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valentines day

February 7, 2024

Show Yourself Self-Love This Valentines

The AFT provides staff with monthly health and wellness tips, and now they are sharing them with the Share My Lesson community too! February's issue offers suggestions on how to better communicate with others, on practicing self-love, and how to set boundaries.

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Heart Pumping Cardio

Aerobic exercise is any cardiovascular activity that raises your heart rate. Activities that make you break a sweat can help improve circulation and lower blood pressure. Some of the best exercises to keep your heart strong and reduce risk of heart disease and stroke include, walking, biking, swimming, and dancing.

Tips to Exercise Safely:

Talk to your doctor first. It is recommended to talk to your physician before starting any exercise program.

Stop if you don’t feel well. If you develop shortness of breath, tightness in chest, shoulder or jaw pain, dizziness or confusion, stop immediately and contact your physician.

Monitor heart rate. Reference a table showing target heart rate zones for different ages. You can visit heart.org for a chart from the American Heart Association.

Warm up and cool down. Every session of aerobic exercise should include a warm-up with a gradual increase in pace and a cool-down with the pace gradually decreasing.

Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance.
Oprah Winfrey

Listening: Build a Bridge Through Communication

When it comes to listening, remember that everyone wants to be heard and validated. Active listening is a thoughtful way to improve personal relationships, further collaboration and reduce misunderstandings and conflicts.

To Listen Actively:

Listen, don’t compare. Comparing emotions or situations by saying things like, “yes, but…” while sharing a seemingly worse situation, can be interpreted as a way to minimize or negate what the speaker is feeling.

Listen to understand rather than to respond. Resist interrupting or drifting into thought about what you will say next. Aim to get information to find out more about the person or situation.

Look them in the eyes. Eye contact connects an individual to the person with whom they are talking.

Avoid making judgments or giving advice. People want to be heard, not fixed. Trying to be helpful makes us feel good. Instead, encourage the conversation with open-ended questions, and help remind of them of their strengths and resourcefulness.

Communication is what makes us human, yet we need to learn listening skills and practice them to improve the quality of conversations and relationships.

Recipe of the Month

baked fruit dessert

Super Easy, Healthy Baked Fruit Dessert

2 small apples sliced
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Toss all fruit in lemon juice, maple syrup and cinnamon. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy after cooling and top with yogurt.

Love Yourself

This Valentine’s Day, aim that cupid bow and arrow at yourself with self-loving affirmations that will give rise to positive thoughts and actions.

Tell Yourself:

My best is good enough.

I am worthy of love.

I have not been hurt too deeply to heal.

I can build my life around a realistic, loving way of seeing myself.

I can change lifelong patterns.

If we can love ourselves as we are, we can be loved by somebody who sees us the way we are. When we accept ourselves, we can be accepted by others and accept others as they are.

Self-Love is Simple

  • Caring for your own needs.
  • Caring for your own wants.
  • Caring for your own desires.
  • Recharge to have the energy and resources to be there for others.
Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! Shout loud 'I am lucky to be what I am!'
Dr. Seuss

Boundaries: Where to Draw the Line

Setting boundaries for yourself and honoring the boundaries of others can provide healthy rules for navigating relationships, whether intimate or professional. Boundaries are not rules we enforce on others. They are standards of conduct that we set for ourselves for our own benefit.

Ingredients for boundaries in social interactions include:

  • Self-respect for self and others.
  • Setting limits using communication skills (no mind reading).
  • Listening to, and respecting the feelings of others.
  • Flexibility with trusted people.
Honoring the values of oneself and others demonstrates dignity and respect.
Amy Cohen

Join the Health & Wellness Community

We are bringing fitness instructors, social-emotional and mental health leaders, and nutritionists together so we can collectively “workout” and de-stress our bodies and our minds. 

American Federation of Teachers

The American Federation of Teachers 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 o

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