• cressida fitzsimons

Getting Wellbeing “Write”


HOCUS POCUS EVERYBODY FOCUS!

If the chant didn’t give it away – this is one for the teachers out there!

Jasmin Wilkinson, a Drama Teacher, Inspirational Quote Finder, Wellbeing Advocate, Cat Acrobatic Trainer and Admin of a popular Teacher Wellbeing Group (all official titles of course…) has asked me to write a blog about how I used Journaling to support my Wellbeing as a Teacher.

And here it is…

Ahem...

Wellbeing is a fluid and deeply individual concept. It is for this reason that journaling may or may not work for you. Or even, may or may not work for you every week, month or year that you do it. And that’s OK. It’s just another tool in the toolbox toward Wellbeing Warrior status!

When I talk to my clients, teachers or schools about Wellbeing, I break it down into 5 keys areas that I think demystify what is a big, individual and elusive piece of terminology. Wellbeing for me is a state of contentedness, health, fulfilment, meaning and balance and I think this is reflected in my journaling.

So, with no further ado, let’s go through 6 pages in my journal that I think are key to getting Wellbeing ‘Write’ for me!

1. New Year’s Resolutions & Goals

Some people hate New Year’s Resolutions – I love them! In fact, I’m almost 100% certain that people who hate them may be haven’t figured out how to set, measure and celebrate them properly yet! Setting yearly goals helps me to feel fulfilled and gives my life a sense of meaning that goes beyond the daily grind! I set a series of tiny goals, categorise them and plan how and when I’ll achieve them. I then write them up, prettify them and check in on them every month.

2. Health & Fitness Logs

A healthy body and mind are key to good wellbeing. I like to keep track of various things in this area to be certain I am taking care of myself as well as to celebrate my wins!

3. Monthly Set Up & Habit Tracker

Every month, I set up a “Monthly Spread.” Besides the fact that I find it cathartic to sit in my front room surrounded by colourful fine liners, stickers, tape and Harry Potter playing in the background – I also find this a useful task because it helps me to feel in control. My monthly spread has a colour coded calendar, so I know what events, tasks and deadlines I have to complete. I also include a section to outline my goals that month (divided into ‘Work Related,’ ‘Family Related’ and ‘Gym Related’ – though these could be organised in anyway that suits you!) and these link back to the Yearly goals I set earlier. Lastly, I always include a “Habit Tracker” to help me measure, stay accountable to and CELEBRATE the habits I have managed to include or omit from my month! It makes it easier to see THE BIG PICTURE! I also include an inspirational quote because - why not?!

4. Daily Set Up

Daily Spreads are key to winning the day! I include my daily to do list, a gratitude log and a space for affirmations. I’ll usually do this after stretching and watching a motivational video on YouTube! Depending on my mood, I may do a “done list” too. This helps to remind me that even if I don’t get through my endless to dos – it doesn’t mean I have been unproductive!

I’m fond of splitting up my to do list in 6 sections:

Teaching Related Tasks: Lesson Planning, Resource Making, Interventions, etc

Paperwork: Marking, Report writing, Emails, Meetings, etc

Team: Tasks I can delegate to TA, children, my family, etc

Personal: Food shopping, chores, etc

Fulfilment: Gym, Walking, Bubble Bath, Cinema Trip, etc.

Other: Other!

I then number these tasks 1-3.

1 must be done by me and it has to be done today.

2 must be done by me and this week.

3 can be delegated or doesn’t have to be done this week.

The great thing here – Fulfilment tasks are ALWAYS 1 so Wellbeing is always on your to do list AND a top priority!

5. Other Fun Stuff

Because I like pretty things and lists…

These things just ensure I do stuff I love outside work; watch movies, read books, learn, draw etc.

They also keep me focused on the bigger picture of my life; saving, moods, future log, etc!

6. Teacher Stuff

A part of having good wellbeing for me – meant feeling good at my job – which was a hard thing to do in teaching, so I made pages to support this. To help me feel in control and set little targets I felt I needed to work on: Using PPA time effectively, talking to parents regularly, etc

Epiphany?

Outside the fact that Wellbeing is the elephant in the room when it comes to the teaching vocation, it is nigh impossible to achieve if you do not adequately define and measure what it means to you on an individual level too! It’s like trying to mark an essay without a marking scheme, without any knowledge on the topic and without an insight into that child’s history and progress to date!

Without knowing what wellbeing is, how it fits into your story and how you’re going to measure it – you are going to struggle to ever feel like you’re progressing! Journaling is my marking scheme and my reflection time too!

It's not going to be everyone’s cuppa tea – but I don’t think I’d pass without it!

Martin Luther said "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write."

Cressida Fitzsimons said "If you want to change YOUR world, pick up your pen and journal!"

Have an awesome Friyay guys!

Until next time! ;)

xxx


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