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Episode 4: Wonderful White Space

Description: WARNING: This episode may cause discomfort for our beloved Type As. We're cheering for you!

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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to episode four of season three of Self-Care for Educators. I'm your host, Tina Boogren. This week's invitation is to leave a little space. And here's what I mean specifically. I want you to leave a little white space on your calendar for some of you. This is probably easy for some ... Some of you like me, this is real hard. Ooh, many of us like live by a calendar, right? Especially as educators, our days are just scheduled down to a tee. And, many of you have things happening on the weekend with kids sports and activities. And, oh, just a gazillion things that need to happen. And so, it's real tempting to have every single space and line filled in. And so, the challenge or the invitation this week is to not do that.

Ideally what I'd love is for you to have a little bit of white space on your calendar, every day. But, maybe that feels like, Whew. Tina, that is pushing it way too far. So, maybe you choose a couple days. Maybe you have one weekday and one weekend day where you put a little white space in there that just is not filled in. That's just, you can, you can just hold that for yourself. I want you to think about like, this is us resisting that kind of hustle mindset and that hustle mentality and thinking that, God, we just need to be going, going, going all the time. For many of us, it's kind of actually hard to relax.

So, I've been experimenting with this. As always, you guys, I would never ever ask you to do anything that I've not working on myself or tried myself. There's research behind all of this. So, I've been trying on my calendar to just kind of put, Hold, Leave empty. Like, that's all I do. Like I still, you know, I live by my calendar. I have a paper calendar, and I just hand write in there, like just, Hold, and I don't know how I'm gonna fill it up, but it's just a holding place. I get really kind of overwhelmed when I look at my calendar, and it's just filled to the brim, like there's a fine line in there, a fine balance. Like, I like being busy, and I like working, and I like having things to do. And, I love seeing like, dates on there with fun things or activities or book club or different pieces. But, I also really like to just have some open downtime.

This one's tricky for me, because as you know, I travel for work, and my schedule is just bizarre for lack of a better word. And so, when I'm home, it's like I wanna see all the people and do all the things. And, for a long time, I would just cram in all these different things. And, they were fun things. They were great things--spending time with people that I love, but I started to feel just like, Oh my gosh, it's just so much. And, that pressure of knowing those precious few hours, those 48 hours that I am at home, I am just booked back to back, even though there are things that I want to do with people that I love. And so, I've just started blocking off some chunks, and it just feels really good to have a little bit of space, a little bit of breathing room in there. And maybe sometimes I do use that space to do something like go to an event or do something or spend time with people. But, sometimes it's just for me to just get to decide.

There's nothing wrong with just relaxing for a while. Just sitting, using that time to take a walk or read a magazine or watch a show on Netflix or for me, I just need a lot of quiet alone time. I'm an introvert at heart. I recharge by spending time by myself. As much as I love, love, love the people in my life, and I love spending time with them. I know for me to be at my best and to feel my healthiest, I need a lot of alone time, so I've just started blocking it out. So, that's what I want you to play around with. I want you to look at your calendar, whether you have a paper calendar like me or you're looking at something electronic, and I want you to just start blocking off some chunks that you do not have to decide ... You don't have to know what you're gonna do with that. Just some white space, just a little bit. You might just call it some breathing room and see if you ... Like I said, I would love if you could have a little bit of white space every single day, but if that feels like too much, don't.

When you look ahead, I tend to think about like a week at a time. Can you at least get a couple of spots that are kind of left, open some breathing room? Maybe that's what you write in your calendar. Maybe I'm gonna start doing that instead of just writing, Hold or leave open. I'm gonna write breathing room, and then I get to decide that's the best part. Like. I don't have to live by a schedule every single moment of every single day. And, that just feels good. It's a nice balance. I love a schedule. I love a to-do list. And, I also love a little bit of breathing room. It's like that tipping point, right? Where do we find that balance? It seems to work for us. And again, what works for you might be different than what works for your partner or for your colleague. Just play around with this, try this on this week and see how it fits. I can't wait to hear. Where did you find your space would you do with your space? Did you have any kind of A-Has? Can you look ahead even further and like take a look at your month and put a little breathing room in as you look ahead? I don't know. There's lots of ways to play with this. And, you guys are just amazing at taking these ideas and running with them. So, I can't wait to hear what you do with this.

As always, a huge thank you to Brooke for making this happen. Thank you, Marzano Resources and Solution Tree that keeps my schedule busy, but allows me to have a little bit of breathing room. And, as always to you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. Here's to making some space, allowing ourselves that gift of not having every single moment accounted for. Here's to a little breathing room.

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