- It’s not a program you can complete
There are no steps to follow, boxes to tick off or modules to work through that will mean your wellbeing is taken care of. Instead, think of it as updating your software. You can update parts of your wellbeing, and that will be all you need, until you need to update your software again. It never ends.
- There is no ‘quick-fix’
No pills shakes or boot camps can provide you with a ‘wellbeing quick-fix’. Yes, some things will improve your wellbeing in the short term, like sleep-ins or a massage, but they aren’t the only things you need to be doing to improve your wellbeing.
- It’s your responsibility
Your wellbeing begins with you. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if wellbeing mattered, someone else would do something about it, but truth is, you can’t outsource your wellbeing to anyone. Not your principal, school leader or colleague. The changes you need to make start with you.
- Self-Care is not wellbeing
I know this is hard to hear… the chocolate at 3pm, morning teas and the odd yoga class, as nice as they are, are more self-care than wellbeing. They make you feel good for a little while, but unless you utilise other tools (like our 5 Domains of Teacher Wellbeing), self-care will only get you so far.
- The Basics Matter
A solid foundation for anything makes a difference, including Teacher Wellbeing. In Physical Self, this is about water, sleep, food and movement and in Mindful Self this is about being mindful in your actions, not acting like you are on auto-pilot or with Mindlessness. Build a solid foundation for your wellbeing.
- Mindfulness is not just meditation
Newsflash, if you don’t like meditation that’s OK, you can be mindful in other ways. As long as you are being present in your actions, calming your mind (and sometimes body) and letting thoughts come ago you are practising mindfulness. This could be done by going for a walk, being creative or just sitting still and breathing.
- It will be hard before it gets easy
As with just about any change process, there will be challenges to overcome. It could be a new way of thinking, new actions you choose to take or old behaviours you replace. If it is hard, that’s OK, most change is.
- You don’t have to be happy all the time
All emotions are valid. They are feedback to you on how you feel about something. Wellbeing doesn’t mean you need to be happy, feel happy or try to be happy all the time. You must recognise your emotions and understand what they mean, how you want to feel and what, if anything, you would like to do about it.
- It’s just as much about thinking as doing
So much of wellbeing is about mindset; the stories you tell yourself and what you choose to focus on. Part of your wellbeing is learning to pay attention to what you are thinking, the decisions you make and how this impacts your day.
- Chocolate isn’t always the answer
Wellbeing is hard, and as much as it might seem like the only thing you can do to make yourself feel better, chocolate doesn’t always fix whatever is going on. When you reach for the chocolate (or whatever your quick-fix is), maybe use it as a sign to ask yourself what area of your wellbeing you could work on instead.