Liv·a·ble (adjective): worth living; enjoyable
Every Livable Lesson will encourage you to prioritize your own health and happiness by:
1. Sparking inspiration from a quote/research.
2. Connecting the quote/research to what you deserve as a teacher.
3. Promoting accountability with related actions to implement inside and outside your classroom.
4. Encouraging reflection with a related wellness question.
“Stressful situations trigger hormones that can set your body on edge. Relaxing your mind plays a crucial role in stress relief and elicits other significant benefits: lowers blood pressure, lessens muscle tension, promotes mindfulness.” – Masterclass
“Did you know that your stem cells are wired to your brain and help you repair and regenerate? But they only turn on and make new brain cells when you relax.” – Dr. Mark Hyman, Functional Medicine Practitioner
What You Deserve
Binge-watching a show, online shopping, mindless scrolling, drinking all the wine, ordering takeout…all the ways to *finally* relax this winter break, right?!
I have to point out something that you may not want to hear…
Teachers, you absolutely deserve to binge-watch that show you haven’t seen, take a break from cooking, and drink wine.
But these examples are NOT actually allowing your mind, body, or soul to relax and rejuvenate. At all.
A state of relaxation is technically the opposite of a state of stress. Aren’t these examples all just masking stress? The stress doesn’t actually go away after doing these things. That anxiety will creep back in once you turn off the TV. That annoyance will show up the next morning after all that wine.
These are all just putting a band-aid over the stress you’re rightfully feeling. You’re not actually solving the problem by activating relaxation; you’re just doing something to manage the stress in the moment.
It may not be what people want to hear, but activating relaxation requires an action that embraces calm without distractions. You have to do something to actively alter the stressful state your body is in.
What does this look like?
Some simple, quick examples:
- Go on a leisurely walk.
- Spend time in nature; simply look around and listen.
- Practice deep breathing in a quiet space.
- Practice meditation (Insight Timer is my favorite free app for this).
What are some benefits of truly relaxing?
- Energizes from within (rather than from caffeine or overstimulation)
- Fosters positive thinking
- Allows you to concentrate on making holiday memories and live in the moment
- Slows your heart rate
- Reduces blood pressure
**Now this is NOT saying you should not enjoy every holiday movie, or order takeout, or drink all the wine. Life is meant to be enjoyed!! BUT if you experience all of those benefits listed above first, won’t the movie, the food, and the wine be things you can actually enjoy more?! This break is the best of both worlds—activating true relaxation and enjoying all the food, company, and traditions you can.
THAT is how you come back from a holiday break truly feeling ready, refreshed, and rejuvenated.
At School: In this world of endless scrolling and social media, it’s even more important to open students’ eyes to relaxation and how it impacts them. Can you incorporate this into some sort of lesson?
At Home: Incorporate a relaxation practice into your routine.
Are you using things like scrolling and TV to mask your stress?
How often are you activating a state of relaxation?
In health and happiness,
Founder of Livable Learning