California Educator

February/March 2020

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5 minutes to relax your teaching soul By Terry Ng F O R M A N Y E D U C A T O R S , teaching can be stressful at times. Self-care is an essential part of an educator's health and can combat stress and burnout. Meditation is a great self-care tool. A mind and body practice, meditation can increase calmness and physical relaxation, improve psychological balance, help to cope with illness, and enhance overall health and well-being. Some research suggests that practicing meditation may also reduce blood pressure, stress levels, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, allows you to focus and be present. While there are many types of meditation, most have four elements in common: a quiet location with few distractions, a comfortable posture, a focus of attention, and an open attitude. Apps now make it easier than ever to try out meditation, since they're available for you anytime, anywhere.* Here are a few five-star apps we recommend (all are free, though there are in-app purchases for premium services): *Meditation is generally considered to be safe for healthy people. However, people with physical limitations may not be able to participate in certain meditative practices involving movement. M e d i t a t i o n Mindfulness Headspace: Meditation & Sleep Headspace teaches you how to meditate, breathe and live mindfully. There are hundreds of guided exercises on topics including managing anxiety, stress relief, breathing, happiness, exercise, focus and sleep. Calm Calm is the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users. Guided meditation sessions are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes so you can choose the perfect length to fit with your schedule. Ten Percent Happier: Meditation Video and meditation combos make it fun and straightforward to learn to meditate. Ten Percent Happier includes a library of more than 500 guided meditations on topics ranging from anxiety to parenting to focus, ensuring that you can find exactly the right meditation for the moment. Stop, Breathe & Think Stop, Breathe & Think offers free premium services for educators. SBT helps you find peace anywhere. It enables you to check in with your emotions, and recommends short guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos, tuned to how you feel. 47 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 2 0 Teaching & Learning T E C H T I P S

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