Tag: wellbeing

Taking some Time

Well that was quite an extended blog break! It was completely unplanned, but unfortunately, the life of a teacher can be very overwhelming at times. This year was my first year at a new school and I have had a very busy year rewriting the curriculum for every year group (I teach in a secondary school so that’s years 7-13), including two new specifications (GCSE and A Level) and supporting an NQT doing maternity cover. I ran out of steam about two weeks before the end of term and was unable to do anything constructive. I was exhausted and it has taken me a few weeks of the summer holidays to be able to do anything that requires any great deal of thought.  As the end of term drew closer and my work load didn’t demand my every waking moment, I started to really notice how tired I was and how much work I had done during the academic year. It made me realise that, in the hope that I won’t have to work quite as hard next year, I should be able to have more time for myself. Not only that, I need to make it a priority and find time for myself, away from work. Here’s what I plan to do:

Exercise

For most of my life, I have only equated exercise with weight loss. Why else would I exercise, if I wasn’t doing it to burn calories? (usually meaning I could then get take away?!) Well, back at the beginning of June, I joined our local gym. Poppy goes to daycare most days so doesn’t need a walk when I get home. This has been my only form of exercise, which isn’t enough any way and doesn’t give me real space from my day. However, doing a spinning or Pilates class really does. I can’t think about anything else, except what I am doing in that moment, and that makes it perfect for self-care. Both classes help with my hypermobility and I feel great after each class. I really need to remember this feeling when school starts.

Thames walk

Diet

While I have been cutting out lots of processed stuff, my diet isn’t as wholefood plant based as I would like. I keep reading about the benefits this kind of diet can have on your wellbeing but haven’t found a practical way of putting it into practice. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be doing batch cooking on weekends, to help us have healthy wholefood, plant based meals and snacks made from scratch to enjoy during the week. This way, we won’t be eating dinner really late, or relying on processed foods. I’m also hoping that it’ll help us eat more seasonally and cut down on our plastic usage. Keep an eye on my Instagram account for this, as I’ll be using it as a kind of food diary.

Chickpea stew Grated salad lunch

Stress Management

Anyone else feeling completely overwhelmed by the world? Me too. Never mind work being stressful, we are living in crazy times. Who would have thought that the threat of nuclear war would be the second scariest thing to happen this summer?! I know I worry too much, usually about things I can’t control. It affects my sleep and my whole outlook. To try and counteract this, I’ve starting using the Headspace app. Ten minutes of mindfulness every evening, as a break between work and bed is something that I think will help me switch off.

One of the great things about this time of year is the feeling that you can start over. I’m really looking forward to autumn and everything that it brings with it. I’m also looking forward to looking after myself more too. How about you? Are you making any September resolutions? Let me know!

Tuesday Treat – A Back Massage at the Randolph Hotel

For me, something the exudes luxury and ‘me time’ is having a spa treatment. When I was teaching before, it was something that I got into the habit of doing regularly as it’s a great way to destress and relax. Since then, it’s been a luxury that I’ve not been able to afford. The first thing I knew I needed to do at half term was to get a back massage. Not because I felt stressed, but because it’s important to make time to relax and I want to make good habits.

Spa Treatments at the Randolph Hotel

I thought I’d try the spa at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford. I’ve never been there and thought it would be lovely because, you know, it’s a fancy place! As soon as you open the door to the spa, you get that lovely spa smell – all oils and tranquility. I arrived a little late, and went straight in for my treatment. I filled out the usual forms and settled myself on the table. When the masseur returned, she asked if there was anywhere in particular that was particularly tense. My shoulders, especially my left one, seem to carry all my tension and I think my posture is pretty awful so I asked that she focus on those. Boy did she! By the end of the massage, which went way too quickly, my shoulders were quite painful, but the day after, there tension free!

I think next time I book a spa treatment, I’ll go for a morning at the spa, rather than just one treatment. Pretty much as soon as my treatment was done, I was back out on the cold street. I would’ve preferred some time to sit and relax a bit more, which is probably what I could do if I was spending the morning at a spa. Plus, you know, all the relaxing, which would be awesome!

Tuesday Treat

Run Zombies

One thing I love about the New Year is the possibility of the things that are to come. It’s like starting from scratch. It doesn’t matter what happened last year, what you failed to achieve, you’ve got another go at it. This is why resolutions are so important, whether you keep them beyond or January or not. They help reset your frame of mind & hopefully some will stick enough to improve your day-to-day life. This year, I’m hoping for a healthier balance. To that end, I’m following a new running programme, Zombies, Run!

Run Zombies

I needed to get back in the habit of running regularly & am in the middle of week 3 of the 5k training. I’m also doing Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred everyday throughout January, no matter how much my calves hurt or lazy I feel.

The reason? Exercise makes me feel better, even more so when I don’t want to do it. I get a real sense of achievement, my body feels stronger, I feel more in control of things (which, for a control freak, is quite important), I have more energy and I know I’m doing myself a ton of good.

Why is this important? Because if I had my way, I’d sit on the sofa all day, eating chocolate and cake and drinking full fat chai. But that’s not good for anyone. And because I done too much sitting and not enough moving over the last 18 months, my body & general wellbeing has had enough. So my Tuesday Treat, and even my daily treat throughout January, is to run, shred and generally push myself further and move!

Check back in February to see how I get on! Will I have completed the 30 Day Shred? Will I have been chased by zombies?! Hope so!