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Posted May 8, 2014

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Get Plenty of Sleep, Eat Right, Focus on the Present

School counselor offers tips and strategies for self-care in the last few weeks of school.

Teachers and school staffs are in their final weeks of the academic year, a time that can be very stressful. It is important to remember that the end of the year is not just about assessing student knowledge; it is also a time to celebrate accomplishments and triumphs.

Lucinda McConnell, counselor at Arroyo Del Oso Elementary School pointed out that teachers and staff should keep things in perspective for their own peace of mind. The usual suggestions for any challenging time apply to the end of the school year as well: eat right, get plenty of sleep and participate in moderate exercise to reduce anxiety. And one more thing: focus on the here and now.

As a school counselor, McConnell has observed how stress levels go up when people are worried about the future or the past. Her suggestion? Be conscious of the present moment. “How we manage our thoughts can helps us maintain effectiveness in who we are and what we are doing.”

This strategy will extend to the students who may be feeling pressure at this time of year. “Being mindful of the present moment and giving it your full attention, that time and attention are the gift we give to ourselves as well as our students,” said McConnell.

In her twenty years as an elementary school counselor, she has worked hard to cultivate a culture of kindness. It is important to remind teachers to be kind to themselves as well. Take a deep breath and be proud of what your students have become as of this moment, pat yourself on the back and reset yourself to finish strong.

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