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Music Teacher Tip #62

Self care is an important part of surviving and thriving. Here are some simple things you can do to care for yourself so that you can continue to care for others:

1. Drink water and stay hydrated. Build moments into your instruction when you can sip water. Dehydration can cause fatigue, dizziness, headaches and worse.

2. Walk even if only for 5 to 10 minutes. This can boost your mood and your energy levels. It can also stave off depression. If you can walk in the sunshine, even better. Just remember your sun screen or a hat if you’ll be out longer than 10-15 minutes.

3. Your mom was right. Take your vitamins. My doctor told me that even if you eat perfectly, it’s nearly impossible to get enough nutrients from your food. Vitamin deficiencies can cause everything from cramps, to fatigue, and even bone loss!! Find a good multi-vitamin (not a cheap one) and take it every day. (Thank me later for this one.) Here’s the one my doc recommended:

4. Try to eat colorful things. (No, not Skittles! ) Cut up a good cantaloupe and snack on that. Pop some baby carrots or cucumber slices. Even if you’re stress eating, at least add some nutritious things into the mix. It’s not all or nothing.

5. Take deep belly breaths. 8 of them will slow your heart rate, calm your nervous system, and make you feel less stressed.

6. Hug someone in your family. Hug a pet. Hugs are good for you. Make them last longer for more positive effects. If you are quarantined and live alone, consider a weighted blanket. Maybe adopt a pet!

7. Talk to a friend or mentor. Voicing your troubles can zap them of at least some of their power.

8. Ask for help when you need it. No struggling in solitude.

9. Say no when you need to. Now is not the time to take on extra projects. Unless it will bring you joy or more income, consider saying no.

10. Listen to beautiful music - at least one piece per day. Remind yourself why you do what you do.

Hang in there, everyone. I’m pulling for you!

Happy teaching!

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