Raise your hand if you consider yourself an introvert. Me too!
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love hanging out with friends and I’m confident when I want to be but I also need A LOT of time alone to rest and recharge.
If that sounds like you too, then I assume you freak out a little every time the school holidays end and a new term rolls around. The prospect of being surrounded by lots of people in the one room, all vying for your attention can seem a little overwhelming.
That’s where the importance of energy hygiene comes in.
Yep. Energy hygiene!
We take our personal hygiene seriously, and we teach lessons on oral hygiene to younger students at school, yet I can bet that you’ve never heard of treating your energy in the same way.
To me, energy hygiene is the practice of maintaining your energetic health and consciously choosing how you want to feel.
This is such an important practice, especially for introverted teachers, as we can become so easily drained if we don’t feel like we have time to replenish our energy. As teachers, we also know that the vibe of our classroom is highly dependent on how we show up each day. Managing our energetic frequency is so vital, both for ourselves and for our students.
Here are 4 easy ways you can manage your energy as an introverted teacher:
1. Set an intention for how you want to FEEL energetically
Our brains are wired to protect us from danger, first and foremost. So, what usually happens is we consider all the negative things that could happen in a certain situation, in order to think of possible ways to protect ourselves.
I want you to consider the stories that are already playing out in your head about school going back. For example, “They are going to throw out a million new ideas on the PD day and I’m going to feel behind” or “The kids are going to be so loud and excited that I’ll feel overwhelmed.” If you’re already believing that this is the way it’s all going to play out, then you’re going to feel wired and drained before you even begin.
My advice is to set an intention for how you want to feel before you go back. (Or even better, DECIDE how you are going to feel) That way, you can begin to visualise yourself moving through the day feeling your desired feeling, and it will start to become clearer as to how you can support yourself to make this feeling a reality.
2. Visualise a ball of protective light around you
I know this sounds a little bit woo-woo and airy fairy, but stick with me here! I’d never suggest something unless I’d done it myself and had proof that it works. And this technique definitely works!
If you feel like you take on the energy of those around you, begin your day by visualising a ball of protective light surrounding you. Choose a colour that represents calm and clarity for you, and imagine it cocooning around you. Now imagine that you are in a staff meeting, teaching your class or having a conversation with a colleague. Everything they are saying and doing is simply bouncing off your protective light. You can hear and acknowledge them, but nothing they do can infiltrate your energy field.
Bring back this imagery at any time during your day when you feel like you need some energetic protection. This technique is also particularly helpful when you are managing a tricky relationship with a colleague.
3. Get practical
Back in Step 1, I touched on the fact that visualising yourself moving through your day can help you to gain clarity as to how you can support yourself in a practical sense. It’s important to consider the specific actions you can take to manage your energy and support the way you desire to feel.
Here are some ideas:
· Close your classroom during DOTT or when you’re working- this will let others know that you are busy and lessen the amount of interruptions
· Put on some calming music while you’re working- people aren’t generally game to start conversations whilst music is playing unless it’s urgent
· Consider how many times you visit the staffroom during recess and lunches- could you spend a few breaks a week taking some deep breaths in your quiet classroom?
· Recognise when others are becoming emotional and know that their emotions are theirs to experience- you can witness and support them but there’s no need for you to adopt their energy and let it impact you too
· Carve out some white space in your schedule each day- knowing that there is blank space either before or after school, will help you to exude energy at other times when you need to
· Get organised. Feeling ‘behind’ or like we have a lot of work to do, greatly impacts our energy. Give your nervous system a little love by ensuring you’ve at least read over your emails before school goes back for the term, so that you feel prepared and present on the first day
4. Recall your energy at the end of each day
It can be really easy to get into the habit of dropping everything and becoming a ‘gold star couch potato’ when you get home from work. Doing this repeatedly, gives your body the message that you always feel exhausted after a school day and that you have no more energy to give. Let’s rewrite that story, shall we?
Here’s my advice, and the last part of your energetic hygiene routine. Find a quiet and comfortable space to either sit or lay down. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then, set the intention to recall all of your energy back to you. Whether it leaked out whilst you were teaching, or someone accidentally mistook it as their own- it doesn’t matter. Simply visualise little balls of coloured light making their way back to you, replenishing your system. Imagine that you’re being topped back up again and that none of your energy has been lost.
This practice only takes a couple of minutes but it’s so powerful in ensuring that you feel replenished and vital.
Want more support to make this term the very best it can be, beautiful teacher? Find out about how you can work with me here.