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Episode 25: Plan. Prep. Prepare.

Description: When we feel better, we show up differently.

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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to episode 25 of season two of Self-Care for Educators. I'm your host, Tina Boogren. This week's invitation isn't super sexy, but for me, it's something that I know works, and I slip away from it often. And, it's this planning my meals ahead of time. Oh, it just doesn't take very long, and it's a game changer, and I oftentimes don't do it. So, this would fall under that category of food routines, which you know, is the number one most basic level of Maslow's hierarchy. It falls under physical health. In terms of our Educator Wellness framework. I mean, we know the essential aspects of food for how we feel and think about everything that we know in terms of our decision fatigue, right?

Many of you have heard me speak about this. When we reach that state of decision fatigue, which can happen real quick for us as educators, our brain starts seeking shortcuts and the two shortcuts are to act impulsively or to do nothing. And so, when we think about this in terms of our food routines, when we hit this place of decision fatigue, for me, that acting impulsively is what my brain does. So, I don't think through what I'm eating, how it's going to make me feel. It's just something quick and easy, which typically for me involves sugar and carbs. And, I just don't feel good when I'm not planning and really thinking about what I'm putting in my body. For some of you, it's the do nothing where it's easier to just not eat, to go through the day because we're so busy and just ... This is how we miss meals. So, what I've been recommitting to, and I thought I'd come on here and just share for my own accountability and to see if it helps anyone else is to do some meal planning part of my evening routine. This is how I do it. For me, to take a moment to kind of reflect on the day and then spend just a tiny bit of time planning out my meals ... What this does for the next day is it removes the decision.

I like to write down what time I'm going to eat them, eat the meals that I've planned out and get specific about what it is I'm going to eat and then get things ready. Right? So, this is packing your lunch or packing a breakfast, like whatever it is, just planning for it. I oftentimes just write it on a little sticky note, and I'll stick that sticky note just in my back pocket so I can just refer to it. So, I don't have to try to memorize it. God forbid. That's so hard to remember, but that also just serves as a little reminder to myself when I'm checking in. What I also put on that sticky note is the answer to the question that I typically ask myself around food routines, which is how do I want to feel? How do I want to feel? And oftentimes. it's calm and energized, right? Those two can exist at the same time. It's good. I want to feel good. I have a lot of food sensitivities. Food is a really, really tricky area for me that I have to pay really close attention to. So, I am very, very, very much in tune with how different foods make me feel. I've spent years working on this. And so, part of that question of how do I want to feel. I know. I know what's going to happen.

If I have sugar or carbs, I'm going to feel terrible and lethargic. After the initial high, I usually get a headache and some brain fog. And so, knowing I don't want to feel that way, it's that idea if I can play the tape forward, play the tape forward and think about, Okay, if I eat this, how will I feel? That can be really helpful. And, when I plan my meals like this, it just kind of removes temptations. It's less decisions that I have to make. You know, if I only have so many good quality decisions that I can make, I don't want to spend so many of those decisions thinking about food.

So, This week's invitation is doing just a little bit of meal planning. This can include, you know, your meal prep. For many of us, taking some time, oftentimes on the weekends, to kind of plan ahead ... I know, it's a pain in the moment, but it feels so good during the week when we don't have to think through that, when it's already done, and it's waiting for us. We just grab it, and we know that's going to be a wholesome, nutritious, health-full meal that's going to make us feel better. What a difference. And again, I'm going to remind us our physical wellness is, is where I always want us to start because when we feel better, we show up differently. I'm going to say that again. When we feel better, we show up differently.

And I know that when I'm drinking the stupid water, and I'm eating food, that really works for my body and helps me kind of stay in line with my own personal health goals. I feel better, and I show up differently. I'm a better person to be around. I'm happier. My brain isn't consumed with thinking about that next hit of caffeine or sugar that I can get or berating myself, because I had the sugar and the caffeine, and, now I feel terrible. Right? Again, it's food is such a tricky thing to talk about, and I don't mean this in terms of ... I never ever mean this in terms of like going on a diet. For me, it's just making that connection between our minds and our bodies, between our energy and our food, knowing that what we put into our bodies manifests itself and how we feel, how we behave our mood. Our emotions, how we show up for students, it matters. It matters. And again, we're totally worth it. And, I know at most of our schools, we are surrounded by treats, and I am here for treats. I love a good treat. Don't get me wrong, but that can be really hard. I remember the candy bowl at my colleague's desk.

She was the instructional coach in her classroom, and her office was right outside my classroom. And, I could just walk by there and grab 700 mini Snickers bars and not even think twice about it. So, it's just that consciousness and awareness. So, this week my invitation for you is to do some meal planning. Think ahead. Maybe you do it each night. Maybe you do it a week ahead in advanced. Maybe you just do it one meal at a time. I'd love, as always, if you jump on over to the Facebook page and kind of share if anyone's got tips or tricks or things that can be helpful for maybe ... I do it on paper. I am old school, but maybe you've got some great apps or technology things that might be really helpful for this. I love when the squad shares.

As always, a huge thank you to Brooke for making this happen. Thank you to Solution Tree and Marzano Resources for this job I get to do every single day. And to you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. I'm so stinking grateful for you taking care of ourselves. The most basic level is essential. Essential. I'm cheering so hard for you this week.

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