Looking after yourself

In December 2014, Martyn Reah wrote this post in which he encourages us to set New Year challenges to look after ourselves better, under five categories:

#connect

#exercise

#notice

#learn

#volunteer

Many tweeters and bloggers have already risen to the challenge – see here. This is my contribution.

#CONNECT 

Since finishing full-time work, I’ve reconnected with friends from all different phases of my life.  I realised at Christmas 2009 as I wrote ‘We must meet up next year…’ in Christmas cards that this was a message I’d probably written for several consecutive years.  So in my Christmas cards 2010, at the end of my first term without a full teaching/leadership commitment, I wrote ‘I’ll contact you in the New Year to find a date just to get together for a cup of tea and a chat’ and that’s what I did.  I’ve reconnected with so many people whose company I really enjoy.  In addition to this, since 2011 I’ve connected with new people through Twitter and reading and responding to blogs.  I count many of my Twitter contacts as friends now, and will continue to give time to talking to them – online and face to face where possible.

#EXERCISE

Frustratingly, finding just half an hour a day to exercise was sometimes difficult when I was a head.  Now I make it a priority.  I have Wii Fit and if I’m at home I spend 30 minutes on it as soon as I get up – I’ve managed to do so for the past five weeks without missing a day.  If I’m working away from home and staying in a hotel with a gym I go to the gym for half an hour before breakfast.  I will be even more disciplined about this in 2015 and not make excuses.  I feel so much better when I start the day with exercise!

#NOTICE

I do get a huge amount from Twitter, but I also know that there are times I’m typing when I could, and should, be interacting with those around me, including my husband! He is an amazing man who deserves more of my time and attention, I think.  I will notice this and respond accordingly more often!

#LEARN

I hope to complete and submit my doctoral thesis in 2015.  I have learnt so much from this – it has challenged and stretched me in ways I don’t think I anticipated.  It has been harder than I expected, I have to say, but that’s a good thing.

#VOLUNTEER

One of the things that gives me great pleasure and satisfaction is supporting aspiring and new leaders at all levels – often contacts through Twitter, including through Twitter coaching.  I will continue to do this – please get in touch through Twitter @jillberry102 if you think I can help in any way.

So those are my thoughts on #teacher5aday. What are yours?

Photo credit: John Berry  ‘Five go to Eden Hall on a spa day’ – friends from the school where I was deputy head. August 2014 #connect

This post was first published on @staffrm in 2015

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