The Healthy Educator podcast contains short episodes to get your mind ready to show up as the best version of yourself for your family and students. You will learn how to better manage yourself, your day, and your overall outlook as an educator! You deserve to be the hero in your story and I am here to help you on that journey. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any updates!
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The Healthy Educator podcast contains short episodes to get your mind ready to show up as the best version of yourself for your family and students. You will learn how to better manage yourself, your day, and your overall outlook as an educator! You deserve to be the hero in your story and I am here to help you on that journey. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any updates!
I was working with a great therapist and he has this great line about how when we never get our thoughts and struggles out then we become our own therapist. When we stuff or keep our thoughts to ourselves we automatically become our own therapist and we suck at it!
We really struggle to always see ourselves as we really are. Our internal perspective is valuable but often short sighted.
If we find ourselves really struggling then one of our go to resources should be finding an outside perspective to make sure we aren’t clouded.
There is something to say about making sure this outside perspective is someone you can trust and actually could have a framework to understand yours.
It seems like we always have a well meaning neighbor or brother-in-law that always knows everything about everything and they will be so quick to offer you advice on everything.
We always need to process anyone’s coaching through our logical lens but understand that their view allows them to see something that we can’t always see.
I have started to realize that we really struggle in education to accept coaching for ourselves.
We have been conditioned to always know that answer and always be in charge because that is what teachers should be. This is not only a problem in the classroom but when it comes to becoming the best version of ourselves we are “suppose” to have the answers and in reality we don’t always have the answer.
Whether you are willing to pay for a life coach like myself, or whether you like the principle of using a mentor to help you, you really are benefited by having an outside perspective. We all need a fresh look at our lives what we are doing.
The real power in collaboration comes from these principles. I love Micheal Fullan’s idea that collaboration is about the collective building of our potentials and not just about creating a fun and safe place to be.
Go find yourself a great outside perspective! Come sign up for coaching from me or at least come chat with me in a mini session. I care about you and want you to become the best version of yourself!
One of my favorite processes when it comes to building a great life is the process of backwards design. I have some favorite quotes in reference to this idea but this really is the process of backing into our choices intentionally rather than having our minds focused in the past as we make choices. In this episode I am going to talk about how to get our thoughts right in order to make this a reality.
We need to take a step back everyday and align our actions with our end game and deeper purpose. This will have to be an intentional reflection or it is too easy to let it slip. Remember to build backwards with the end constantly in view so we can stay on the path!
Stephen Covey’s idea reflects this process when he wrote about “beginning with the end in mind.”
One of my favorite quotes on this subject is this,
“The clearer the destination becomes, the clearer the path to walk becomes.”
I haven’t been able to track down the author but the principle is so profound. I can help people walk the path to a better life but the clarity of the end goal and the path are going to have to be realized beforehand as much as possible.
I know our lives are going to have twists and turns, unexpected events, life challenges and so many other hiccups, but the closer we can define what we are actually shooting for the better off we will be on our journey.
Once we are able to define this end goal we can connect it to our deeper purpose and the dots of our life really start to connect. This connects our why to our end goal and we begin to better understand the what and the how of our lives as well.
This process is much harder to do looking down, rather than up towards the end. If our vision is looking down or backwards rather than forward to our goal and our why then the slightest change of direction or barrier will cause us to slip into misalignment or the haze of life.
We have to intentionally make this connection at very strategic intervals in our planning. It’s just too easy to lose sight of our destination start drifting if we don’t plan this into our lives.
Get planning with the end in mind like your whole life depends on it, because it does!
I am here for you and look forward to working with you!
In this episode we are going to talk about systems, systems, systems! There can never be too many routines or systems as an educator. We are great at putting these into practice for our jobs but sometimes fail to transfer this knowledge to our personal health and wellness journeys. Make the effort to put all your health and wellness practices into a simplified system in order to be successful!
I want each of you to think of your first day of school each year and how important that first day is for establishing the culture, expectations and systems you want to be in place for your class. We immediately put routines, rituals, or what I like to call systems into place so that we can actually maintain sanity in our roles as educators.
Whether the students admit it or not they really thrive in this culture of structure and routine. The more clear we are with our students about the systems we have in place the better they are going to learn and the more success we will find with our teaching. It’s crazy how intentional some educators can be in their classrooms and their school year and then fail to apply the same principles to their personal and family lives.
This is by far one of the most important principles I can teach someone on their health and wellness journeys. We have to learn how to put systems and routines into place in the most desirable way to get the results we want. We also have to be courageous enough to stick to the systems we create. I always wonder about the person who buys the most amazing system or routine and then doesn’t follow it and wonders why it didn’t work?
What good is a ritual, routine or system if you fail to live it?
We love to have everything in our lives look great on paper and fill our calendars with endless activities and tasks to keep us perpetually busy without getting anywhere!
Enough with the hamster wheel mentality! I think many times this happens because we really haven’t created the best system for ourselves. We tend to want to copy everything from others and then try to fit it into our lives. This amounts to nothing more than pounding a square peg into a round whole. We need to rely more on the principle of systems and routines with our own habits and desires and circumstances placed into personally designed systems in order for this to really work to our advantage.
So what does this really look like in our day to day lives?
