Volume 1, Issue 4 | March 2021
HeartMind e-News: Teach, Learn, Lead
A monthly publication dedicated to trauma-informed, compassionate school practices that help educators, students, and families move toward a sense of wholeness and well-being
Confidence and Self-Care
By Christine Y. Mason, PhD, CEI Founder and Executive Director

What do confidence and self-care have in common? After spending close to a year holed-up in our homes, wearing masks as we restrict our forays out into the world beyond our screens and desks, we have changed our routines in significant ways. What was once a quick “run to the store” has become a mindful reflection on “intentional shopping,” with a new list of considerations such as the best time to shop and how to ensure we are following all the prescribed safety precautions. Because we have not been confident that others are following recommended CDC guidelines, over the past year, we have put our trust in social distancing, avoiding strangers, and restricting our in-person interactions.
From March to May of 2020, our confidence in our everyday routines was destroyed. We learned not to count on our pre-COVID precautions to keep us safe and healthy. For those who have been providing essential services, it has also been a time of acute stress and increased concern about PPE supplies, whether the virus is mutating, what to do if we encounter someone with COVID, and what further steps might be taken to avoid risks. Overall, it has taken many months to feel any degree of confidence in the recommended safety protocols we have tried to follow. 

If you are a teacher, not only have you modified your own self-care to maintain your health and protect your loved ones, but you have also had to learn a whole new way of teaching. And again, your confidence in your capabilities has been put to the test. Would you be able to manage Zoom rooms? What would you do if your bandwidth wavered? How would you recognize whether students were truly learning? And how would you modify your instruction to be more effective? Could it be that improving our own self-care might enhance our confidence?

This month, Kahlil Kuykendall, a gender economist and mindfulness self-care instructor in Washington, DC, joins us with her insights into the relationship between confidence and self-care.
Join Our HeartMind Adventure!
Our HeartMind Adventure is a series of practical exercises designed to give you, your colleagues, and your students opportunities to deepen understanding and further the practice of our 5Cs:

In February, we took you on a HeartMind Adventure asking you to become more aware of your compassion. This month's HeartMind Adventure connects our 5Cs to confidence and self-care. To begin, review any notes you have from last month and begin this month's adventure by answering a few basic questions. Learn more.
Each edition of HeartMind e-News offers a research-based perspective to help you understand more about what can be done to further trauma-informed, compassionate school practices that help educators, students, and families move toward a sense of wholeness and well-being.
Just starting our HeartMind Adventure?

Review our steps on this self-awareness journey:

Featured Article
Our HeartMind e-News connects the relationship of heart centered learning and mindfulness to current research and circumstances. Our goal is to provide our readers with concrete opportunities to further implementation of heart centered practices in their schools and districts. These opportunities will include suggestions for reflection, journaling, dialoguing, and compassionate classroom activities. These exercises often start with adults, working on our own knowledge and skills, before we turn to students.
Cultivating Mindful Self-Care to Bolster Confidence
By Kahlil Kuykendall, Gender Economist and Mindfulness Self-Care Instructor

“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills...There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind...So constantly give yourself this retreat and renew yourself.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

Your retreat may be your own self-care. While self-care should be a priority in every profession, it is particularly important for those in caregiving careers. Teachers, like nurses, doctors, firefighters, police officers, and other caregiving frontline professionals, often experience stigma surrounding self-care.  
Mindful Self-Care

Self-care includes nearly any activity people use to calm, heal, and preserve themselves in the face of adversity. Some common forms of self-care include (Spicer, 2019):

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating well
  • Getting physical exercise
  • Meditating
  • Watching a good movie
  • Engaging in meaningful, nontoxic connections with others who have been supportive.

Self-care also involves listening to one’s body when one feels something is awry or acknowledging when one is headed toward exhaustion. Read more.
Upcoming Events

Join our research-based webinars to learn about experiencing joy and healing through mindful self-care.
Wed., April 7, Noon - 1:00 p.m. EDT

As we continue to face uncertainty, intentional and disciplined self-care can accelerate our path to improved well-being, greater self-confidence, and better and more inclusive communities.

We invite you to spend an hour with Kahlil Kuykendall, a gender economist and mindfulness self-care instructor who penned this month's featured e-newsletter article, who will explore the connection between taking care of ourselves and increasing our self confidence as she describes her work and guides us in some simple self-care breathing and meditation routines.
Wed., April 14, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. EDT

Learn about research-based practices to enhance student focus, academic achievement, decision-making, and critical thinking skills as we transition back into classrooms and continue hybrid and remote learning.

Join Mindfulness Practices co-authors Drs. Christine Mason and Michele Rivers Murphy, and a panel of distinguished experts, for an expanded conversation around ways to improve student academic performance, cognition, and executive functioning through mindful heart centered learning practices. 
Compassionate School Practices: Fostering Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being

Help your school/district use available resources to create a compassionate culture of justice and care for all by leaning into this book’s approach to leadership and social emotional learning.

Discover a collaborative visioning process to elevate compassion through dialogue, policies, and protocol.
Program Spotlight
Feeling overwhelmed with the volume of potential SEL activities? Join our HeartMind Community to access trauma-responsive, compassionate school practices based on CEI's Heart Centered Learning framework.

Join our HeartMind Community to understand more about seamlessly weaving mindfulness and Heart Centered Learning throughout your school day.
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