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Finding Balance

August 25, 2023 | 1 comment

Finding Balance

The AFT provides staff with monthly health and wellness tips, and now they are sharing them with the Share My Lesson community too! August's issue offers guidance on finding balance in your life.


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Simple Food Choices

Sometimes choosing what to eat and what not to eat can just get exhausting. Late summer is a great time to conserve decision making energy and keep food extra-simple. Having healthy options to turn to when life gets hectic can be flavorful, delicious and easy.

Start with the basics. Avoid processed sugar and stop eating when you are full.

Enjoy the foods you eat. Choose nutrient-rich foods that are familiar, easy to find and represent the five basic foods groups. Fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole-grains and dairy.

Stock up on staples of a few natural ingredients, to mix and match options for the week including, whole grain bread, apples and bananas, eggs, plain Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds, carrots and celery, hummus and low-fat cheese.

Keep ready-to-eat fruits in the refrigerator for a quick snack.

Simplicity is a beautiful thing.

Back in the Saddle

Riding a bicycle can offer basic transportation, fun and fitness. Whether you are an avid rider, thinking about dusting off your bike or just getting started, there are lots of great reasons to ride.

A Few Include:

  • Getting some exercise.
  • Breathing the fresh air.
  • See your environment at a slower pace.
  • Sense of freedom, adventure and joy.

If you are getting on a bike for the first time in a long while, getting started is simpler than it seems. The basic necessities for cycling are just you, a bike and a helmet. Biking is a great way to burn calories, reduce stress and enjoy the outdoors.

A few ways to keep your rides safe and enjoyable are:

  • Be realistic and start small. Your body will need to adjust to a totally new activity. Aim to ride a certain number of days per week to stick with it.
  • Stay safe and wear a helmet. When riding alone, always carry a form of identification, cash and your phone in case of an emergency.
  • Follow traffic laws. This includes coming to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights.
  • Never wear headphones or earbuds while riding outdoors. If you need tunes for motivation opt for a small blue tooth speaker.
  • Bring water. An effective cycling workout will make you thirsty.

Drink Water Today

Water is the source of life. A person can survive without water for only about 3 days! The body is unable to function correctly without water. The effects of dehydration come on quickly, especially in extremely hot conditions when a person sweats.

Water intake is so critical to health, yet drinking water and staying hydrated is the simplest behavior you can accomplish daily. Eight glasses a day is the standard recommendation, but can differ based on the person and environmental factors. Generally, your thirst will guide you when it comes to how much water you should drink.

Eating foods that contain a high amount of water also helps hydration. Food alone isn’t likely to provide an adequate amount of water to sustain you, but it can help.

Fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of water include:

  • cantaloupe
  • strawberries
  • watermelon
  • lettuce
  • cabbage
  • celery
When you are thirsty. Drink water. When you are hungry. Drink water. When you are hot. Drink water. If you are tired. Drink water. Drink water.

Recipe of the Month

baked salmon

Easy Baked Salmon Foil Packets

1 medium potato, sliced into very thin rounds
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
2 salmon filets, about 6 ounces each
1 orange halved
1 lemon, halved

Preheat oven to 400°F. Take two 12" long sheets of foil and add half the potato slices to each in the center. Drizzle the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of oil, season with salt and pepper. Top each pile of potatoes with 1 salmon fillet. Evenly drizzle each salmon filet with 1 tablespoon of oil. Squeeze half the orange and lemon over each filet. Seal the foil packets making sure to tightly crimp the seams so the juice doesn’t leak. Place on backing sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes

Back in Balance

Balance is a meaningful goal to set. When life is busy, or when focused on a special project or issue, it’s easy to find yourself not paying enough attention to other important areas of your life.

What parts of your life have you ignored in order to focus your attention elsewhere?

A balanced life takes into account all of our needs: friends, work, love, family, play, private time, recovery time and spiritual time. A tool to help consider each area of life and identify areas that need more attention, is called the Wheel of Life.*

1. Start by listing 6-8 life areas that are important to you. The example diagram has suggestions. Draw your own balance wheel in your journal, on a piece of paper or wherever you like.

2. When thinking about how fulfilled you are in each life area, draw a dot between the center, and outer edge of the wheel to indicate how satisfied you are in that area. The center of the wheel represents 0% and the outer edge represents 100%.

3. After placing all your dots, connect them all together and the shape you make will show you where you are out of balance.

4. Reflect and set meaningful goals to create a more evenly shaped wheel by reflecting on the strong points and growth you’ve made, then identify which areas require more of your immediate focus.

Remember in life some areas need more attention and focus than others at any given time. Choices and compromises need to be made, but this visual representation can act as a tool for your ideal balance goals to keep you on track.

wheel of life

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The AFT was formed by teachers more than 100 years ago and is now a 1.7 million-member union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are... See More

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