I love the idea of morning, evening, work start up, shutdown, and other natural based systems in our lives. Micheal Hyatt calls them rituals, but the principle is still the same.
We need to delineate out exactly what we need to do in order to be the most successful in virtually every phase or task of our day. This seems like overkill sometimes but in my experience it is much more easy to adjust a very structured routine to fit unplanned for events than it is to try and tackle everything we encounter in the moment.
We really don’t have as much unpredictability in our lives as we try to think. Almost all things could have been seen long beforehand with proper planning and vision. Our choices and whether we choose to follow the correct systems help us to calculate the real direction in our lives.
I think it’s time to be better! It’s time to put into place the systems you need in your life to be successful in every area.
It’s time to act with courage and live up to our own high expectations or fix our low expectations of ourselves.
I am here to help you at The Healthy Educator, now let me show you!
In this episode I want to talk about how gratitude can drive our life in the positive direction! We have a very unique opportunity to work in an amazing field and the more we keep our thoughts in the right mindset we will so much better. This mindset needs to be coming from a space of gratitude rather than lacking. Let's be better and go create the world we desire!
In this episode we talk about how mental triggers are one of the fastest and most effective ways to build new habits. Each day at school I have a few key practices that really help me to maintain my mental triggers. The students and staff think I am a little crazy with one of them but I am more concerned with my habit formation than what people think. Whenever I come to a set of stairs I need to go up I literally “hit the stairs running!” I am not trying to make a statement but rather to keep a healthy habit by connecting the run with every time I approach stairs.
Another thing I do to help maintain my sanity is to practice deep breathing every time I enter the elevator at school. As soon as the elevator door closes I get some really deep breaths in to help calm my stress down. As simple and mundane as these habits and triggers seem it can be that easy to get on the road to new habits.
Mental triggers are one of the fastest and most effective ways to build new habits. All you need to do is tie your new behavior to a trigger, something you do everyday, so that your brain can start mapping the new desirable behavior. No matter who you are, your brain can change and this a great way to get it rolling!
In our last post we talked about the motivation energy needed to get habits started and this process of using mental or behavioral triggers is an automatic win we create for ourselves to keep that motivational energy high so we can power through and create the systems necessary to carry us through to ingrained habits.
One of the cool things about using simple triggers we engage in every day is we have the ability to chain them together throughout our day to create the life we love. Here is an example.
As you get up in the morning you have a bottle of water right by your alarm so before you even get up you have a large drink of water to start your body off right. As you walk into the bathroom your workout clothes are already laid on the counter so you just slip them on. As you walk into the front room your workout equipment is out in the location you need it for your workout. As you stop to get your kids breakfast ready you pause at the refrigerator because you have a trigger to think of a positive thought each time you open the door. And on and on and on.
Your habits and new life are basically predetermined by the triggers and behaviors you already have set and in this example it’s only 6:00 in the morning and you are won the day!
Now you need to look at your habits and routines and find out which ones you could build triggers into to make this healthy new life a reality!
I am here to help you on this journey! Come check out our resources in other sections of The Healthy Educator!
In this episode we talk about how to instill new habits, systems, and routines into our lives. At any given time we could all do better at something and now is a great time to start!
Throughout our lives we are often finding ourselves needing to instill new habits and desire to make ourselves better. Sometimes we get really motivated to make a change and start to make exercise a part of our lives or we promise to begin eating healthier. We commit to always being on time, etc. All of these habits are a great idea but maintaining healthy habits is something most in the world really struggle with.
We often fail to form new habits because we haven’t built the systems we need to make the new habit the easiest course of action. Look at your barriers and distractions before you embark on the journey so you can eliminate the decision in the moment. The new healthy habit needs to be replacing the one you want to eliminate, not adding to it!
The way I think about habit formation is not all that complicated. Most people I have worked with really just want to increase their motivation and think this will be the magic bullet to positive new habits. The reality though is that motivation is fleeting! The energy from motivation is just the startup fuel in our lives. If we choose to see motivation in this light we understand that there is a lot more to the equation.
Before we begin on the journey to new habit formation we can plan to use the motivation energy to see the barriers and possible distractions that are bound to come up for us. Most of us really know what is going to curtail our efforts to start new habits. We have tried so many times to do new things that it becomes ingrained in us why we are going to fail! If we can learn to analyze what might become a barrier then we can start to build systems and routines around this reality. If we build our systems to bypass or jump over our barriers then it pretty quickly becomes the easiest course of action. The better and better we get with this process our success in new habits is almost an inevitability! Pretty amazing huh?
One other important point to address is a great idea coined by Tom Ziglar from the Ziglar organization. That idea is that “the fastest way to a new habit is to replace an old one.” This allows us to use the already defined cues and systems our brain is wired for and create a new product or result in our lives. This is such an amazing principle but it requires a new level of understanding about why we engage in our habits in the first place. The potential is high so we better get chasing the best version of ourselves by instilling some new amazing habits!
I am excited to see what you come up with in your lives!
In this episode we are going to talk about how your life needs to be lived on purpose, not by default. If you have a deep, direct purpose each day as an educator your life and your students lives will find their own deep purpose. If you aren’t currently, you need to start living your life on purpose!
