Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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Treating Yourself

April 27, 2013

This time of year can begin to take its toll on teachers, particularly us Music teachers. Not only are the kids a bit (unbelievably) stir crazy, but we are trying to get them focused on rehearsing for concerts, end of the year assemblies, and/or graduation. We battle scheduling conflicts caused by last minute field trips and nearly school-wide state testing. It can all become a bit…much.

All musicians must take care of their instrument. If you don’t take care of your violin you could pop a string or break the bridge. You can break your clarinet reeds. Your valves will get sticky. Your guitar could tip over, cracking the headstock.

It is important to remember that YOU are your primary instrument.

As the stress level builds during concert season and report card time (because they always seem to coincide) you have to take care of yourself. We need to maintain our physical and vocal health, as well as our emotional health.

We all have our ways to make it through these last months, but here are a few simple reminders:

1) Hydrate! I don’t do this enough. It is something I have vowed to be more conscious of this year. I even have started to infuse water with herbs to make drinking water more appealing to my easily bored taste buds.

2) Sleep. None of us get enough of this. We are teachers. It comes with the territory, but it is imperative to rest our bodies so as not to impact the immune system.

3) Chocolate! Ok, ok, I’m kidding. Well, not really. Having a little something in your desk with which to treat yourself is a great idea. Had an extra taxing rehearsal and need a pick-me-up? Grab a Hershey’s Kiss out of the desk drawer. That little indulgence give me a boost every time. Maybe for you it is Swedish Fish or salty peanuts or some trail mix. Perhaps it is listening to your favorite guilty pleasure pop song. Whatever it is, keep it on hand.

4) Plan ahead. I am a maker of to-do lists. It helps me keep focused. The more stressed I become, the more details I lose track of. Post-it notes are my best friends. They are tacked to everything with all sorts of reminders.

5) Give yourself some time off. If you are working every waking moment you WILL burn out. It is ok to watch your favorite show without a pile of papers to grade or the laptop open to your concert program file. Go work out, take a walk in the park, go snuggle your best friend’s baby, see a movie, go salsa dancing, try tackling a new recipe. Do something you enjoy that has nothing to do with school.

6) Treat yourself to something. It could be a Frappucino. Take a bubble bath. Go buy yourself a new comic book. For me, it was a ukulele strap. I needed one for for my upcoming concert and found the most adorable one on etsy. I will be able to use it while playing for my own enjoyment, but it is practical, as well. The gal who made it is super sweet and creates wonderful environmentally sustainable items. Also, the uke strap has cute folk owls all over it!

So, yes. Chocolate, uke strap and a bubble bath. I’m all set for this concert season. How about you?

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