in the field

Wellness Contract


I’m sharing with you a little tool I use to maximize my wellness at an awkward time because I have a cold that just won’t quit. I am unwell, considering I’ve demolished two bottles of DayQuil and two bottles of NyQuil in a week. Any suggestions?

Anyway, I’m starting a new job (a teaching job… have you heard? I talk about it all the time…) in two short weeks, and it’s times like these I like to sit down and have a little meeting with myself about my wellness. Wellness is such a relative term–what contributes most to my overall wellness changes all the time. This is why I think it’s important to check in with yourself prior to any big life changes (to preemptively plan for your wellness) or during times when you just feel icky–to get your wellness back on track. I like to develop what I call a Wellness Contract.

During the summer, my idea of wellness is sleeping till whenever, watching gobs of television, and idling by the side of the the pool. Of course, this sort of routine won’t do for the fall, when I’m responsible for the safety and intellectual development of 25 fifth graders. Even if I could manage that routine and still have a full-time job, a lack of structure does not make me very productive. So yeah–it’s time to check in and refresh my habits for a Fall 2015 Wellness Contract: First Year Teacher Edition!

I typically like to keep this concept simple, but there’s going to be so much going on in the fall. So this time around my Wellness Contract is a little lengthy–some points are super concrete, others are more like mantras–but you get the idea. Some things on my contract will really stick, and some will not. Be flexible with yourself–I find that usually the most important habits stick around even if you let some others go.


pack lunch at night
clean out and repack tote nightly
arrive at school one hour before students
communicate, communicate communicate
ask for help!

plan one date night per month
make time for a friend one time per month
otherwise, say “no” guilt free

one hour of TV a day
one hour at a coffee shop on Saturday–don’t take any work with you!
a few minutes of reading or meditation before bed

high protein breakfast
drink water during the day
daily movement; YMCA at least twice a week
grocery shop and cook food for the week on Sundays
maintain a sleep schedule

I’ve jotted all of this down into a little notebook and I’ll refer to it again and again throughout the semester. Next I’ll work on turning some of these points into actionable items–like going through the YMCA fitness class schedule and adding them to my calendar.

What would be on your Wellness Contract for fall?


photo from Death to the Stock Photo

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