This is going to require a higher level of clarity in your planning and approach each and every day. I have found in education it is very easy to get pulled into the fast paced life of your school, your district, your family and you are controlled by all of the systems outside of yourself. The better you get at your job the more responsibilities are piled on your plate. Each new program, initiative, or external agenda is now in control of your time more than ever.
Sometimes these new items can be a great benefit to you and your school. Maybe it is the best thing since sliced bread afterall, but on the flip side of this next best thing is your choices being made for you rather than by you.
It is time to start being truly intentional about your life as an educator. You really can have an amazing life but it has to be intentionally created. The pull of the rest of life becomes an almost inescapable vacuum. Micheal Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy call this pull in our lives “the drift.” This drift can take our lives to places we never intended it to go.
If we aren’t careful we become the jaded veteran teacher who is resistant to all change not only at school but in our life outside of school as well. Our relationships suffer with our family, our students, and our colleagues.
I suggest we take a step back and look at how we see ourselves in our lives. We need to return to our deeper purpose in education and our lives. We need to make sure our actions in our career are aligning with our life plan. If we find ourselves needing to realign then decide whether being in education is really right for you.
Just because we have put years of work into our career does not justify the rest of our lives being lived in the drift. Make sure you still love it. Make sure you still love the students. Most importantly, make sure this career is bringing out the best version of yourself, not the worst. If you are needing help to find that passion again because you truly want to stay in education, you need to work with me. If you are done with education then go find your passion, no judgement here. It’s just not worth your life and the lives of your students to give anything less than your best.
I look forward to helping you on your journey!
In this episode we talk about how important it is for us to be real and authentic with our students and those around us.
We have this tendency as educators to keep our lives outside of school completely separate from our school lives. There are some valid reasons why we try to do this but it really brings about an interesting dynamic. The kids we teach are very much able to track how we really are doing when it comes to our lives as humans. When we undertake to cover our real lives outside of school the students can track that are putting on a show and we aren’t real with them.
As soon as we as humans know those around us are not real we are not going to connect with them. We automatically turn off if we feel that sense of the other being fake.
As educators we have got to be able to connect with our students if we have any hope of really making a difference. This also means we need to find a way to connect our lives outside of school to our lives inside of school. We need to find a way to just be the best version of ourselves regardless of where we are.
Your students and colleagues need to know you are a real person! Find a way to connect your life outside of school to those around you. This promotes a healthy balance for you and those around you are able to see you more as a person rather than an object!
When we start to see others as objects instead of real people with their own thoughts, feelings, and in this case, their own lives, we treat them differently and refuse to connect. It is very easy to not learn from someone who we think is an object. It is also very easy to learn from someone who we see as a valuable and connected person invested in our welfare. This concept of bringing our whole selves into more public relationships is a very vulnerable place to be.
Most of us humans are not great at being vulnerable and might even argue in education that we don’t want all of our personal lives known by our students. Brene Brown, when teaching about vulnerability, said true vulnerability is not about the amount of disclosure but is about the amount of courage it takes to share themselves. This is very true when it comes to education and our connection to our students. It’s time to be courageous and start being real people with our students! We don’t have to share every detail of our lives, but we have got to connect and be real. If you are struggling to show up as the best version of yourself come sign up for coaching with me and start to show up better!
In this episode we talk about how to avoid decision debt and enhance our ability to make great nutritional choices in our lives.
Everyday we are faced with mountains of decisions. These range from ultra mundane to quite important when it comes to how we react in our relationships. Most current psychology would tell us that our brains have a very defined amount of decision making ability throughout a given day or time period.
When we have used most of our mental and emotional energy up we start to operate from a place of decision debt.
We are in the drained state we really start to struggle with our most appropriate decisions. What seem like easy decisions now carry an extraordinary weight because we simply don’t have the mental and emotional fuel necessary to make the best decisions. Now our lives are a little bit of a crap shoot. This becomes very apparent when we are making decisions about what we eat.
Most of us tend to make poorer decisions about our food late at night or right after stressful circumstances in our lives. Our brains just don’t have the fuel necessary to focus on a higher level cognitively. If we haven’t managed our lives well enough before we tackle the day then our afternoon to evening time frame becomes a scary place nutritionally.
On the surface there is an easy fix. We simply need to make as many important decisions when are operating from a place of high mental and emotional energy. Making sure we are in our best state of mind when making important decisions will ensure we have our higher level cognitive tasks available to us. This means we have got to make our food decisions, for the most part, before we ever are faced with the decision. This is going to require a higher level of planning for most of us!
We really need to decide that we matter enough to make the time to plan way before we are placed in decision debt mentality. If needed we can really try to track our decisions for a day and see how aware of our choices we really have been. It might surprise us what we are willing to do when we are tired or stressed.
Commit now to a whole new level of planning in your life for your food choices. Decide that you matter enough to make your nutrition one of the most important decisions you have to make each day! Come work with me at The Healthy Educator to get started on your plan and we can get you to the best version of the new you!
In this episode we talk about how what you choose to eat effects the way you feel at work. We'll chat about what you need to eat and how to figure out where you stand currently.
The more and more I work with people on their health journeys and the more research I am exposed to I am beginning to understand the vast differences in each of our nutritional needs. There are some basic needs for all of us but to give a one shot, catch all recommendations regarding our nutritional needs is just bad practice. This also means that each of us is going to need to embark on a journey to find out what we need in order to feel awesome and give our bodies the fuel they need.
