As an educator, your day is super busy! One minute you are welcoming your students and the next minute they are heading out the door! Pausing during the day to check-in with yourself can help you to calm anxiety, increase your feelings of gratitude and make the present moment better. The Power Pause is easy to do and takes less than a minute. You can even do it with your students!
I do a Power Pause 3 times each day and it has really helped to bring my awareness to the present moment. Often it results in me making some small change to make things better. Give it a try and see if it doesn’t benefit you too!
Watch the video (which I have really tried to make fun and entertaining), but if you prefer to read instead, the transcript is below.
Hey there teachers. Today, I want to teach you how to do the power pause. Now the power pause only takes 30 seconds and it is really powerful for three reasons. First, if you’re feeling any anxious feelings, any anxiety, it can really help to calm you down. Second, it can help you to increase your feelings of gratitude. And number three, it can help you to make the present moment a little bit better if there’s something lacking.
I’m Rachel Lynette. You may know me from Minds in Bloom, from teachers by teachers, or from my newest ventures, teach yourself care where I talk all about teacher self care. And today we are going to do the power pause. Now to do the power pause, the first thing you need to do is take one deep breath. Now you want to take this breath by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Now, if you tend to forget where you’re supposed to inhale and where you’re supposed to exhale, one good way to remember it is to think about soup. Imagine that you have a big bowl of really delicious soup in front of you, and you are going to inhale to smell your soup, and then you’re going to exhale to cool it off. So let’s all do this together. We’re going to take our one deep breath.
Good job. Now, of course, you can take more than one deep breath if you have the time. Or if you’re feeling super anxious, then you might want to take two or three more deep breaths, but that is up to you. At the minimum, take one deep breath. It can also really help to put your hands on your heart as you are doing that. That is another way to calm yourself down. Now, the next thing that you’re going to do is ask yourself three questions and you can ask yourself all three of these questions or just one, two, or three of them. But the first one is pretty essential. And the first question is, how am I feeling right now? And you can interpret that question in any way you want. It can be how you’re feeling emotionally or how you’re feeling physically. So maybe you notice that you’ve got a low grade headache.
Maybe you are feeling really happy because the lesson that you did went really well, or another teacher gave you a compliment, or you love the outfit that you’re wearing. Whatever it is, maybe you’re feeling nervous because you know you’ve got an observation coming up. Just identify that feeling. Maybe you’re feeling a little cold. Whatever it is, identify it. Give it a word or phrase.
The next question is, what am I grateful for in this moment? So the idea here is to bring yourself to the present and to find something in your environment, in the present moment, that you are grateful for, whether it’s going well, or whether it’s not, find that one thing that you can feel grateful for, because we know that gratitude does so much for your mood, for your self-esteem, just for general self-care. So it’s always good to bring more gratitude into your life.
Maybe you’re feeling grateful because the lesson that you just taught went really well. Maybe you’re feeling grateful because one of your students that you’ve been having trouble with is doing a little better, or maybe you’re feeling grateful because he’s absent today, or she’s absent today. Maybe you’re feeling grateful for a beautiful day. Maybe you’re feeling grateful because you got a workout in this morning. Maybe you’re feeling grateful because you went to bed at a reasonable hour last night, and you’re feeling well rested today. Whatever it is, find something that you’re grateful for and just acknowledge that. The next and last question is what, if anything, can I do to make this moment better? So maybe you notice that you have a low grade headache, so a drink of water and maybe some ibuprofen might help with that. Maybe you notice that you’re feeling a little cold and you could put on a sweater.
Maybe you should dim the lights because the students are getting a little bit loud. Maybe you’re working at home when you’re having your power pause and it might help you to get up and walk around the room a little bit or maybe get a snack. Just think to yourself, what could I do to make this moment better wherever you are. And that’s it. That’s the power pause. It’s one deep breath or maybe more, and one or more of these three questions. How am I feeling? What am I grateful for in this moment? And what, if anything, can I do to make this moment better. Now, how I use the power pause is I’ve set my smart watch to vibrate three different times during the day, in the morning, in the mid-afternoon, and in the evening. And whenever that goes off, it just says, pause on it, and I know to do my power pause.
If I’m not in a place where I can really do it, I just take a deep breath and that’s it, I’m done. But if I can do my power pause, then I do do it. And you could do the same thing. You could set it for planning periods or lunchtime, times when you know you don’t have your students or you could set it for times when you do have your students and you could do the power pause with your students because there’s nothing here that they couldn’t do and that wouldn’t benefit them. Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and to watching another one of my videos. As always, be that amazing teacher that you are and be kind to yourself.
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