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Daily Midday Moments

The Education Centre Network ESCI (@ESCItweets) with Breathing Space Ireland (@BSpaceIreland) would like to continue to support teachers during this difficult time.  Follow our Twitter account (@ClareEdCentre) to join us each weekday for our ‘Midday Moment’. 

Midday Moment - Thursday, 2nd April 2020

For today's midday moment, you might want to have a pen and paper beside you (if you wish).  Let's pause and take in a nice long deep breath.  Let it out and release any tension that may have built up from the morning so far; in your stomach, back, shoulders, arms...any part of your body that feels tight or uncomfortable.  Repeat this gentle breathing a couple of times.  

Now let's meditate for a moment on the following....what is it about this time at home and this crisis that you may see as a positive?  Is there anything?  Maybe there isn't.  Or maybe there is.  If there is anything that you feel you have enjoyed about this time, could you pause and breathe, and notice what that is?  Allow it to float up inside you rather than force it. Could you jot it down on your piece of paper?  Is there something that you feel you have learned?  Compassion for yourself or others, or both maybe?  What is it that you have learned?  Could you write that down?  Is there something that you feel deeply grateful for as a result?  A sense of community that has swelled up in the midst of crisis maybe?  The simple pleasures that can be enjoyed each day?  Take a moment to write this down. 

Is there something, moving forward when this crisis passes, that you wish to change about your life?  Maybe there isn't.  Maybe there is.  If there is, what is it?  A slower pace?  To spend more time with family?  To be present a little more?  If this is different than what you have written above, then write it down too.  Look at what you have written.  Place it somewhere you will see it to remind you.  Maybe just maybe there is some learning in all of this. Maybe we can take a new step forward when the madness has ceased....a step that allows us to go a little lighter and a little gentler with ourselves.  

Stay safe and well everyone.

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Midday Moment - Wednesday, 1st April 2020

View guided video HERE.

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Midday Moment - Tuesday, 31st March 2020

At the moment, you may be experiencing varied emotions from one minute to the next.  One minute you are feeling optimistic and positive about the situation and out of nowhere may come a sense of dread and anxiety.  You may feel grateful and then all of a sudden be filled with fear.  This myriad of emotions may feel unpleasant and confusing but given the circumstances, is perfectly normal.  The brain is attempting to find solutions to an unparalleled set of circumstances and so it is on one hand, stuck in a 'stress response loop' ensuring survival which means we experience fear and possibly anxiety.  On the other hand, it is looking to find solutions within calm, compassion, kindness, gratitude and hope but due to the over-activation of the stress response, isn't always going to trust in such solutions being enough.  This is why there is a jumping back and forth of feelings.  

In today's Midday Moment, let's pause and breathe.  Let's offer our brain and body the space in this moment to calm this stress response and move into the other 'solutions' such as calm and compassion for self.  We are only human.  These responses are normal.  Let's notice our feet, and take a long deep breath in for a count of 4, and exhale slowly for a count of 5.  Repeat this a few times.  Adrenaline is draining from the bloodstream now and the calm 'reset' button is activated.  Add a cup of tea or coffee as desired!

Stay safe everyone.

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Midday Moment - Monday, 30th March 2020

Never ever underestimate the power of our thoughts and words on our emotions and on our bodies.  We have been attempting to adapt to these surreal and ever-changing circumstances for the past few weeks and on Friday, further flexibility of an already confusing and worrying situation was asked of us. We knew it was coming and we know it's for the best, but with further restrictions in place, it is perfectly understandable that our brains may be even more 'scrambled' and we do need to take time to adapt once again now.   

So maybe take a few moments right now to consider the language and words you are using in your self-talk and in your talk with others around you in relation to the 'lockdown'.  This word alone can have an adverse affect on the brain and can send it straight into stress response.  So as always we begin by returning to our breathing to calm this response, taking nice long conscious breaths in and out.  Next just notice what is being brought to you right now through your senses (what you can smell, touch, hear, taste and see in this moment).  Once you have been mindful in this way, consider the words 'lockdown' and 'stuck at home'.  Now try changing them to the words 'secure' and 'safe at home'.  Notice in your body the physical response to the latter.  Taking care of your thoughts and words means that you are taking care of yourself and your responses. 

Stay safe everyone.

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Midday Moment - Friday, 27th March 2020

What a strange feeling it is to not have that 'Friday feeling' today.  You may be feeling the days are rolling into one, with the weekdays rolling into weekend days.  As teachers, that bell on Friday signifies an ending of a week and the beginning of hopefully a break or a rest for the weekend.  This lack of predictability, along with news reports of increasing cases of Covid-19 may be pushing your brain into a fearful space. This is perfectly normal as fear can spread as fast as the virus.  But so too can lots of other more positive emotions if we allow them to.

So take your midday moment to pause now, take in a deep, long conscious breath.  Repeat this a couple of times, notice your feet on the floor and 'reset' yourself.  Even go make a cuppa and do some mindful window watching (being present to what you can see outside right now; colours, shapes, noises, smells).  Remember, just like the virus, the next person you come in contact with (virtually or in person!), you will be 'passing' this calm onto them. So taking this moment has not only reset your disposition but has helped someone else too and so it goes on and on.  We may not have much control right now, but we can make this choice at least.  Hoping that you will take the time for some rest and play this weekend (and yes it is the weekend!)

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Midday Moment - Thursday, 26th March 2020

At the moment, it can be easy to fall into a mindset of wishing that things could be different.  But it's also a time when we can come to appreciate and be present to the smaller more ordinary things; the ordinary becomes the extraordinary...a hot, frothy, much needed cup of mid-morning coffee to be relished, soaking up the rays of spring sunshine through the window, sweet bird-song that went unnoticed in the midst of the school schedule or the simple pleasure of fresh clean sheets on the bed at night.  Take a moment right now to look around and notice what sensory experience is right at your hand and enjoy 😊.  

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Midday Moment - Wednesday, 25th March 2020

Welcome to your Midday Moment Breathing Space Practice. Pause what you are doing, find a comfy chair or lie down. We all need a moment in our day to pause and breathe, especially at the moment, so let's do that now.  View guided video HERE.

Midday Moment - Tuesday, 24th March 2020

Welcome to your 'Midday Moment' - a space where we invite you the teacher or school leader to take a breath for yourself once a day whilst you navigate your way through the current circumstances which have left us with a new reality to adapt to, for the moment anyway.  

As teachers, we mostly love routine and there is a great sense of security (even if we don't always recognise it!) in predictable schedules, bells calling us in and out of class, and terms that begin and end like clockwork.  In stark contrast, this is a time of uncertainty which along with online teaching pressures, family commitments and other concerns can bring stress, worry and even anxiety to the fore for many of us.  

So each day, we invite you to link in at midday to pause, breathe and just be; we will offer a quote to consider or a mindful moment to engage with; maybe even plan to have a cuppa at that point in the day so that it can become part of your new routine.  Each Wednesday then, I will invite you to engage in a short mindful practice via video so that you can take a few more moments for yourself.  Never before has self-care been so important, not just for ourselves but for our loved ones and the community around us.

For today, let's pause, take a long deep conscious breath and consider a different kind of 'to do list’.

Midday Moment Tues 24th March 2020

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