Teacher Wellbeing by Dr Vicky Eames
Being married to a teacher and with many close friends who are teachers, I have seen first-hand how tough it’s been for people working in schools this year. My husband, who is usually full of beans, has been seriously flagging in these last few weeks so I am hoping he is going to find a way of taking it easy this summer.
I’ve already given him a talk about how we won’t be needing an excel spreadsheet detailing our plans for the summer, but I know how hard he finds it to just stop. Compared with my more sedentary job, which is mostly sitting down, teachers are on their feet most of the day and he always seems to be running at full pelt. I think it’s no surprise that there has been no shortage of teachers signing up for the 24-hour Equinox team run he’s organising for September. We all know running and other sports are really important for well-being and health but slowing down and checking in with yourself sometimes is also important. Mindfulness has arguably become over-prescribed and many are put off by the idea of long sitting meditations. However, there are many alternative ways of practising the skill of bringing our attention to the moment, which can help us to notice how much we are doing and how this is affecting our bodies. Bangor University has loads of free podcasts which offer many different ways of learning to do one thing at a time, even if it’s only for a few moments a day, including the 3-minute breathing space, mindful movement, walking meditations, stretching and breathing and more; https://www.bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness/audio/index.php.en
Why not try and regularly practise one of these this summer in the garden? What are the chances of my husband doing it?
If you are still in the throes of planning for next term, you may be interested in checking out the Team of Life, our resilience programme that helps children to recognise the support around them through teamwork and sporting metaphors. It has been shown in research by the University of Liverpool to help children build confidence, community spirit and reduce social isolation. It also engages children in mindfulness using the language of sport in our ‘cool-down’ exercise called ‘Zone-in’. Find out more at https://riverbankpsychology.co.uk/teamoflifekit/ or drop me an email.
Have a great summer!
Dr Vicky Eames