This process really needs to start with our own awareness of what we are actually putting in our bodies and the return on that investment. Until we are very aware and our understanding is increased this means we are going to need to track everything we consume to catch a glimpse of where we are starting.
The most important quick items to track is our macronutrients. Basically we need to know how much carbohydrate, protein, and fat we are consuming each day. This might mean educating yourself about what you are currently eating, what those foods contain, and most importantly how those foods actually affect the way you feel.
If you are struggling to maintain your energy levels, lose weight, or stay focused then it is time to track everything you eat and see how it is affecting you.
Ultimately you deserve to feel better and if you are going to show up as the best version of yourself then you must embark on this journey.
Most of us in America really struggle with our understanding of our macronutrient needs. We have been sold that fat is bad, we need lots of protein, and everything we consume contains sugar.
At a quick glance we need to understand that as long as we are consuming healthy fats we can consume large quantities of fat in our diet. Most of us consume way too many carbohydrates and the wrong kind. We typically consume large amounts of simple carbohydrates like sugar, white flour, white rice, etc.
If we are going to choose to consume carbohydrates they should be complex whole grains of many varieties. We need to expand our horizons outside of whole wheat to include rice, oats, barley, etc.
Our bodies really don’t need a lot of protein to maintain a great healthy lifestyle. Most of us in America consume way more protein in our typical diet than we could ever use in a healthy way. I have even seen many mistakenly think that the popular ketogenic diets are high in protein which is really not the case. We need to make sure we have accurate information when it comes to our nutrition choices!
I challenge all of you to track what you eat for at least a week and see where you currently stand. Become aware of exactly what you are putting in your body and how this makes you feel. Get rid of your excuses and make your nutrition a priority. I am here to help you at The Healthy Educator. Come sign up for our teacher tips or a coaching session with me so we can get you started on a better path to the best you!
In this episode we talk about how our thoughts around the food we eat effect our daily lives in our teaching.
One of the most consistent aspects of your job is the high level of mental and emotional strain that comes with working in education. This can be a great avenue of growth but most of the time it is the leading cause of burnout rather than growth. If we desire to use this mental and emotional strain as a growth opportunity we have to be able to show up with a high level of mental clarity and emotional energy across the entire day with our students and colleagues.
One of the most important variables in order to maintain a high level of mental and emotional energy is the food we put in our body. This high level of energy is really the fuel that drives everything we do well in education.
“You are what you eat” usually isn’t correlated with your life as an educator, but what if it has “everything” to do with your life as an educator? Your ability to bring the best version of yourself by maintaining your mental clarity, emotional focus, and steady energy throughout long hard days is most often directly related to what we eat!
Exercise has a huge role in this equation as well but I have trained so many people who just can’t out train poor nutrition, no matter how hard they work!
When we talk about the concept of “you are what you eat,” we are not talking about our food making us look a certain way at all. I am very intentionally talking about the way we mentally and emotionally show up each day is related to what we eat.
In order to keep it simple we each need to focus on good natural food as much as possible. Tons of vegetables, a variety of fruit, and very few simple carbohydrates. If you choose carbohydrates then make sure they are complex whole grains and seek those outside of your standard wheat products.
Sugar is going to be the enemy to your mental clarity and physical energy!
We need to be consuming high quality protein sources such as fish, poultry, legumes, beans and avoid red and processed meats.
We need to make sure we are consuming lots of healthy fats. These are usually healthy oils in cooking, nuts, avocados, and other plant fat sources.
Another unfortunate side effect is when we are experiencing brain fog or headaches or other body aches because of the food we eat we are much less likely to exhibit the emotional stability and motivation necessary to show up as a great educator. I understand it can sometimes be an insurmountable task to manage all of the mental and emotional feelings we experience every day. I also understand that our ability to manage these feelings and issues is so much dependent on the fuel we give our brain and body!
If food is a struggle for you then come sign up for a mini session with me so we can get your thoughts wrapped around a new approach so you can start increasing your energy levels and start showing up as a better version of yourself!
In this episode we'll talk about how to simplify your decisions. One of the hardest tasks you will be faced with in life is the ability to simplify and distill your life down to the most important behaviors to be successful and happy in life.
Even though this is a difficult task is it absolutely necessary!
I haven’t seen too many scenarios where making the situation more complicated helps anything.
This is so true when it comes to our health and wellness journeys as well.
As educators you are going to have to keep your systems as simple as possible in order to accomplish the most possible and maintain a semblance of sanity in your life!
The amount of mental and emotional energy needed to maintain a complicated and drama filled life is just not realistic as an educator.
On the broad scale I suggest we follow a few steps in order to create a higher sense of simplicity in our lives.
First, we need to take a step back from our system and make sure our values are defined and recorded.
These are the principles or beliefs that guide our lives and they should also guide any new system or habit we are creating. They should be used as a gateway or checkpoint when we make new decisions in our lives.
Next, I think we need to become extremely clear about what the result is we are desiring. This extreme sense of clarity is essential in order to know the path to walk. Wandering will never create what you are looking for!
Once we have gained clarity about our result we need to create the simplest path to get to that result.
