A Counselor’s Thoughts: New Year, New You

As a former school counselor, LFY teacher Jess Belanger has a unique perspective to share with us. She will be contributing a monthly article to our conversation, offering information to help parents and teacher support their kids. Click Here to learn more about Jess and all of our LFY teachers.

Happy New Year, All!  2013 has come and gone, leaving behind wonderful memories, as well as a trail of holiday exhaustion and cookie crumbs.  Now a week into what I hope will be a promising year for you all, perhaps you have had a chance to think about possible resolutions, goals, or themes for the coming year.  While I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, there is in fact some truth in the beneficial power of setting intentions for how you would like the next 365 days of your life to go.  With a new year comes exciting new opportunities to start over, reinvent yourself, and work towards building habits that will enhance and enrich your life and that of the children around you.  

As yoga teachers and parents, our lives are filled with jam-packed schedules and overwhelming to-do lists; all of which can be extremely stressful.  In order to best serve the children in our lives, we must turn our attention inward.  Often called “self-care,” addressing what our needs are and what we would like to accomplish is an integral part of being a more present and effective individual.  Now that we are beginning a new year, what better time to evaluate our lives and begin working towards our newly established goals?  Maybe, just maybe, taking time to focus on ourselves can make a world of difference in both how we act and react in our daily interactions with children at home and in yoga class.

With so many resolutions on the list, it can be difficult to know just where to start.  Perhaps some of the larger ticket items involve adopting healthier habits, volunteering in the community more, or working on building your savings.  No matter what the goal, the key to making lasting change is starting with small steps.  Determine the best plan of action, take things one day at a time, and don’t set unrealistic expectations.  Success isn’t all or nothing; rather, it is in the effort put forth and the positive milestones we pass on the journey towards our destination.  

At home and in class with children, we encourage them to be more accepting and take pride in their efforts, so let’s give ourselves the same courtesy as we persevere to achieve our goals.  Taking a few moments to care for ourselves is a luxury that we must allow, as it facilitates our work with those around us.  In time, the shared moments with children at home or in yoga class will truly become more rich, enjoyable, and impactful.

Teachable Tip:

Start small by taking time for yourself.  It could be a weekly meeting with friends to unwind after a long week or even just a few moments before you go to bed every night to reflect on your day.  By addressing your personal needs, you can then be increasingly more present for moments throughout your day and are better enabled to meet the needs of the children you’re working with.

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