Life is a Balance

9x9x25 Post #8

This week’s post is not really teaching related. It’s about balance. Balancing our work life and home life so that we can bring the best of ourselves to our teaching.

Sometimes we get so busy with our teaching; prepping, marking, answering emails, lesson plans, helping students etc. that we don’t take time for ourselves.  I am guilty of doing this.

Taking the time to do something that we enjoy and makes us happy, keeps us balanced.

I’ve become very unbalanced over the years.

Maybe that’s why I decided to take this challenge. It’s making me do something new and I am really enjoying it.

thehuntpart1When I first started teaching, I always made time for my crafts, especially scrapbooking and card making.  I used to call it my right brain activity that kept my life balanced.  I teach mostly math and computers, two activities I associate with being left brain activities.

I know there’s research indicating that there is no left or right brain, but I can’t help but think there’s something more to it.  There may not be a “left” or “right” brained activity, but I do believe that activities fall into different types of categories (logical, creative, etc.). For me, when I do something that’s more creative and is different than the numerical and logical things I do every day, I feel I’m a more balanced as a person. I think it also helps me be more creative in my profession as it helps me to find creative solutions to problems in my classroom.

Unfortunately, I have gotten away from using my creative side.   Perhaps it’s because I have more responsibilities outside of work than I used to and they are taking up my spare time.  My mom passed away 4.5 years ago and my siblings and I have taken over my dad’s care.  He just turned 90 last April.  I think this (and getting older) has also contributed to an increasing stress level which in turn has created other problems.

In August I decided to start taking care of me. I still help take care of my dad and do all the other things on my plate, but now I also make time for me.  I’ve cut out processed foods, gluten, dairy and sugar and limit my wine. I feel so much better.

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 7.23.56 PMI’ve also decided to make a conscious effort to put creativity back into my life.  I signed up for a pottery class for this Friday, a couple of paint classes (chalk paint) and starting in January my friend and I will be taking a 10-week pottery course.

 

IMG_0907I am also looking forward to dusting off my DSLR camera to get some great winter shots up at the ski hill. I could write a ton about how much joining Alpine Ski Club has meant to me and my family (https://alpineskiclub.com).  But that’s another post for another day.

 

I find when I take the time to do the things I love, I feel better, I am more positive and I think that helps me be more positive with my students

There’s lots of research about the benefits of crafts.

According to the University of California, Berkeley, a few of the benefits of crafting include:

  1. Reduce stress
  2. Improve mood
  3. Head off cognitive decline
  4. Empower women with eating disorders
  5. Help people cope with chronic pain

(http://static.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-mind/stress/article/unexpected-benefits-crafting)

Who doesn’t want to feel better and keep their mind sharp?   Being more creative doesn’t have to be limited to knitting, crocheting or sewing…There are lots of ways to de-stress and head off cognitive decline.

“There’s promising evidence coming out to support what a lot of crafters have known anecdotally for quite some time,” says Catherine Carey Levisay, a clinical neuropsychologist and wife of Craftsy.com CEO John Levisay. “And that’s that creating — whether it be through art, music, cooking, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography (or) cake decorating — is beneficial to us in a number of important ways.”  (https://www.cnn.com/2014/03/25/health/brain-crafting-benefits/index.html)

If you are interested, here’s another great read: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/arts-and-health/201512/creativity-wellness-practice

Why not try something new today?

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