Summer is here for most educators and it is such a wonderful feeling! But the days go fast and often we find ourselves wondering where our time went as we are sitting in the opening meeting for a new school year. I am no different, left wondering where my summer went. Self care people!! It is so important!
I have been an elementary school counselor for 7 years and summers fly by. I am also a licensed clinical professional counselor and have worked in mental health since 2008. There is so much more to me than my job, and often I find myself stressing out over school, kids, lessons, and being a mom. But not this summer! I am making goals to accomplish this summer that are not related to my job, or about anything other than my own self care. I am not just a school counselor. I have so many interests, hobbies, and I am always wanting to try new things. I am an author of one published book and have other books in the works. I have a mini farm that we recently purchased where I enjoy horses, chickens, and goats. Actually, chickens freak me out with their beatie eyes and unpredictable movements, but I am working on it!!
I live in Montana but I grew up in southern Ohio on the river and those roots run deep, I mean seriously, after 15years I have yet to find a restaurant that can make decent sausage gravy and biscuits. And good luck finding sweet tea or grits. I have learned that when I want home cooking, I have to do it myself.
Back to the point of writing this! I get sidetracked and chase squirrels so stay with me! My summer just started and it has been a really hard, stressful year with covid, and personal stress. Going into summer, I want to set goals that are for myself, being a mom, wife, daughter, and having my critters takes away from time for myself.
Have you considered setting goals for yourself, not for your family, or your job, but actually for yourself. It is the best self care you can do. had to think about what my priorities are for self care and I came up with 3 top goals. Here are my summer goals that are just for me:
I want to go back to Ohio, sit under the walnut tree in my aunt's yard and drink sweet tea. No phone service, no internet and just be in the moment.
I want to get healthier. Now, this is mentally, and physically. I DO NOT like to work out, and I love food. So this is a hard one.
I want to get my horses trained, I have four yearling horses that are bad mannered turds and need ground work and learn respect.
Tips to reach your goals:
Now, it is easy to state the goal. The hard part is actually reaching that goal. I like to set an easy goal, one that doesn't take a lot of effort to accomplish along with harder goals. For example, my first goal is my easy one. I already have a trip home planned so it is easier to make this a goal. I just have to focus on being in the moment while I am there. I really do not have phone service there so that makes social media much easier to avoid. Then when I reach that goal I can mark a big check and it will feel so good!!
Celebrate every success! My hardest goal is to get healthy. Last summer I lost 32lbs and when school started back up, it was hard to stay motivated. Looking at this summer, I want to start reaching this goal by starting with having a healthy breakfast. Once I have a healthy breakfast, celebrate it! And I will work toward a healthy lunch. If I have a bad dinner, I will remind myself I had 2 healthy meals and will be kind to myself. If you feel good, it is easier to eat healthier. Another step I have is to drink water and a lot of it!
Write down all the steps to a goal and work on one at a time and tell yourself positive affirmations when you accomplish a step. Talk about it to people you trust and sometimes that helps with motivation. Reward yourself! Example: I have had 2 healthy meals today and drank my water so I am going to have ice cream. Or I am going to buy a new shirt, or have a drink.
No matter what your goal is, the best way to get there is to just take one step at a time, celebrate the success, and be kind to yourself! And remember it is ok to focus on you, because if you are not healthy then it is hard to take care of anyone else.
Summer will feel better and you will feel better too!