Dr. Adam Saenz, a licensed psychologist, therapist, speaker and the author of The Power of a Teacher, shared with us his best advice for educators in need of physical and emotional “tune ups”:

1. It’s all in what you eat.

Most experts agree that 20 percent of physical well-being is exercise, and 80 percent is nutrition. Love yourself well by purchasing time with a nutritionist who can help you create a nutrition plan that makes sense for you. If you can't afford to consult with a nutritionist, look for "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" on Netflix; it will give you a basic introduction to the value of good nutrition.

2. Sleep well, my friends.

Practice effective sleep hygiene (it's all about the routine).       

3. Have a friend be your mirror.

Ask someone you trust to give you honest feedback about whether you have difficulty experiencing or appropriately expressing any emotions (common emotions that are tricky that way are anger, disappointment and sadness). Ask for examples of situations in which you have acted irrationally, and assure them it's safe to be honest. Just listen, and don't defend yourself, rationalize, justify or intellectualize.

Thank them for their honesty, then explore what was modeled for you in your family of origin or among others who modeled life for you. Is it time to allow yourself to break free from behavioral patterns or irrational thoughts about emotions that you accepted as healthy and normal in childhood?

4. Forgive others.

Connect in person or by phone with someone you need to forgive. If direct contact is not feasible, choose to extend forgiveness in this moment, even if they cannot or will not admit to wrongdoing. Remember: Surrender the right you think you have to punish them for the harm they have caused you. Forgiveness means the debt is canceled.  

5. … and yourself.

Forgive yourself for past mistakes and failures. Again, you are surrendering the right you think you have to punish yourself for the harm you have caused yourself. Then, accept yourself warmly and be kind to yourself.

Dr. Adam Saenz is a licensed psychologist, therapist, author and speaker. His book, The Power of a Teacher, is a self-care guide designed to empower educators to maximize their impact in the classroom. Learn more about Saenz, who you might remember from his keynote speech at the 2013 TCTA Convention, at thepowerofateacher.com.

Bonus Tips!
Read Debbie Silver’s 5 ways to de-stress this summer