It is the second week of school in NYC which means I am officially back to double duty as a full time teacher and blogger/founder of Trials N’ Tresses. So what does that mean exactly? It means many many many sleepless nights lesson planning and blogging. This also means bags under my eyes, irritability and crankiness are at an all time high. Most of the time during the school year, one if not many aspects of my life suffer trying to keep my teaching career and Trials N’ Tresses afloat. Now… I say this all to say I’m not complaining. I love both major aspects of my life, but if you are here reading this then you know it is hard to balance things and keep yourself at the forefront of your decisions.
When Was The Last Time You Put Yourself Into Your Calendar?
This is where being mindful comes to play. When was the last time you took time for yourself? When was the last time you put yourself in your calendar? I ask these questions as I come off of the high that was the TNT Formation event, in which Shalleen Kaye of Natural Hair Does Care spoke about the importance of mental health and self care. As she spoke I was 100% on board with putting myself first in order to get things done more efficiently. And about three weeks later where am I…? Drowning in a million and one things to do. But this time it is different.
This time at least during my late night sessions, I am aware and mindful of the damage I’m doing to myself and that I should/need to do better. If not for me then for who? For those around me of course. Mindfulness is more than just being mindful of yourself. You need to be mindful of what it is that you’re doing and how it affects others around you. Being irritable and functioning at half mast isn’t fair to my students, it isn’t fair to my family or my friends. That is why when given the opportunity to do so… I leaped at the chance to use and fully understand the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker.
I love to run, and now as a full blown vegan again I am more mindful of what I put into/on my body. But most importantly I am trying to be more mindful of the thoughts I think, the emotions I feel and the energy I put out into the world. With the help of the Spire Fitness Tracker I was able to kill two birds with one stone. While tracking my activity (10,000 steps a day baby baby!!) I was also tracking a bit more and it made all the difference in how I approached my first week back at work.
How To Be Mindful At Work
I started at a new school this year and it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. I have to wake up a half hour earlier, take public transportation instead of driving my car, and teach a whole new curriculum/ grade level. With all of these new changes to my career… I was certainly mindful of how stressed I was and didn’t have time to take the necessary steps to “relax”. Why? Because I just didn’t have the time and I assume you don’t either. So these are the short quick things I did to become a more mindful person in general… but definitely and most specifically be more mindful at work.
1. Breath: Uh… like what? We all breath all day every day or we would be dead right? Our breathing patterns have so much control over how we feel, so its no wonder that it becomes erratic when we are tired, stressed or overworked. The Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker showed how insane my breathing patterns were. It also alerted me when my breathing a bit off so I could run through quick 30 second exercises or meditations to mindfully enter a calmer focused state. This is vital in a classroom!
2. Pay Attention: Be aware of what is going on around you that is causing your moods to change. I notice the times when I am least mindful are when I am fazed out of the current situation I am in. When I zone out and wallow in my own sadness or stressful situation it gets worse! Stay in the present but use techniques that work best for you to handle the “situation” head on in a calm manner. This fitness tracker got to know me… and started paying attention for me! Which helped me bring attention to myself. What? The longer you wear the tracker, it learns to anticipate when stressful events are on the horizon and helps you before it happens to be alert, attentive and calm.
3. Put Your Self In Your Calendar: Take time for yourself every now and then (more often than not) Take a yoga class, go for a run, meditate… do something for yourself once a day. No matter how big or small… put yourself on your own calendar. The Spire Fitness Tracker can help you do this if you need assistance. Because of their API integrations they can integrate into your calendar to help you set a date with yourself.
4. Talk To Someone: At my new school I’m learning about my new students and the new environment and it can be really lonely. I built a life for myself at my old job and I loved it. As I adjust to this new environment I am mindful that I need to put myself out there to build relationships with people and use the relationships I have already cultivated. Talk to people around you. Chances are you’re not the only one going through something.
What steps or tools do you use to keep track of your mindfulness in life? I use planners, and sticky notes. But now I think I’m finally ready to go full speed into the wireless/paperless route and stick with my Spire. Spire is available in both Apple stores and Amazon. You can also purchase or learn more about them here.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.