The simplest path also needs to pass the values checkpoint to make sure we are not short circuiting our integrity.
The next step is to clear the pathway of tasks that do not help us on the way to our result.
As educators we are notorious for cluttering our lessons, classrooms, computers and ultimately our lives with useless distractions that does not serve us or our systems well!
Stay on top of your life and keep it simple!
I fully understand this is not the same as the easiest route. Often the path of least resistance doesn’t have the momentum to actually drive the result.
Simple decisions can often be very difficult, just not complicated.
If your life seems to be spinning out of control at school, at home, or anywhere else then you need to work with me! Come sign up to work with me at The Healthy Educator.
In this episode we'll talk about how to create the margin you need to fit in exercise and be the best version of yourself!
As I have worked with people over the years the biggest struggle I always see when it comes to exercising is the time constraints in our lives. There is a prevailing idea that we are just so busy and there are too many things to worry about exercising. For my thoughts about being busy check out my previous blog and podcast on Badges of Busyness.
If you are struggling to fit in exercise then it is time to re-examine your priorities and create the time to take care of yourself. More often than not this means getting to bed earlier and getting up earlier. You might even have to stop telling your brain you aren’t a morning person!
Ultimately this issue really comes down to priorities. Every person has the same amount of time and we just get to choose what we do with it. Most of us are notorious for taking on too much and choosing to buffer with all sorts of other things that don’t serve us well.
This buffering might be Netflix, ESPN, work, or anything else we choose to engage in instead of feeling the struggle of exercising. There is a wall that raises when it comes to getting moving and starting the exercise session. I have felt this so many times myself and it can be hard!
Don’t give in and buffer when you are facing this wall, I beg of you!
I have seen individuals where they weren’t engaging in buffering a lot but they have filled virtually every minute of their lives with family events, activities with kids, work, community work, and on and on. Most of these items are great things to be engaged in but if we aren’t careful we don’t carve out time for exercise or anything else to take care of ourselves. If you find yourself in this situation I suggest you examine your life priorities and start creating the life you really want for yourself. If you don’t do this you will find yourself struggling with disease, body issues, more mental and emotional disorders, and so many other problems.
Another argument I hear a lot is that people aren’t morning people. There is a little bit to this idea when it comes to an individual's chronotype, but almost always this is our brain telling ourselves that we aren’t a morning people. Our body has an amazing ability to adapt if we are willing to stay consistent.
As always, we can change these thoughts! You do not need to stay in this thought pattern!
For the most part with adults it means we are going to have to get up early to engage in consistent exercise. This also means we have to get to bed so we can maintain the early rising behavior over the long term. This is quite possibly the biggest barrier I have encountered when it comes to long term success with exercise habits. So many of us are just not willing to get to bed.
Enough with the excuses about why you can’t make exercise a part of your life!
I am here to help you be awesome! Come sign up to work with me at The Healthy Educator and we can get you on your road to a better version of yourself!
In this episode we are going to talk about exercise and our thoughts about making it a priority in our lives. I have spent so much time training, pleading, coaching, and just plain screaming about the importance of exercise in our lives that I have been ready to give up more times than I can count! I have even begun to think that maybe there was some way around the necessity of exercise because it just seems like an impossible sell for so many I have dealt with.
Here’ the deal though:
If you want to be the best version of yourself, in turn becoming the best educator you can imagine, then you MUST make exercise a part of your life. There are no ways around this reality, your body and brain was designed for you to move!
For some reason there seems to be such a prevailing pattern in people's thoughts about exercise.
Our minds trick us into thinking that exercise hurts, it sucks, you weren’t born to exercise like some people, and on and on.
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” we tell ourselves.
The trouble is that the previous statement is a flat out lie, spawned from the infernal realm of our minds!
Your body is only willing to do whatever your mind tells it to, period!
Really this is just our cop out, the lie we tell ourselves because we don’t want to face the reality of our truth:
Our spirit is weak, never our body!
I have had individuals tell me they just don’t care enough to exercise and ultimately that is true.
However, when we start to accept ideas like this in our minds we have settled on mediocrity and in effect told ourselves, our families, our students, that none of them matter enough to show up as the best version of ourselves.
If you want all of the amazing benefits that come with exercise we have to start paying the mental and emotional price necessary to implement this practice.
Enough with the excuses! Start showing up as a better version by creating time to implement exercise into your life!
I am here to help you on this journey! Come sign up for a mini session with me to get you started on a training plan to awesome!
In the past few episodes we talked about stress and how we can identify and manage our stress in our life. This is a tough process to zone in on for ourselves but one that is absolutely necessary for our future selves. If we don’t learn to manage our thoughts and in turn decrease our stress in life then it is calculated to take us to a wide range of health problems for ourselves throughout our lives. Remember you have full control of your thoughts!
If we don’t make the choice to learn to manage our thoughts our mind and body will eventually break. We are not able to stay in a high stress state without all of the negative consequences.
Our mind starts to lose its ability to remember important things in our lives and show our true emotions. Our ability to control our emotions and stay in a stable mental state is compromised very quickly!
Our heart stays in a higher stressed state as well. This high stress state leads to a higher incidence of heart disease. Our body is pretty constantly producing cortisol leading to more stored body fat and less control of our body systems.
