by Alison Laycock
Develop and use self-soothing techniques: These can be external or internal ones which can help in the moment to create space at the same time as offering comfort and support to the individual. Maybe stroking the arm before going into a particular area of the school may help, giving oneself a hug at certain points of the day or simply speaking kindly and positively to yourself throughout the day.
Although the above was written with students in mind, they are also relevant for adults too. Find ways to comfort yourself throughout the day especially when experiencing difficult lessons or situations. Throughout my teaching career, I would make sure I had ways of offering myself kindness, compassion and soothing techniques during the day and I found that these benefitted me during the school day itself and also afterwards as it meant I was dealing with thoughts and feelings in the day rather than carrying them into my evening or weekend.
The best thing is that a lot of them can be done internally and work just as well and therefore no-one needs to know what you are doing. There are also external acts which no-one would raise an eye to and only you would know that they were bringing you comfort.
A few examples could be: wearing a particular item of clothing on difficult days or a piece of jewellery you could look at or touch whenever needed. You may wish to have your hair a certain way if that makes you feel more confident, have your favourite snack or drink ready, walk past a flower or plant at certain times or some other methods which help you. You may wish to bring humour into the day as soon as possible or avoid a certain person until you are ready to see them or talk to them.
You may wish to see what you naturally do during this month to bring yourself comfort and make sure any physical items you will need are ready to take into the classroom. You may wish to check whether the external ones are as invisible as you think and if not then you will have a response if someone asks about it.
Every day throughout August, these tips will be shared across social media so I’m including my links here. Throughout August, I’m offering meditation/ mindfulness sessions for NQTS/teachers and school staff on 4th, 11th, 18th and 20th August at 7-7.45pm via ZOOM. If interested, please email Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me across social media if you aren’t already to have access to the tips every day:
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I’m also offering 25% off all courses for NQTs who wish to develop their mindfulness and compassion skills and resources more. The courses on offer are the 8 week MBSR programme with sessions lasting 120 mins and there are also 6 week Mindfulness and Compassion courses which last 60 mins each session. If you prefer workshops rather than courses then these are also available and can be checked out and booked via http://www.beingthebestyoucanbe.org