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Episode 33: Part 2: The Next Three

Description: Dr. Boogren continues to encourage the Squad to put happiness at the top of the to-do list in Part 2.


          1. Get inspired! Visit Dr. Laurie Santos' site here.


Transcription: Hi, and welcome to Self Care for Educators. I am your host, Tina Boogren. This is our fourth season, episode 33, and it's actually part two of a three part series that I started last week, where I'm sharing the wisdom and brilliance that I learned from Dr. Laurie Santos when I got to hear her speak in person in Denver a few weeks ago, and it was awesome. Last week, I shared these little nuggets. That number one, happiness absolutely matters for our performance. Number two, helping others makes us happier than we expect. Number three, making time for social connections is a huge happiness booster. And, number four, making time for gratitude, every day is essential.

So, the next three practices that I wanna talk about today ... Let's start with one that is very near and dear to my heart, and it's this. Healthy practices matter more than we expect. And, what does she mean by healthy practices? Well, she means our physical wellness. As many of you know, this is an area that I tend to really focus in on. In our Educator Wellness book, we talk about the ... We start here because when we feel better, we act better. And, this has been my passion for the last year as I've worked on writing my next book that will be coming out in November, published of course by Solution Tree. It is my follow up to 180 Days of Self Care Busy Educators. This one is going to be, da da da da, 180 Days of Physical Wellness Practices for Busy Educators, or the title is still, still working on that, but it's going to be followed the same format as the 180 Days original text, but this one's going to focus exclusively on our physical wellness. So, our food choices, our hydration, our movement, our sleep, and our rest.

And, those are the practices that Dr. Santos said matter immensely. Things like exercise. and sleep and eating foods that make us feel good and drinking the stupid water. She didn't say it that way. I paraphrased it, but you get the gist. So, that emphasis on our healthy practices, it really, really, really matters. It matters for our own happiness. It matters for how we show up. Remember that our happiness ... This absolutely is tied to our performance, so double back down, get, get the handle on those habits that are related to our physical wellness. That's tip number one for this week.

The next two kind of go together, and so both of these are about being present. Being fully engaged in whatever it is we're working on. And, the difference between the two strategies is number one, she says, okay, so take that idea of being fully present and savoring the good things. But, just as important is to be fully present and stay in the moment, even when it feels icky. When Dr. Santos was done speaking, I stayed to tell her how much I appreciated her work, how grateful I was for her. I asked if we could take a photo. We did. We took a real awkward photo. And, as we were doing ... Awkward on my part, not on her part, as we were doing that, I got to tell her a little bit about the work. This work that I do, and she was really grateful to hear about it, was cheering me on.

And, I said, okay, of the practices, which one, which one is the one that I should stress the most with educators? And, she actually said that last one I just said about how to learning how to stay present in the moment, even when things feel icky. Let's not start there. Let's go back to the one about savoring the good things. So, she talked about this idea that most of the time our mind is wandering. We all know this feeling. In fact, she said, we spend about 50 percent of our time here. Our mind is just wandering and thinking about other things. We're not even paying attention to where we are or what's going on around us. But, if we're able to be more mindful and take note when things are really good, it makes that event or situation even better. We've all had those moments where we recognize, wow, things are really good. Let's stop and let's savor this.

And, it's those moments that make us so much happier. Meditation, mindfulness practices can really help with this. And, I can vouch for this. I've been doing a daily habit of doing a five minute meditation. I sit down, stack it. I do it right after I do my morning stretches and right before I actually don't stack it, I guess. Yeah, I stack it. I was gonna say I sandwich it right before I set my intention for the day. I do just a five minute meditation, and I'm noticing a difference, and she has data that backs it up that within two weeks 10 minutes a day of meditating, it can help us to savor those good moments. So, let's get to the hard one. This one is the idea about being in the present moment, even when it feels icky. This reminds me of Brene Brown's incredible work about avoiding the temptation to numb those icky feelings. So, how do we numb them?

Oh, well, I don't know, through food. through alcohol, through mindless scrolling, through online shopping. So, instead of doing that, we need to stay present in those icky moments. And, that doesn't feel very good. What she recommended for this is to think about when we sit with our emotions, what do we actually do? What does that mean? And, she gave the acronym RAIN. R-A-I-N. And, this is a practice that Tara Brock kind of came up with, and I love it. So, the acronym RAIN stands for R, first of all, we just recognize what's happening, naming our emotions. Those of you that are familiar with our Educator Wellness text, we talk about this.

For our emotional wellness, we first have to be aware of what we are feeling. And then A, we allow those feelings to be just as they are. Instead of trying to change them, push them under the rug, we allow them to be. That's the A. The I is investigate with interest and care. For ... So, this is also part of our educator wellness. That's the understanding part. So, where are these coming from without judgment? Like why exactly are we feeling this way? Why are we feeling so angry right now? What is really going on? And then, the end part is we nurture with self-compassion. This is where she talks about the work of Kristin Neff, who we also reference quite a bit. We talk about her specifically under Educator Wellness, the emotional wellness dimension. And, all this means is that we give ourselves that gift of self compassion, especially when we're feeling icky.

And, self compassion really is these three parts. So, we're mindful, we recognize the common humanity of how we're feeling, that everyone feels this way, that we're not alone in these feelings, and then we act with self kindness. So, we talk to ourselves like we would talk to a friend. And, if we're able to sit with those emotions, that is the epitome of what our educator wellness dimension is all about in terms of emotional wellness. It's that awareness, it's that understanding and that mindfulness or nurturing. So, I want you to think about, play around with, ruminate on, if you will, those three practices for this week. So, getting back to our healthy, healthy habits around our physical wellness, about being in the present moment. Instead of mind wandering and sticking with that present moment in order to savor the good and to develop our emotional wellness, even when things feel icky. And, we're going to do that utilizing that acronym RAIN. R-A-I-N. We're going to recognize what's happening. We're going to allow our feelings to be just as they are.

We're going to investigate those feelings with interest and care, and we're going to nurture with self compassion. As you play with those strategies this week, feel my hand on your back. We're doing this together. Mmm, that, oh, that icky one is hard, but I'm working on it, and I know you are too, and it's going to make a difference. I hope you have an amazing week.

As always. Thank you, Brooke, for making this happen. Thank you, Marzano Resources and Solution Tree. And, to you forever, forever grateful for you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. Feel my hand on your back. Make it an amazing week. You are awesome.

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