Press Pause – wellbeing considerations for teachers and artists

18 June 2021

1. Introduction

This is our first dose of wellbeing vibes to help disconnect you from your working week and reconnect you with what gives you joy, meaning and purpose.

We hope you find this session – and the next 6 sessions run by Nicole Glisson helpful.

Here Nicole shares a bit about what you can expect from these bitesized practical workshops to support educators and artists and also provides us with a few simple activities to get us started.

2. Emotions

EmotionsYou are not your emotions, but the way you travel with your emotions can hugely influence your day.

Here are two short activities that help to build kindness, compassion and an openness to giving and receiving.

Loving Kindness Meditation – Send your thoughts and energy to those who need it.

  • May you have happiness
  • May you be free from suffering
  • May you experience joy and ease

Self Compassion Meditation – show kindness and compassion for yourself.

  • May I be free from suffering
  • May I have joy and happiness

3. Engagement

What keeps us engaged?

With the world changing from what was familiar to us in theatre and in theatre education, how can we shift our focus from thinking about what life was like before to how we can create a sense of engagement in what we are doing now within a different context.

Nicole discusses the concept of being in awe, how we can play with the sense of awe and recognise it around us. As well as motivation – how we can create, maintain and move forward.

4. Relationships

We are social creatures – even if you are an introvert and are re-energised by quiet time and space, chances are that you thrive with connection to others. So how can we ensure that we are making the most of our relationships to create harmony, feel seen and recognise that it takes two to tango?

In this mini-workshop we focus on two approaches to nurturing your relationships to help them grow and flourish – from your partners to the people you work with.

Active Constructive Responding describes the process of being fully present and engaging in conversations that help to develop deeper connections and understanding.

Reading the Situation is a technique that sounds pretty obvious in theory, but tougher than you think to put into action.

5. Creating meaning and purpose

This bite-sized wellbeing check in is all about focusing ourselves back to consider what really makes what we do matter most. As theatre educators and artists, during the time of disconnect we have felt this past year, it is even more important to take the time to consider this element in our own creative lives.

“Life is about growth and exploration, not achieving a fixed state of balance. You have a very limited time on earth to experience all that you can. Figuring out how to squeeze the most out of your family, work, and spirituality is your life’s purpose. Go do it.” – Mel Robbins

What does it mean to give your life purpose? What is your purpose in life?

  • Read to connect to people & places you’ll never know
  • Cultivate awe, gratitude & altruism
  • Find & build community
  • Tell your story

6. Accomplishment

Today we look at two elements that contribute to your positive accomplishments: the way you think about success and building motivation. ​

Consider how your ideas on success differ in the different domains of your life?

  • Mental – contribution and growth
  • Physical – health and wealth
  • Emotional – relationships with family and friends
  • Spiritual – relationship with yourself and higher connection

Write a list of all your successes for the week or month – I guarantee there will be so many more things on the list than you thought and it will boost your feeling of success by doing this. ​

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How do you optimise your levels of motivation?

Consider how well the three areas of Self Determination Theory are being taken care of:​ ​

  • Your level of autonomy, independence or choice
  • Your ability to achieve competence or mastery
  • The level of relatedness or connectedness

Overall, recognise and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they might initially seem. They all add up to increase your feelings of wellbeing and ability to thrive.

7. Mind/body connection

Take your MEDS!

🧠Mind – mindfulness, meditation, at effect rather than cause – lower anxiety, engage the parasympathetic system, moving from fight, flight and freeze into rest and digest.

🤸🏼‍♂️Exercise – move regularly – links between walking and reduced occurrence of anxiety and depression.

🍒Diet – Eat the rainbow, 🌈 less sugar, more olive oil. Blue Zones 1 litre per week – better memory, lower blood pressure, lower risk of cancer

😴Sleep – Lark or Owl? What’s your optimum zone? Quality and quantity, sleep hygiene routine for mind and body – Brain cell rejuvenation, lower stress, increased memory and functioning skills

About Nicole

Nicole has always been intrigued by connection. Connection between ourselves and others; between our psychology and our physiology; and between our personal and professional lives. She has had the pleasure of teaching and learning, coaching and training in this field for the last 20 years in international education. She has worked in Australia, England, Malaysia, Turkey, China and Singapore, teaching Theatre; exploring wellbeing, mindset and individual flourishing; and guiding both students and staff. She has a MSc in Applied Positive Psychology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and is a member of The Coaching Institute, Australia. She is also the Deputy Chair of PESA Singapore (Positive Education Schools Association), a qualified yoga and meditation teacher and loves to dance around the living room embarrassing her children!