Self-care isn’t selfish.

I am a helper.

This is likely true for many of you, too, considering that education is a nurturing profession. We are often drawn to this field because we care deeply about children.  Then, as we grow professionally, we realize that “caring deeply” applies to families, to colleagues, and to our communities as a whole — and because we care deeply, we are compelled to serve others.

“How can I help?” is my most frequent phrase — not because I’m selfless or always altruistic, but because that’s when I feel the most productive. When I’m helping is when I feel the most useful and the most needed. I’ve learned that this is one of my best traits and also one of my worst.

When I’m at my best, I’m putting others first in an intentional and positive way – but if I’m not careful, I can fall into the trap of setting myself on fire to keep others warm.  I have to be mindful of the fact that when I say yes to others, I cannot say no to myself  —  I cannot neglect my own needs.

During this pandemic and period of societal unrest, when the world is bombarding us with non-stop information, it often seems like there are more questions than answers. This can feel overwhelming and can induce anxious feelings for everyone. This is particularly true for the helpers; we care deeply and yet, we cannot solve this problem.

So now, more than ever, please be sure to take care of yourself. Eat well, sleep well, and get some fresh air — but be sure, too, to find ways to soothe your troubled mind.

Looking for specific resources? Check out these Strategies for Stressful Times. You can also access my full-length webinar on this topic here.

Keep well, friends.

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