Health 101: Sensory Sips & Snacks

At the moment everyone – especially in Cape Town – is aware of the importance of saving water.  But this is no excuse to skip your 2 liters a day. At Sensory Intelligence® Consulting we are all too aware of today’s busy, on-the-go world.  Unfortunately our bodies often take a backseat and we neglect to take care of ourselves.

Here are 5 practical tips to start your wellness journey:

  1. Buy a water bottle and keep it on your desk. This will remind you to keep hydrated and give you a reason to go browsing for a nice bottle. Pick something that reflects your style and personality – make drinking water fun!
  2. If you don’t like plain water, zoosh it up! Some great water mixes are: strawberries and mint, lavender and lemon, watermelon and basil and mango and pineapple. Or be creative and make your own gorgeous water mix. You can even share your favourite water recipes with friends and colleagues.
  3. Keep healthy snacks with you in your bag or at your desk at all times. Proteins like nuts are a great source of sustained energy and their crunchiness gives great self-regulation when we are stressed. Prevent getting “hangry” because your body will start to crave sugar and have you heading for the vending machine before you can say “chocolate”.
  4. Make sure you eat a substantial breakfast. Most of us rush out of the house 5 minutes past our deadline. But skipping breakfast will catch up with you later in the day when your energy levels dip and can have you over-indulging at lunch or even dinner. Top entrepreneurs and CEO’s like Richard Branson eat a high-fibre meal every morning.
  5. Plan ahead! Spend an hour over the weekend planning your meals. You can prepare ahead and freeze them, or simply write out a meal plan and do some shopping for the week. It will save time in the week and your body will thank you when it’s well-nourished and taken care of. A little planning goes a long way!

With these tips we aim to just re-focus on the core basics of health, namely drinking water and eating healthy.  After all, if you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?

Do you want to know more about your body and brain and what regulates you best? Your Sensory Matrix™ provides easy, practical and effective tips and tools to keep yourself calm, focused and working optimally.

By Karlien Terblanche

Tips to reduce end-of-the-year teacher stress

Once again, we find ourselves nearing the end of another school year. There are just over 6 weeks of school left, and as always parents, scholars and teachers all feel the pressures that go hand in hand with all that is still left to do before school closes for the summer holiday.

As teachers, we automatically make sure that the children we teach are well-prepared and taken care of, for the demands of exams and school activities such as the end of year concerts and award ceremonies.

But who takes care of you, the teacher, and makes sure that you are still swimming strongly?

As a teacher, you have just as many demands and tasks that need to be completed before you can shut down for the year. There are tests and exams to set and mark, there are reports to write, countless meetings with parents and colleagues, rehearsals for the various school activities that will take place, and then there are the demands of your own home and family life.

Teacher fatigue and stress are very real and very common. Teachers are not only educators, they also take on the roles of parents, therapists, mediators and counsellors. Let no one ever tell you that teaching is an easy job – after all, there are regular holidays and you only work half a day. AS IF!!!

Teaching is a labour of love and definitely not for the faint-hearted. In order to avoid stress and fatigue, you need to look out and care for yourself. Make regular time to JUST BE – do what makes you happy and relaxed.

In order to maintain a calm, happy and regulated you, try some of these tips

  • Understand where your limits are and don’t take on too much extra work.
  • Limit the amount of work that you take home. Home is where you need to connect with yourself and with your loved ones.
  • Create a sanctuary for yourself – take yourself to a place that calms you. Find a spot at home (not your bedroom or office), and just be. Let this space be the place where you can meditate, read a book or listen to music quietly. If you are at school and need to get out of the classroom, find a quiet area in the school where you can “just be”, e.g. the school gardens.
  • Do not eat lunch in your classroom!
  • Take on a hobby – spending 1 – 2 hours a week doing something else is really good for the soul.
  • Do regular exercise – this will help alleviate stress and prevent burnout.

Teachers are a precious commodity who work under some of the most stressful conditions. In order for you to stay in the profession, you need to take care of yourself. By doing so, you will be a calmer, regulated and happier teacher. Happy teachers make for happy and impactful learning to happen in the classroom. Finding time for yourself should be done regularly throughout the year, not only when the pressure is on at the end of term or year.

Go on – TAKE 5 and JUST BE!

If you want to take your self-care to the next level, the Sensory Matrix™ self-assessment will provide easy, effective and powerful tips and tools to make sure you are the best version of yourself.

Annabella Sequeira holds a BSc (Occupational Therapy) degree from the University of Cape Town, backed by 22 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors.  She has extensive practical experience in the area of Sensory Integrative Dysfunction in children and is passionate about empowering others to improve functionality and quality of life.