Our relationships start to suffer because we become permanently short tempered with those around us. We start to see everything in a negative light and start justifying negative behaviors because of the stress we are constantly under all the time.
Eventually our mind will start to create an alternate space for us to escape too in an attempt at self preservation. This alternate space separates us from the most meaningful relationships of our lives and leads to broken marriages, fractured families, stale and burned out careers!
Every marriage, family, or company failure is always preceded by a leadership failure of the primary leaders involved.
We must find a way to manage our thoughts in the beginning to mitigate the amount of constant pressure we find ourselves under to fulfill our life’s dreams! If we don’t learn to manage ourselves then life is calculated to lead us into broken paths.
I am here to help you!
Come work with me at The Healthy Educator by signing up for a mini session. Come download our guide to dealing with tough people to mitigate your stress. Come sign up for our weekly teacher tips. Whatever you need to do, go do it, but don’t just let it slide and suffer the consequence. I will see you on the inside!
In this episode we talk about how to learn to manage our mind when it comes to the stress response. In this practice we really start to recognize that almost all stress is self imposed and we way more control than we ever imagined!
In our last post we talked about recognizing when our body enters the stress response and then identifying what was happening just before so that we can address the root cause.
Once we have correctly identified what is actually causing us stress we start to realize that almost all stress is self imposed!
Our thoughts are causing all of the stressful feelings in the first place. Then we can set off to work on those thoughts, mitigating the root cause of most of the stress in our lives!
A helpful place to begin in with Brooke Castillo’s thought model to understand how our brain really works and how much control we have over our outcomes.
In the CTFAR model it lays out the following:
Circumstances may cause
Thoughts which may cause
Feelings which cause
Actions which drive our
Lead to more thoughts and continue the cycle. The key very quickly begins the task of learning that our thoughts are so powerful in whether we continue to cause stress for ourselves or not! We start to see that the way look at the stress can either continue the cycle in a negative way or we can change the thoughts if needed.
Our thoughts about the stress in the first place could decide whether its a negative experience or a positive growth experience.
This is the most important idea you as an educator can wrap your mind around!
If your thoughts about a stressful experience can be shifted to see it differently then we actually learn and grow rather than being weighed down by the experience.
Our brain will actually change the way we see ourselves and our students when we learn to change our perception of the stress response.
We stop buffering the stress response and start welcoming it to learn from it.
Our body is able to mitigate a lot of the physical implications that come with a negative stress response because those experiences happen so rarely if we truly understand what we are doing with our thoughts!
Let's start managing our thoughts about stress so that your life and work can be an amazing learning experience instead of a constant barrage of stress!
I am here to help you on your journey at The Healthy Educator! Stay connected and let me help you on the way!
Go sign up for a mini session with me to get started on a plan to become the best version of yourself as an educator!
In this episode we talk about our bodies physiological response to stress and how we can recognize this in order to define the root causes for us. Once we are able to define these causes we have hope in mitigating the negative effects!
When we think about the concept of stress in most people it automatically causes more stress because of the negative associations around that word. This really does not have to be the case. There are some implications of being in a stressed state all the time but the good news is we can learn to recognize our bodies physiological responses and understand what is actually happening in our brain that brings on these feelings. Once we learn how our brain and body respond we realize stress is almost completely in our control! We also learn that this state is not always a bad thing. Some of the most amazing experiences in life require us to be in a stressed state.
One of the first signs we can learn to recognize that we have started entering a stressed state is our heart rate automatically increases when the stress response is triggered. We really don’t even need to feel our pulse because we know if our heart starts racing.
The next sign to pay attention to in our physiological response is our breathing. Once the stress response is triggered we start to engage in shallow quick breathing. This is why everyone always tells us to slow down and take a deep breath. We just need to stop and recognize our breathing pattern. Usually just by stopping to think about it we can slow it down if its a negative response.
The next sign that I feel is useful is to pay attention to is our brain. When we enter the stress response our thinking goes out the window. There are very technical reasons for this in our brain, but to keep it simple we just need to stop and see if it's easy to think clearly about what is going on in our brain. If we find it a struggle to think clearly then we are probably in a stress response.
These are great places to start when it comes to recognizing that our body has entered the stress response. Once we recognize the response we can check into what we were thinking, doing, seeing, etc. Once we know what we were thinking, doing, seeing, etc. then we can make changes if necessary.
The most important step in being able to manage the stress in our life is the ability to identify what is actually causing the stress. This allows us the ability to actually manage the root cause. As Dr. Daniel Siegel said, “You have to name it to tame it!”
As you are learning to identify your root causes of stress I am here for you! Stay connected here at The Healthy Educator for resources and help on your journey!
Go sign up for a mini session with me to help you get started on a plan to being the best version of yourself!
In another podcast we talked about you searching for why you really are an educator. In this episode we talk about the importance of connecting with our "Why" on a daily basis! The concept of beginning with why was coined several years ago by Simon Sinek and has been put into thousands of situations since.
There is no place more relevant than our roles as educators!
We must find a way to shift our daily focus to “why” we are doing what we are doing instead of constantly being focused on the how or what we are doing all the time.
There is definitely a place for the how and what of our job as educators, but this cannot be our primary focus each day. If you wish for your career to be sheer drudgery then focus solely on the how or what we do each day.
