July Special Message – The Importance of Self Care
Posted on July 5, 2022
The First Nations Education Administrators Association recognizes the importance for most education administrators and educators to take time during the summer months to reflect and relax. This FNEAA July Special Announcement will focus on self-care for education administrators and educators.
Self-care is defined as any action you take to improve your health and well-being. Being healthy and in a good frame of mind is essential for both education administrators and educators as you are entrusted with making decisions that are in the best interest of students. In addition, self-care by education administrators is a model for setting a good balance of healthy boundaries amongst co-workers and students.
According to the Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute, the four key dimensions of self-care include: emotional, psychological, physical and emotional health. These dimensions of well-being have been part of the holistic way of life for First Nations.
Physical Self-care involves the body. This includes eating well, drinking water, getting enough sleep and rest and exercise. First Nations’ traditional foods are natural and full of the vitamins and minerals that have sustained our ancestors for millennia. Summer gatherings are a good time to serve and enjoy these natural gifts. Taking walks in the outdoors is also and enjoyable way to get exercise and fresh air, as often education administrators are sedentary during long working hours. Physical self-care also includes your environment. Take time to declutter your surroundings both at home and the office; and pay forward items not longer of use to you but remain of value. This allows for more space in our homes and offices as well as in our minds.
Emotional Self-care involves building relationships with healthy boundaries both in your personal and professional life. It involves management of your energy by addressing issues in a solution-oriented manner. Emotional care involves being kind and giving and receiving love and support from those around you. One of the best ways to practice emotional self-care is to surround yourself with positive people, affirmations and inspirational art.
Psychological Self-care involves thinking, reflecting and personal growth. First Nations have always valued the teachings of elders and experience for their personal development. Take the time to become intuitive with your inner self and give attention to the things that are within your control – your thoughts and feelings. Sharing your thoughts and seeking guidance from Elders is beneficial for psychological self-care as is learning how to meditate.
Spiritual Self-care is connecting with your sense of purpose and life meaning. Taking time to be grateful for each day and its blessings are the essence of First Nations’ traditional way of life. Being mindful of your thoughts and connections to the environment allows you to live in the moment and become aware of the non-material aspects of your life. Spiritual belief is the key to living a happy and fulfilled life and has healing power for your overall well-being.
Taking the time for self-care during the summer when workloads for education administrators is less intense is essential for effective management and clear planning for community educational goals and your personal goals. Promoting and modelling self-care will reduce the precursors for stress and burn-out. As educational leaders, you often focus on helping others achieve productive results. Remember, you are important too; so, take the time to nurture your mind, body, emotions and spirit. Be a role model!
Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute. 4 Key Dimensions of Self-Care. www.ctrinstitute.com