Simple Techniques to Relax and Rejuvenate in Times of Stress

Planning, prepping, worrying, repeat. Take care to set aside your to-do list and focus on YOU once in a while. Here are a few ideas to inspire you as we head into what's certain to be a most unusual school year.

Practice being present

Mindfulness is a catch word these days, and with good reason. It’s a way of being in the world, the ability to pay attention to the present moment, the here and now. There’s a growing body of research pointing to the effectiveness of mindful practices on our ability— both adults and children—to pay better attention, make thoughtful decisions and calm ourselves down.

According to the Let’s Discover Kindness Teacher’s Edition, mindfulness “can help to promote increased emotional understanding and an inclination to act in a kind way. Judaism at its core is about being intentional and fully present in each moment, and as such, mindfulness is a powerful technique.”

There are myriad resources online to help you get started.

Unwrap your own personal gifts

There’s no time like the present to dedicate your time, energy, and resources to improving what you’re already good at. In her book, Oy Vey! Isn't a Strategy: 25 Solutions for Personal and Professional Successauthor Deborah Grayson Riegel suggests that each of us “came into this world with a rainbow of natural colors that we once honored and delighted in before we were saddled with the responsibilities of adulthood. … Many of us don’t give ourselves the gift of time or attention to see who we are when we are at our best, using the strengths we were born with—or that we’ve developed over time.

Click here for an action planner from Oy Vey! Isn't a Strategy to help you identify your natural gifts and begin to honor your true self.   

Follow your curiosity

We spend so much time teaching others. But as Batsheva Frankel writes in The Jewish Educator’s Companion, “Find time to continue your own personal Jewish learning—an eternal and inspiring process. The more we stay connected to our passion, the more we have to give.”

Fill someone else’s bucket

Take a quiet moment to send a note of appreciation to a teacher or colleague thanking them for inspiring you or telling them what you admire about them. They’ll come back from break with a smile on their face.

Model mindfulness for the children in your life

Nancy Siegel is an educational consultant specializing in mindfulness education for both adults and children. We've assembled a collection of short videos she made for children with some simple techniques. These can be shared whether you are together in person or remote via video conference. Or share the videos with families for some intergenerational breaks. 

One video is below. Find more videos like these on the Behrman House Educator Resources page, in the section called Personal Growth and Self-Care. 



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