Personal Wellness

Dave Plymale
Regional Director, Collegiate Edu-Nation

The start of school is always a special time of the year. Students and teachers are excited to see each other after the summer,  and fall extra-curricular activities begin.

With all the excitement, we tend to focus more on our work than we do on ourselves. We have all been there. I always wanted to make sure my students started the year off with a positive mindset on school and class work. If there is one thing the pandemic taught us that we need to be aware of is our personal wellness. For many of us, we may have started getting outdoors with our family, exercising, biking, hiking, swimming, camping, gardening and many more. The RV industry was booming, and sporting goods stores were stressed to keep up with inventory due to the high demand for exercise and outdoor equipment. You may have joined or followed a social media fitness group in 2020.

Now that we have been back in school, for several weeks, Labor Day is always a time when I reflect on the start of the school year and conduct a “self-check” on my wellness plan. And many times, I realize I have neglected my diet and have already added back the extra pounds I worked so hard to lose during the summer!

Managing our time is so important when it comes to balancing work, family and personal wellness. Here are some tips that you can use:

  1. Set your “me” time. Our days are busy in the school business. With all the school along with family activities during the school year, it can be challenging to find time for just you. Whether it’s reading, working on a hobby or working out, we all need “me” time. One hour of “me” time is only 1/24 or less than 5% of your day. I adjusted my “me” times for working out during the school year depending on my calendar. Some staff members have a regular routine meeting at the gym at 5:00 am, others in the evening. Find what is best for you.
  2. Exercise with a buddy. It doesn’t matter what workout routine you have but by having a workout partner, you hold each other accountable as well as being safe should one of you injure yourself. I’ve worked out with other staff members and students. My wife, Kristi, is my workout buddy now. We do strength exercises with light weights and bands 2-3 days a week and yoga 2-3 days a week. On days one of us may not feel like working out, we hold each other accountable.
  3. Plan your meals. Sunday is the day we plan our meals for the week. By doing this we make sure we stick with our diet. Valerie Chavez, an assistant principal in El Paso, is so inspirational on social media with her Sunday meal planning. She makes her lunches for the week posting photos of her healthy lunches and snacks.
  4. Join a social media fitness group. There are several of them. I use Twitter and follow #FitLeaders #FitTeachers and @The WalkingEds. All these post different routines you can use. They also act as accountability partners, and many are inspiring. You will find walkers, runners, lifters, yogis, bicyclers, zumbas and many more.
  5. Have fun! Finding a routine that challenges you to maintain your physical and mental wellness is important but have fun whatever you do. This makes sticking with a wellness routine more enjoyable. And remember “you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!”

Valarie Chavez’ Sunday meal planning.

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