Last year, I had Stop, Breath, Think (they have an app and you can also access it through the web) added to my class iPads. I had been hearing a lot about incorporating mindfulness into the classroom and how beneficial it can to help reduce negative behaviors. Since I had a double block for math, I didn’t mind spending a few minutes at the start of my classes (one first thing in the morning and one after lunch) meditating, since I felt I would make up the loss in time with more focus in class. I liked Stop, Breath, Think because the meditations were short and focused. Depending on the day, and what may have occurred in and/or out of the class, I would either allow them to choose their own meditation and use headphones to listen, or I would select a topic and do one as a whole class. I was teaching 5th graders, so I first had to introduce meditation, classroom expectations and respecting others as we meditated. I had many students who opted to download the app at home! I don’t really have data to support any significant changes, but I liked having the ability to reference something all my students were exposed something should a misbehavior occur. For me, the best part was the ability to meditate twice a day-something I just stopped finding time to do at home. I know that I definitely noticed a difference when I was able to participate, vs. the times I inevitably got pulled to take care of classroom issues.
This year, as the year has progressed, and as I find myself interacting with many different people (with a variety of personalities) I decided a few months back to get back to meditating on a daily basis. I was searching for something that was short, at least until I had it part of my daily routine, and could then think about expanding the amount of time. I had a heard a number of friends talk about Head Space which also allows you to access meditations online as well as an app. What I liked about this a little more, was the background of meditation and more of a guide through the process.
So often, we spend much of our time taking care of those around us as we get inundated by lots of stimuli…we need to remember to take time to take of ourselves…for me, this is meditation. What do you do for self-care?