Feeling overwhelmed? You’ve got your back!

In difficult times, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, resourceless and alone. There is nothing great about this! If this is where you are right now, remember that you have all the tools you need to feel great again. The trick is just to think of these again! Here is a quick list of things that you can do to feel good again.

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  1. Pamper yourself. Mix your favorite ingredients and make a face mask, take a bath, burn some incense while you read, prepare yourself a colorful salad, or wear your favorite socks. Take a few minutes to take care of yourself. Be selfish for a few moments and you’ll soon feel better!
  2. Do something you enjoy. When we’re feeling low, it’s easy to feel sluggish and unmotivated to do anything. In those moments, I try to push myself to do things I normally enjoy like painting, reading or baking. These simple joys usually make me feel content and take my mind off of what is bothering me.
  3. Sit. There’s nothing more powerful when you are feeling low to recenter yourself on the present moment. Sit down straight and take deep breaths. Observe these breaths and relax your body. After only a few breaths you should feel refreshed and more ready to face your feelings.
  4. Connect. With billions of people in the world, it is quite impossible that you are truly alone at any given moment. I often find that when I feel overwhelmed, writing or talking to friends and family cheers me up. Other times, it’s good to be in the company of strangers at a workshop or to go people watching at a coffee shop. Whatever you do, remind yourself that you are not alone!

I hope these tips help you out. If you are feeling low, I’m sending you happy thoughts! Try out these few tricks and you’ll soon feel like yourself again. The truth is, everyone feels low sometimes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Take your time, take care of yourself, and things will go just fine.

If you want more tricks and support on building wellbeing habits, I’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign for a planner I’ve written, the Leafy Planner. Take a look!

The Leafy Planner, or my latest project!

I have been the worst blogger these last few months, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything with myself. As some of you might know, I’m currently changing a lot of things in my professional life, and so I needed some time to think. I also started training a lot more at the gym, so that has been taking me a bit of time (see the plan I started with). But, really, the thing that has taken me away from the kitchen is the Leafy Planner.

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I basically condensed my wellbeing and mindfulness practices into this planner to create not only an organisation tool, but a personal growth guide. I love to take notes and to organize my day with a planner, but I also like to doodle and track my habits. I also wanted something where I could follow how I was taking care of my body and mind. Instead of having a dozen notebooks around my desk, I’ve included everything I need in a single planner, and that’s LEAFY!

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Over time, the planner evolved into two different versions. The desktop one is beautifully filled with inspirational pictures from nature and printed in colour. The pocket version is perfect to take with you everywhere and in black and white.

Overview of planners

I’m now going completely out of my confort zone and trying out a kickstarter campaign to help me get some funds to print some more planners. I’d really help me out if you could take a look at my campaign and share it with your family and friends.

As for the future of this blog, I’m working on improving myself a lot, and that also means changing things up with my diet. I’m feeling that inspiration is on it’s way, so stay tuned for more recipes!

I’m a mindfulness instructor!

I feel like I have reached a new level in “hippie-land”!

Joke aside, I have completed my 12 weeks training with Mindful Schools to be a mindfulness instructor this week. How exciting! As an end of training celebration, I’m sharing some thoughts on how this happened.

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Flashback to the beginning of the year: This year, I have been assigned with six groups of 30 to 38 students. I know most of them as I taught them last year too, and I know that many of them have a great potential that is hindered by their anxiety, stress, or strong feelings/emotions.  This is my problem because it makes it difficult for students to learn when their minds are busy processing all kinds of thoughts. It is also a personal problem because teaching is hard! You are dealing with so much more than the curriculum: student meltdowns, administrators, parents, and taking all this personal stress at home because you care for the kids in front of you. Add this to regular-human-being stress, and you are pushed off balance on a daily basis. So, this beginning of the year is hard, and I feel resource-less.

Meeting with Charity Bryant: At a teacher conference, I get to meet Charity Bryant who is a mindfulness instructor who started out as an English teacher. Her presentation is inspiring, and I feel like she is describing my students when she tells us about her own students and experience bringing mindfulness in the classroom. I need to know more so I write to her ,and she tells me about the online training given by Mindful Schools.

Training with Mindful Schools: I start with the six weeks mindfulness fundamentals and follow through with the mindful educator course. I feel very lucky to have received a scholarship because this training is very complete and thorough, but would have been inaccessible to me as I’m paying it on my own.   Not only does this training help my students, it also helps me face difficulties and deal with my emotions better. Things are still hard sometimes, but I feel like I have a better tool set to face them.

Introducting mindfulness at school: To give me courage, I start offering a mindfulness workshop once every two weeks for interested students. As the meetings go by, I gather experience and confidence with this ideal group. I then introduce mindfulness as a daily routine to my different groups. I am amazed by the curiosity and willingness to try that my students are showing. Most importantly, I feel that my most difficult, disturbing students are responding to this very positively. I also welcome their suspicious as to this “voodoo stuff” and discuss research and brain functioning with them. I really like how it creates an open, ready-to-learn environment where the students are taking time to slow down and connect before starting to work. Is it time lost? Not really. Since they are relaxed and available, I don’t need to bring them back to the activities as much, instructions and modelling take less time because their attention is there, and I can tap in to their new capacity to pay attention with a shared and understood vocabulary.

The results of implementing mindfulness in my classroom might sound magical and untrue. And yet, they are real. My students are still teenagers, but somehow, they are more focused, calmer and more available to learning, to their peers and to my interventions. I really love our 15 minutes of practice each class because it gives me a chance to teach them something out of the curriculum that is precious and truly helpful. I am really glad to have done this! Let me know what you think!

 

 

Meditation Prop: Small Bench

After completing my yoga prop cabinet, my boyfriend set out to make me a meditation bench. How exciting!

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This is really comfortable: it helps me keep my back straight while giving me support for the legs. Since I don’t sit with my legs crossed it is also easier on the knees, and it make it possible to sit for a long period of time. I have a really hard time staying cross-legged for more than a few minutes even when sitting on a pillow, so this is perfect.

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I really like how the wood has different colors and how sturdy this is. It is also really fun because my boyfriend made it at the perfect height for my legs, which means that it is unique and adapted to my body and posture.

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I really love working with this small bench! It makes practice feel even more special by creating a small ritual: I know that when I sit on this it is to be mindful and to give myself some time. Let us know what you think, and if you’d be interested in having one!