This misguided focus will lead to superficial relationships and an easier job, but ultimately is hollow in its approach.
If you find yourself on the road to burnout or mired deep in the burnout trough then it’s time to get back to your why.
One of the first steps to you reigniting your desire to teach is finding a way to reconnect with your “why.” It is imperative that you find a way to reconnect to this deeper purpose on a daily basis or you will soon find yourself headed straight for burnout!
I wish I didn’t have to witness the decline but I have seen tough class periods turn into tough days, turn into tough weeks, tough months, tough semesters, tough years, and ultimately tough careers.
This is quite sad from a bird’s eye view but is all too common and easy to fall into.
We fail to see the joy and purpose in what we do.
We get caught up in all the “stuff” and the “game” of school until all of the pleasure is sucked right out of our daily routine.
This reconnection point needs to be an intentional act for it to build the momentum and consistency required to keep up with the best version of ourselves.
This means we have to actually look for “why” moments each day!
Set a timer, start a journal, record voice memos, or any other way to record and intentionally connect to these why moments on a daily basis in order to build the career you always dreamed of!
I am here for you on your journey, stay connected at The Healthy Educator for great resources to help you along the way.
In this episode we talk about why we really want to be educators and why that is so vitally important to figuring out why we really are doing the things we are doing!
I imagine all educators have been in a professional development meeting where they were asked why they got into education. I have heard responses ranging from “I just wanted to help change lives,” to “ I just liked the schedule and wanted to have summers off.” There is always a sarcastic response about how much money we don’t make as educators and how much we love to deal with tough parents and students. We've all been there!
I wish for you to stop right now though and ponder on this question for your current station:
Why are you really an educator?
I really feel like for myself that my purpose has changed several times throughout my short career so far. This has ranged from needing a consistent job for my family to the ability to help a very special and vulnerable age of youth find themselves.
Thankfully I am closer to the latter currently!
As we ponder about our real reason for doing what we do it gives us a foundation, or lack of one, to stand on in our personal interactions with our students and colleagues every day.
The answer to this question also is a direct reflection of our current thoughts about ourselves.
As we examine our deeper purposes we inadvertently expose our true selves and our performance becomes very clear to those watching us.
This can be a great thing, or stand as a conviction.
One thing is always true as an educator though, if you have no desire to actually help the students you work with become better then education is not for you.
There are so many things you could do to make money. You owe it to yourself and your family to do something you love that matters in the world.
If you feel like your desire to change lives through teaching has died out then it is time to embark on whatever journey necessary to rekindle that fire! Many lives, and most importantly your life is on the line!
I hope for your sake and all those around you that you find your passion again or for the first time so you can become the best version of yourself and help those around you do the same!
Stay connected with us here at The Healthy Educator for great resources to help you on your journey!
In this episode we talk about the importance of treating yourself as a whole person and setting personal and family goals just like we do in the professional realm.
I have heard many educators talk about keeping their home life separate from their school life in order to maintain some semblance of professionalism. On the surface this sounds great, but in reality we really are not able to compartmentalize in this way.
Our real self will shine through for the good or bad.
If our family or home life is struggling then our thoughts and behaviors at school will always be affected by this reality. We are all just people striving to help other people become better people and we can’t hide portions of ourselves and make this a reality.
One of the best ways to keep this balanced reality to set equally rigorous goals in our families and personal life.
As educators we have a great need to make sure our life is going well outside of school. We should have just as many personal and family goals as we do professional and financial goals.
When we place just as much or more value upon our personal and family life as we do our work and professional life we will begin to see all areas of our life enhanced.
The better version of our whole selves we create the better all areas of our life become!
As educators, it's time to become better.
It's time to be the awesome individuals we want our students to be.
We need to take a large scale look at ourselves and see which areas of our life need improvement and take the next steps to improve them.
Set goals, plan to achieve them, carry out your plan, make adjustments and go again!
I am here to help you along your journey! Stay connected at The Healthy Educator for great resources to help you become the best version of yourself!
In this episode we talk about the importance of scheduling our priorities and taking control of our calendar when it comes to our life goals.
Our lives as people in general and especially as teachers are overfilled with tasks to complete, people to help, things to learn, and just so much stuff it about drives us crazy!
Most of this craziness is brought on by ourselves and our lack of clarity in regards to time management. Understanding that this lies in our control is huge in creating a successful life for ourselves.
When it comes to prioritizing your schedule I suggest you always follow Stephen Covey’s advice and “don’t prioritize your schedule but schedule your priorities.”
You will never “find” extra time if you allow others to dictate your schedule. Your life’s biggest priorities deserve blocked time on your calendar that are not negotiable.
First you must define your values and priorities. Once you have defined your values you should be able to place your priorities into appointments on your calendar.
All other appointments should work around these priorities and not the other way around!
Another valuable principle is the idea of Brooke Castillo’s that one of the best ways to save time is to fail! In doing this we begin to create our time pockets rather than our time controlling us!
As educators we need to stop being at the whim of everything else around us and begin taking control of your time by scheduling your priorities as non negotiable appointments. Good luck in your work and remember to stay connected at The Healthy Educator to see new resources to help you become the best version of yourself!
