Shifting from Frazzled to Peaceful in the Classroom
The school year is in full swing. The beginning of the year is filled with good intentions and enthusiasm, yet slowly we begin to experience days when we seek a more peaceful mindset in the classroom. As we model a calm, focused approach, our students feel safe and ready to learn. There are times when we can give students specific strategies to remain focused and peaceful themselves, and then there are days when we need to be able to shift our mindset quickly. These three strategies will help you instantly move into a more peaceful mindset:
We must breathe to survive anyway, However, our breath becomes shallow as we get stressed. As soon as you are aware of your stress response, try this breath. Inhale slowly as you count to five, gently hold your breath for five seconds and then release the breath completely for five seconds. Do this five times and notice the impact it has on your state of mind. Intentional breathing shifts our focus to the present moment, the only real moment where positive change happens.
See your students as people, not objects.
We take the time to build relationships and connections with our students. We know their struggles, joys and challenges, yet in the moment, we may not see them as multi-faceted beings. Instead we may focus on the students' inappropriate behavior. Take 30 seconds to see your students as people by recalling their preferences, family life, difficulties, and challenges. Come into this witness consciousness in which you see your students as people, not objects, and observe your own transformation. Empathy and compassion automatically flow into our minds when we see students for who they really are. This mindset sets a completely new tone. The Arbinger Institute and Positive Discipline are amazing resources if you are interested in reading more.
Smell an essential oil on a bracelet, on your wrist or in a diffuser.
When my teacher friend gave me a beautiful bracelet, I slipped it right on and didn’t realize that the black beads act as a diffuser for essential oils. Once she told me, I quickly placed a drop of oil on the porous beads, generally made from volcanic lava rock. The lava rock allows the oils to seep into the bead. Whenever I felt my anxiety level increase throughout the week, I smelled my bracelet. I even received compliments on the smell. Before I had this bracelet, I applied the oil directly to my wrists and smelled as needed. If you’d rather that your entire class is able to benefit from the peaceful aroma, check with your principal to see if you can use a diffuser in your classroom. Much like a humidifier that smells wonderful, a diffuser allows you to add the highest grade, therapeutic essential oils mixed with water to create a peaceful environment in seconds. I strongly recommend a lavender, lemon and peppermint blend or Peace & Calming for an overall peaceful impact.
Adding small strategies like these to your wellness toolbox in the classroom allows you to choose self-care at any moment. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to help your students. When you model a sense of calm, your students will be more likely to relax as well.
Until next time,
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