California Educator

August/September 2019

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for Healthy Educators Keep mind and body in top shape all year W I T H E A C H S C H O O L Y E A R comes the chance to be proactive about your health. You can fight off chronic low energy, constant sniffles and stress headaches before they pull you under. In fact, not having a plan for maintaining your health while pouring passion into your profession will leave you fried by spring, says Mike Anderson, author of e Well-Balanced Teacher. "We have to consider taking care of ourselves as a primary part of our job." Adopt these seven habits to keep your mind and body running smoothly: 1 Take a mindful break. Even just a few minutes of relax- ation a day will help your body's stress response, says Mindy Mayol of the depart- ment of kinesiology at the University of Indianapolis. Find a peaceful place at school or home to try deep breathing exercises, or take a walk in the halls or outside the building. A bit of nature helps us relate back to our kinesthetic selves. 2 Squash allergens. Reduce mold, dust, pollen and other allergy triggers in your classroom by regularly wiping down computer screens, your desk- top, and other places that collect dust quickly. Certified indoor environmen- talist Tony Abate suggests keeping a portable air purifier in your classroom and putting a doormat outside your door. which will keep some debris, including pollen, from tracking inside the room. 3 Be vigilant about germs. Abate suggests wip- ing down classroom doorknobs at the beginning and end of the day. Michigan first-grade teacher Jennifer Korte wipes down her students' desks every day with disinfectant, and makes sure children wash their hands every time they go near their noses. To make sure germs don't travel, she washes her hands at the end of the school day before head- ing to her car, and changes her clothes once home. 4 Schedule physical activity. Put exercise on your calendar as a visual reminder to yourself, says wellness consul- tant Jolene Moore. Or make it a date with a friend so you're less tempted to skip. Be realistic about your time and interests: "You have lunch or 10 minutes after school — do something that's reasonable," Moore says. Results keep your body healthy and your energy up. Habits 7 57 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 019 CTA & You

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