment Walks. I believe I have mentioned these in passing a few times, but I had a couple listeners reach out, and they wanted to know more and I thought, Oh yes, let's talk about it.

This has been, oh gosh, a secret weapon of mine that I have used more in the past six months than any other tool in my arsenal of dealing with everything that's going on. So the term AAW, my mom said this on a phone call early on during quarantine. I actually ... I asked what she was doing or something, and she said, she'd just gotten home from an AAW. And when I asked what that was, and she said an Attitude Adjustment Walk and I fell in love with it, and I have been using this term and using this tool every single day. And, oh my gosh, it just works wonders. It's super simple. The thinking behind this is when I need to change my attitude, I go for a walk. I do this at the end of the day to de-stress. I do this, hopefully catch myself in the middle of the day if I need to just literally go for a quick walk. Sometimes it's long. Some of you that follow me on social media have seen, I mean, I can take an 8 or a 10 mile Attitude Adjustment Walk if I've got the time, but if I don't have the time, even just walking around the block ... I'm lucky to live right next to a park, and I can just go take one loop around the park. And, it's crazy to me that even just one quick loop around that ... that park, I come back feeling better. And if I can combine that with all the other tools that we've talked about, like putting the music on when I am going on my walk, when I take a deep breath ... If I start thinking about gratitude, like all these tools that we have shared over the past few weeks, if I can remember all of those and ... utilize those alongside that walk. I come back just in such a different, better mood. You know, if you think about it, there's a lot of reasons why this is so helpful.

Number one, you know, that physical response to stress, like moving our body ... oh my gosh ... there is no faster way to kind of ward off that. Oh, the feeling then moving our body ... I know, you know, when I feel stressed, when I feel worried, when I feel anxious, when I feel upset, when I feel sad, if I can physically move my body, it just changes our brain, which is huge. We so know, the power of just getting outside. Right? I'm super lucky to live in Colorado where we have a lot of sunshine, and I crave that sunshine. I need it, but just the notion of getting outside, we know that the importance of being in nature ... I shared this one of our, I believe it was week six we talked about getting outside and the power of nature. And ... if we can just challenge ourselves every single day to step outside for a little while, how huge that is. I love that idea of taking a walk by myself. I sometimes take a walk with my husband or my dog. I sometimes take a walk with one of my best friends on the phone. We love to walk and talk. So there's all sorts of ways to do this, but it's just a simple little thing. And, I think it's something fun about the acronym that I love. You know, as teachers, we love acronyms, so I love literally just turning to my husband and he knows exactly what's happening when I say I'm taking an AAW, and I just head outside. I come back and feel better.

So that's it. That's what I want you to play with. This one's really short this week, so I want you to just make a note to remind yourself that when you need to kind of change your state, or to close out your day, or to take a break in the middle of the day, step away from the screen ... Maybe if you're with students, you can take a walk together. If you are not with your students, and you can virtually encouraged them to take a walk, too. I know we have these built in breaks during the day and kids got to move, you know? If we can help them move and we move and we come back ... maybe we set a challenge around how, you know, how many green things can we find on our walk, or taking a picture of three things that we are grateful for, or two things that we notice that were out of the ordinary. ... Just ways to kind of make that movement piece feel good, feel fun, and use it again as another tool that we've got that we can play with, so take some AAWs this week and gosh, I'd love to see pictures in terms of where your AAWs take you. Do you walk around the park? Oh, I'm so jealous of those of you that can walk close to the water. Are you in the mountains? Are you in the cornfields? Where are you? Show us! Show us what it looks like on your AAW. Take us along for the ride.

As always a huge thank you to Brooke for making this happen. Thank you to Marzano Resources and Solution Tree for giving me this wonderful job I get to do with this bad-ass squad, which leads me to you guys. Thank you as always for being such incredible bad-ass educators and humans. Gosh, I am so grateful to be part of this tribe. Thank you also, for those of you that have spread the word on my podcast, have rated us, have written reviews ... oh my goodness ... I mean, Brooke and I just are overflowing with gratitude for that. Thank you so much.

Have an amazing week!

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