In this episode we talk about the importance of connecting our teaching to our deeper purpose and getting beyond the content we present to our students. As educators we get comfortable teaching the same lessons or topics year after year and this experience can be a great thing as we refine our teaching and those lessons get better and better each time. We tend to keep our focus on whether the students have mastered the content and whether the information we give them has transferred enough to help them score well on the assessments we give them. If we get students to master the content we are considered successful and our teaching was a success!
Or was it?
While the situation described previously is usually our measure of success, what if that is not what the students needed at all?
What if our role really was to actually make the students better people, and not just better at repeating information?
What if we actually shifted our role beyond that of informant and assessor, to a leader?
What if we saw ourselves and our students as individuals who all have unique needs, dreams, passions, desires, interests?
What if we saw our “home” self as the same person who has been called to lead all these awesome young people to become the best version of themselves because we are working feverishly right alongside them to accomplish the same in ourselves?
If we truly desire to take our teaching to a new level and be the change leaders we desire then we must find a way to connect our teaching everyday to a deeper purpose!
In order to connect our teaching to a deeper purpose, we must first see ourselves and those we teach in a different light. Our purpose is not only to impart information but to actually make ourselves and those around us better people.
In order to help someone be better we must see them as people, not objects.
We cannot teach something that we aren’t, and if we want to teach the youth to be awesome people, then it demands that we are awesome people as well!
The good news is you are already awesome and can continue to work towards becoming an even better version of yourself everyday. I am here to help you on your journey!
Stay connected at The Healthy Educator to make sure you don’t miss steps that will help on your road.
In this episode we talk about the relationship between consistency and intensity and the effect it has on us in education. Keep listening!
I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of people on their health journey. Everyone seems to be a little different place in their lives and we are all very different people. The one thing I have seen across the board is almost all people struggle with consistency in adopting healthy behaviors.
The world of education is not immune to these same struggles. In some ways adopting new way so thinking, feeling, and behaving can be more difficult in the world of education.
One thing I have noticed in myself is how difficult it can be to create new systems that allow us to maintain consistency across our thoughts and behaviors. Once we hit the school year and classroom it is so easy to give in to the intensity of our circumstance and do things the same way we always have.
The intensity with which we tackle life must match our ability to maintain consistency in the approach. Be careful not to allow our intensity to rob of us consistency!
This can happen just with the pace of the school day and year, but also when we try to tackle too many changes at once we end up giving in to the intensity.
Our minds can only maintain a certain level of intensity without demanding a break. This break will happen by design, by us, or by our brain’s default which undermines our growth and progress.
We must learn how to maintain consistency in order to be successful in our lives, thus affecting our students. In order to maintain consistency we need to manage the intensity in our lives appropriately.
Stay connected to us here at The Healthy Educator to get help on your journey!
In this episode we talk about the attitude we enter our classrooms with. If you feel like you are struggling to maintain your motivation then stay tuned!
The longer I have been teaching I have noticed more and more how our attitude in the classroom really affects our ability to make the change we seek in our students. This is quite a bit different that just putting on a happy face all the time but that is a good place to start.
This is directly related to how we see and manage ourselves in the larger picture of education, while simultaneously being able to see each individual student as a person with unique needs, abilities and desires.
If you feel like your desire to change lives through teaching has died out then it is time to embark on whatever journey necessary to rekindle that fire! Many lives, and most importantly, your life, are on the line!
Your life is far too important to dread showing up to work each day. This serves no one! Your life is going to suffer, your family is going to suffer, and your students are going to suffer.
The good news is that we can shift the way we view ourselves in this larger picture. We can change what we think about the big picture of education. These thoughts about us in the big picture can shape the way we feel about our role in education and those feelings will ultimately change our actions, leading to better results.
If you feel like you have lost yourself then keep connecting with us here at The Healthy Educator on your journey to finding yourself again!
In this episode of The Healthy Educator Podcast we talk about eliminating our badges of busyness and why we need to find clarity in our work and focus on doing the right things instead of more things!
One of the most common responses to life’s great questions, “how are you doing?” is something to do with how busy we all are. We all seem to have more to do than there is time in our lives and it has swung the pendulum to the point that we tend to wear busyness as a badge of honor. This is not a badge we need to be honoring! Rather this is a sign that we lack clarity about our life’s direction. It’s time we swung the pendulum back in the direction of doing the right things instead of more things.
We all are going to have seasons of life which are more busy than others but there has to be some common sense in all of this. We have a tendency to over commit and under perform in most areas of our lives. In education this couldn’t be more true!
Many of us really struggle to say no as the requests are piled upon us by students, administrators, and colleagues. I really like the often said advice about most requests being an automatic no until further review.
I have also noticed in education that we have a tendency to create a lot of extra work for ourselves. We need to process the time it will take to grade certain types of assignments, whether our class procedures actually save time or take time, etc. Our lives in education really need a reset button to allow us to redirect our clarity back to what is most important for ourselves and our students. Most of the time this redirect will require us to cut, take away, and simplify, not add to our time requirements!
No more badges of busyness please, not in education. Rather let's shoot for clear, focused, meaningful work! Stay connected to us here at The Healthy Educator for useful teacher life tips, courses and resources to help you be the best version of yourselves!