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Episode 20: One-Minute Breath

Description: Dr. Boogren shares a little initiative she is trying herself in hopes it brings you calm, health, and happiness.

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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to Self Care for Educators. I am your host, Tina Boogren. This is episode 20, and this week, what I'm going to invite us to do is to breathe. I know we've talked about it before, and I talk about this at a lot of workshops, and yet, oh, this is something that I continue to have to work on over and over and over again. The breathing as a way to calm my nervous system down and to slow down. It's the difference between a reaction and a response. Our goal is to always have a thoughtful response. But, how often do we find ourselves not having a thoughtful response and instead having a quick reaction? And, the difference between that reaction and that response is the pause. And, what do we do during that pause? Well, we breathe.

And, what I know is that ... Let me say what I, what I've learned is that we have to practice the breath, even when we are not feeling stressed or triggered by something so that it becomes our go-to response. This is something that I have really been intentionally working on. And so, I'm going to bring it back up for you, for the Squad. Here's what I've been doing. I've been trying to set my timer on my phone for exactly one minute where I just pause and do nothing else but take deep breaths for one minute, multiple times throughout my day specifically. I've been really trying to do this around meal times. I got into some bad old patterns and habits of not at all paying attention to my food while I'm eating, but instead totally distracting myself usually with my phone. And, this is a habit that I break, and I think I've got, and then I have to go back to it. And, it's just ... It does not work for me.

I know that I just don't digest my food as well. I don't stop when I'm satisfied, when I'm totally distracted when I'm eating. I mean what a waste to not enjoy my food. And so, what I've purposely been doing is before I put that first bite in my mouth I pause, set that timer on my phone for one minute, and I just breathe. And then, I start eating, I put my phone away, far away, not even ... I can't reach it, out of arm's distance. And, I eat, and at about the halfway point of my meal, I stop, I pick my phone back up, set that timer for one minute, and I breathe again. And, this is that two minute meal intermission or that halfway point intermission. It's a one minute intermission for me. One minute where I just pause, catch my breath and check in with myself. Am I satisfied? Should I stop? Should I keep eating? Slow down. And, nine times out of 10, I keep eating, and that's great. And then, when I am done eating. I pause, I grab my phone again, and I set that timer for one minute, and I breathe as a way to kind of close out the meal, so that I'm not just roaming around like, Hmm, what else could I eat? Now I need something sweet. Putting more food in my face that I don't actually need.

And, that has really served me well. And so, those breaths around my meal times at various points throughout my day, one very specific time in the morning, very much in the evening I do this. I just know what a difference it makes when I force myself to slow down and take some deep breaths. And, it's amazing to me how many deep breaths we can take in one minute. For me, it's about six or seven breaths. And, it ... A minute can feel like such a long time. Such a gift. Really? And so, I want you to incorporate more thoughtful intentional breaths during your day. If you're like me, you kind of need something to look at. And so, that's where the phone comes in handy. I literally just set the timer, and I look at my phone, and the world around me just thinks that I'm staring at my phone, but I'm actually just taking some deep breaths. Maybe you don't need your phone. Maybe the phone is more of a distraction. I'm not doing anything else in my phone. I'm just looking at the timer while it's counting down and just breathing.

Maybe for you, it's deciding when during the work day that you could take a deep breath. Maybe in between classes. I always recommend taking, taking that deep breath. Take one minute before you start the day. Maybe before you get out of your car, and you walk into the building. For sure, taking a minute when you use the restroom and at lunchtime. Taking that deep breath at the end of the school day. And, again, that deep breath before you enter into your house to kind of close out the day. Maybe, like me, you want to incorporate some deep breaths around your mealtimes, because you find yourself getting distracted, like I do, and that wasn't serving me well. And, maybe you're feeling the same way. The hard part is, as always, like so many of these invitations, is reminding ourselves to do them. Maybe you write it in your calendar. Maybe you've got the Educator Wellness Plan Book and Journal and you can write that right in there. Whatever it is that you use ... Or just a little sticky note or a little, a little note on your wrist. Many of you know I like to to write my reminders on my wrist. And so, like just a little note on your wrist or that, like I said, a sticky note, or maybe when you pick up your phone.

If you have this as your screensaver, take a deep breath or one minute, just, it's just a little nudge because again, here's our goal. We want this to become so natural that when we need that pause, when we need that distance between that reaction and that response, this becomes a go to strategy for us that this is an automatic, automatic thing that our brain turns to because we do it so often and so regularly as part of our daily lives that this is just who we are. And, one of our really accessible tools that we have to utilize ... The more we practice, the more we'll be able to find this when needed. And, it's essential to practice this even when we're not feeling stressed so that we have this on hand to put into place in those moments when we are feeling stressed or our nervous system is impacted. A deep breath, just one glorious minute of breathing various times throughout your day. And, I'm going to start reminding us of thinking about our wellness on a dial, right? There's times in our lives where we can turn things up and times when we need to turn it down. And so, if multiple times a day feels like too much, just one time, one day. One time a day. Make this as doable for you as possible. Just commit to doing this. Make sure that you don't turn your dial off. You just turn that dial down when needed. I'm cheering so hard for you. Make it an amazing week.

As always, thank you, Brooke, for making this happen. Thank you, Solution Tree and Marzano Resources, for this. It's wonderful, amazing, incredible job I get to do. And to you, the bad-ass Self-Care Squad, I am so grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for listening. And, if you like this show, if you could recommend it to someone else, that's really how word gets out. I would just be so grateful for that. Thank you. Have an amazing week.

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