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Episode 3: Morning Sunlight

Description: "Oh look! Another glorious morning! Makes me content."


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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to our third episode of season three of Self-Care for Educators. I'm your host, Tina Boogren. This week's invitation is to get yourself outside in the morning. If you do a quick Google search, just put morning sunlight in the search bar. You're gonna see article after article and study after study the talk about the incredible benefits of morning sunlight. It impacts our mood in a positive way. It actually is one of the key factors to ensuring a good night's sleep. It's part of that kind of circadian rhythm piece. All I know is that personally, oh, it matters. So, I actually am recording this because I just got back from a morning walk, and I was thinking about how incredible I feel when I am able to first thing when I wake up. Get on my tennis shoes and head outside for a morning walk. And, this is the time of year where I love doing this the most. I live in Denver, Colorado, and it's a little bit chilly in the morning. We still have hot afternoons, but it's starting to feel like fall in the morning where I get to bundle up a little bit, but I'm certainly not cold. And, I grab my coffee, and I just head out and not only am I obviously getting that benefit of exercise, right? It's a purposeful start to my day. I haven't checked my emails yet. I am taking back control over my time, but it's even more than that. It's that morning sunlight.


There is just something incredible about being in there, being outside in that morning sun that just positively impacts the rest of my day. And, I can't do it every day. It's not possible, but man, when I am able to do it, what a game changer. In fact, on my walk today, I was like, I am home this week. How can I make sure that I get up in the morning with enough time to take a morning walk? And, this morning I went for a long walk, because I had the time to do it. And, my brain started to say, Ah, you're not gonna be able to do this tomorrow. You've got a dentist appointment in the morning. You gotta go down to the office on Wednesday. It's not gonna happen. And then, I thought, You know, no, I can get up and at least take a walk around the block. I might not be able to get a couple miles in, but I can at least get out there for a second.


Or, if we can't even take a walk in the morning, which I get it, man, that's hard to do, especially ... Here's what I know. Many of you are getting up before the sun even rises in the morning. So, that's kind of an impossible task to like, be able to go out and take a walk, because the sun's not even up. But, I wonder if this week we could play around with being purposeful in getting ourselves outside in the morning, and maybe it's not that direct sunlight that's hitting us, but we get that fresh air. The sun is maybe starting to rise where even if we just take our coffee and go sit outside for a few minutes in the morning, we're gonna see benefits. Maybe, you know, the sun is starting to rise when we go to work that kind of used to be my schedule when I worked in the school. And, maybe we take a quick walk, just like around the school, around the outside of the school, or around the parking lot. Before we head inside, maybe we meet a colleague and our commitment is to get to work about 10 minutes earlier than we normally do. And, we take a quick walk or you've got like a moment in the morning, and I know this is hard. It doesn't work for everyone, but sometimes I had my plan time in the morning, and I wonder if I could have taken a walk during that time, just a quick little walk, which is again, tapping in into so many benefits.


We've got that exercise piece. We've got a little bit of rest. We would call this active rest, and we get out into that sunlight in the morning. You know, I've been reading, there's a bunch of studies where they kind of followed office workers, and they did a two different groupings, and they asked one to get outside in the morning. And, one was a control group. And, the group that obviously got to go outside in the morning had so many benefits. It's just incredible ... particularly tied to sleep. And, I know many of you like me sleep is a struggle. And so, anything I can do to kind of help support that. And, we don't normally think about morning sunlight helping our sleep, but we actually know that it does. So, that's what I want you to play around with this week.


I want you to think about for you personally in your life, what might be reasonable that you could try? Could you take your morning coffee and sit outside, or maybe you're not a coffee drinker. Maybe you just take yourself outside. Maybe take yourself out with your journal, and you just sit outside for that fresh air. Maybe the sun ... We're not in the depths of winter yet. So, maybe we still are starting to ... Maybe we still have kind of that morning sunlight where we can sit outside for just a few minutes or maybe you find your loving accountability partner at work, and you guys decide to meet In the morning and, and take that little walk or even just sit outside and talk for a couple minutes. It doesn't have to be movement. I like to think about my walks all the time, but it doesn't even have to be movement. Maybe it's even just a pause, right? As you're walking into the building, have some sort of cue, some sort of anchor when you see that light pole, when you see the front doors, when you see whatever it is, that's your cue to just stop and pause. Put your face up to that sun and take a couple of really deep breaths before you walk into the building in the morning and just play around with it and pay attention.


Think about how your mood is impacted, how your energy level seems to be impacted by doing this and how your sleep is impacted by doing this. Maybe you can recruit your family to do this with you. Maybe this is something you just do on your own. I just want you to play around with that this week. Morning sunlight. Now listen, we'll take sunlight at any time of the day. We know that maybe for some of you, it is easier to get yourselves outside in the afternoon. I get it. There's a lot of factors, and we're all unique and have different needs. Our lives look very different here, but specifically this week, I'm really thinking about that morning sunlight. And, I know this squad is so amazing ... You're gonna have ideas that I haven't even thought about before. And so, as always, I'm gonna invite you to jump over to that Facebook group and share what is ... Morning sunlight ... How are you able to, to tap into this? Is this something that you've thought about before? Is this something that's part of your regular routine? Is this something you're just gonna play around with this week? What does this look like for you? Morning sunlight. Cheering so hard for you.


As always, huge, huge, thank you to Brooke for making this happen. Thank you to Solution Tree and Marzano Resources for this job I get to do and to you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. Ah, may you feel that warmth of the morning sun on your beautiful face at least a couple times this week. Enjoy Squad!


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