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.
“What we eat is only one ‘ingredient’ needed to make a healthy human. We need real, whole, fresh food, but we also need things like movement, connection, meaning, and purpose.” – Dr. Mark Hyman (physician, author, speaker)
“We believe there is more to a healthy diet than just the food we put into our bodies. Simply changing your diet may not be enough to help you thrive if other areas of life are out of balance. For example: you can eat brown rice and kale every day and go to the gym every evening, but if you’re stuck in an unfulfilling job or a toxic relationship, then you’re just not going to feel truly healthy and happy on a deeper level…” (integrativenutrition.com).
What You Deserve
Consider the word “health.” What pops into your mind? Fruits? Vegetables? Exercise?
Being “healthy” is not just about the vegetables you eat or your exercise routine.
Health is awareness. Health is accountability. Health is balance.
Awareness: It takes a lot of self-awareness to sense when one (or more) of The Whole Teacher categories need to be refueled. You must patiently look inward, consider why you are feeling a particular way, and then really contemplate the options. For example, you had 8 hours of sleep, but you’re still tired. Where might this be coming from? Your food choices? Lack of creative spark? Take the time to reflect.
Accountability: The next step is accountability. Arguably, this is the most important step because this is where an action takes place. Once you’re aware of a category running low in your life, you need to actually do something about it. So, without excuses, make a change or adjust something. Back to the previous example—you connected minimal water intake throughout the school day and snacking instead of eating a full lunch to your fatigue. THE NEXT DAY you set alarms on your phone as a reminder to hydrate and you pack a blood-sugar-friendly lunch. You are the ONLY person who can hold yourself accountable!!
Balance: This step only occurs after awareness and accountability have been prioritized. Balance is the key to maintaining optimal health and happiness. Think about a period of your life when you solely focused on one of the 12 categories, and then consider what happened to the other categories. For example, have you ever been too preoccupied with what you’re eating which, consequently, took the fun out of social events that had food? What about a time when you only cared about going out with your friends consistently which limited available times for exercise? Or a time you were so consumed with teaching that you skipped lunch, skipped exercising to grade at night, and allowed a rude email to take away from any connection with your family at night? This imbalance will lead to burnout, exhaustion, and frustration personally and professionally.
Teachers have SUCH an emotionally and physically demanding job. When every day brings new opportunities and new challenges, striving for awareness, accountability, and balance over and over again becomes that much more important to your overall health and happiness.
At School: Determine which Whole Teacher category negatively impacts your day-to-day experiences at school. Do something about it tomorrow.
For example, maybe you have felt stunted with creativity lately. What can you do to prioritize creativity during the school day?
At Home: Determine which Whole Teacher category is prioritized least at home. Do something tonight to prioritize it.
For example, maybe you have felt too tired to prioritize movement after school. Can you gather together your family to go on a walk after dinner?
Which of the steps (awareness, accountability, balance) do you need to practice more? How can you do this?
In health and happiness,
Founder of Livable Learning