Despite another challenging school year, we have much to be thankful for as we enter the holiday season. This week’s school counselor guests remind us that taking care of ourselves is one of the best gifts we can give our students.
This week Matt is joined by school counselor Tera Nutter from St. Luke Catholic School in Indianapolis and school counseling student Missy Norris who is currently interning at Fairington Grove Elementary in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Hi, everyone! Welcome to Encouraging Words for School Counselors – a short, little podcast with uplifting stories FROM school counselors ABOUT school counseling – brought to you by Inspire Success. I’m Matt Fleck.
We’ve been so fortunate to talk with many, many school counselors from around the country this fall and of ALL the topics we’ve discussed with them, ONE topic keeps coming back OVER and OVER again. And that topic is “self care.” Our two counselor guests today – Tera Nutter and Missy Norris – are not self-proclaimed experts on self care, but DO offer some good reminders for all of us who work with students in schools.
You know, I think I’m a darn good example of self care because I have a ton of fun friends. And so I try to make time to be with them and do things with them. And that just really fills my cup.
Besides friends, Tera’s self care list includes taking a real lunch break, as she calls it – away from school if you can – or, if you stay at school, she suggests trying to avoid talking about students or stressful situations in the lunchroom. She also suggests book time with a book that “doesn’t necessarily make you a better person.” Tera believes in self-care so much that this year – for the first time – she created office hours for other staff in her school so they can come in and talk with her if they’d like – and she’s been surprised at how much they’ve taken advantage of it.
Missy Norris is a grad student in school counseling and is emphatic that self-care is MORE than just a good idea.
I have to remember that it is a requirement of the profession. It is, like, an ethical standard and ACA and the ASEA. Like, you need to take care of yourself. It’s really hard when you feel like you’re bearing the weight of everyone else’s world on your shoulders, because you’re who they come to. And you feel like you’re not only carrying what you have, but what they have, and you’re taking care of them, but who’s taking care of you kind of thing.
On Missy’s self-care list? Exercising, getting outside, and…um…bubble baths.
Yeah. I just love my bubble baths! Which is really silly, but to just, like, close the door, turn off the world, put on, like, a show, have a candle, and just chill and just turn everything else outside of that bathroom off for even just the 30 minutes. Also, I think earthing is very important. So, like, going outside, getting the sun, feeling, like, your hands, touch the tree or your feet touched the ground, kind of thing. Just something that will help you out, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
I guess “earthing” is another way of saying you need to stay “grounded.” One more suggestion that we probably ALL can use – at least when the day is done – go home and leave your work and your worries at school.
When I walk out the door, I try to keep — for the most part — my school life at the door. And then I just kind of try to shed the day when I walk into my house and let it be about me and the people that are in my four walls and just try and take care of them and love on them.
Because they need it too.
So here’s a thought to leave you with – take just five minutes this week (maybe right now ) to be intentional and think of something YOU can do to step out of the stress for a little bit – even during the middle of your school day. You may not be able to leave for lunch or take a bubble bath, but come up with something that works for you, even if you have to be creative.
If you’re an enneagram fan, I’m married to a five. So he’s not necessarily, like, skipping around the house, like, throwing confetti and asking, like, what fun things we can do today. So I have to find that myself.
Maybe you’ve heard the quote from Nietzsche that says, “Physician, heal thyself”? Well, the full quote is actually, “Physician heal thyself: then wilt thou also heal thy patient.” Old wisdom, but still true today.
Hey, thanks for listening. Your assignment this week is to find us on Facebook or Instagram under the handle “1nspire Success” (just substitute the first “I” with the number 1”) and tell us what self-care activities work for YOU to revitalize your soul and charge your batteries.
Remember you can subscribe to our podcast on all the major apps and even ask your smart speaker to play Encouraging Words for School Counselors – I did it last week and I was actually surprised that it worked!
Take care of yourself! Have a wonderful week.