Learn about this successful event, plus key takeaways to help you unlock your inner happiness.
Let’s be real, educators. It’s been a challenging couple of years, and we want you to know that we see you, appreciate you and that we want to help. That’s what inspired our first ever Spring Into Happiness live event, complete with giveaways, mindful yoga with Sarah Platt-Finger from Chopra Global and inspiration from Yale professor and Happiness Lab podcast host Dr. Laurie Santos.
Hosted by Katy Jao, our Educator Relations Manager, it was a morning of celebration, two-way dialogue and actionable, science-backed tips on unlocking your inner happiness when things get tough. Read on for more details and tips from Dr. Santos! You can also view the full webinar here.
The burnout is real. Here’s what to do.
We know one common experience affecting educators is that feeling of being just plain burnt out. According to Santos educators are “more stressed than ever over the last two years [and] experiencing burnout at unprecedented levels.” Some signs of burnout include emotional exhaustion, frustration with others or a feeling that you can’t make a difference no matter how hard you try. Do you think you could be suffering from burnout? Take this quiz and find out. If you are, check out this summary of the top three insights from her “The Science of Happiness” presentation to help you cope.
How to be happier as a teacher: 3 ways.
Santos shared insights into the science of well being, specifically with educators in mind. Here are some skills she presented to help you feel happier in your daily life.
1. Navigate negative emotions.
We can’t eliminate everything that makes us feel sad, frustrated or anxious but research, according to Santos, shows we need these emotions to show us what to pay attention to and react to, in order to make necessary changes in our lives. And trying to suppress them can even adversely affect our physical and cognitive health. She suggests these approaches for coping with our feelings instead:
- Recognize which emotion you’re experiencing. Are you frustrated? Sad? Annoyed?
- Allow that feeling to be just as it is, instead of avoiding or trying to suppress it.
- Investigate how it’s affecting you. Is your jaw clenching? Craving something for comfort?
- Nurture yourself with self-compassion. What can you do to take some stress off?
This method has been shown to reduce burnout in not just educators, but other individuals in high-stress positions such as first-responders and palliative care workers.
2. Get more time affluence.
Santos defines this as “the subjective sense that you have a lot of free time.” She points out that many of us experience “time famine,” the feeling of starving for time. To help alleviate some of the negative effects of time famine on our well being, she suggests carving out ways to get back more of our free time, such as through:
- Investing in time affluence: Getting take-out or using a grocery-delivery service to save time on meal prep and shopping.
- Time confetti: Finding ways to use the small tidbits of time we have throughout the day for self care, such as five-minutes of meditation and yoga.
These tips highlight the importance of paying attention to your time famine and finding ways to reduce it.
3. Give yourself the gift of self-compassion.
According to Santos, much of our stress arises from our own inner “drill sergeant,” being overly tough on ourselves to meet our own expectations. But a more effective way to “talk” to ourselves is with self-compassion, through:
- Self-kindness: Being willing to speak the truth to yourself in a kind way.
- Recognizing common humanity: Acknowledging that you have flaws like everyone else (and that it’s okay).
- Mindfulness: Being aware of how your body feels in the moment, and allowing it to be exactly the way it is.
Practicing self-compassion, says Santos, leads to a host of benefits, including better decision making, less procrastination, improved relationships and more.
What other educators are saying about the event.
The attendee response to Dr. Santos’s tips and the rest of the Spring Into Happiness event was overwhelmingly positive, with many showing appreciation for the yoga session as well. See what some are saying below!
“I really enjoyed the event! It was very reassuring and positive. Lots of great takeaways!” – Sonia A.
“It was great that the Yoga instructor was able to give us suggestions on how to incorporate a little yoga into our classrooms.” – Karen V.
“Dr. Santos’ presentation was excellent and helped change my mindset returning to work today! I have been feeling a lot of guilt and feelings of burnout, but she gave useful strategies to change our thinking.” – Krista H.
“Takeaway: compassion for myself (just as I show to my students) because we’re all doing the best we can during a really challenging & unprecedented time.” – JoAnne K.
“I felt really validated when she said that we derive happiness from having time. Time is what I feel like I don’t have a lot of, and with deadlines it gives me a lot of anxiety. So it was just nice to hear!” – Canela M.
“I liked the yoga session and the reminder that we need to care for ourselves. We (as teachers) put in so much time in our work that we forget that we need time for ourselves too.” – Tami H.
Thank you to all of the educators who were able to attend the event! If you weren’t able to make it, be sure to check out the full webinar here. For more on the science of happiness from Dr. Santos, check out her podcast: The Happiness Lab. You can also enroll for her course “The Science of Well-Being” by signing up for a free Coursera account.
Like these tips? Share on social!