This article includes FREE printables and resources for Educators.

As a teacher, you face a lot of stressful days at school, but the silver lining to facing that stress is that you’ve got a unique opportunity to help demonstrate a growth mindset for your students. One of the best ways to model a growth mindset for your students is through affirmations.

Regularly practicing positive affirmations can help you and your students manage the stress that comes in the face of change. Positive affirmations have the power to help your students lower their stress levels, decrease their anxiety, and build their self-esteem!

When something threatens our sense of adequacy, stress levels rise and self-protective reactions may take place that ultimately hinders performance and growth. Research shows, however, that affirmation of the self can actually curb some of these negative responses and allow us to respond flexibly.

Learn about the benefits of an affirmation practice in this video. Feel free to share it with your students too!

There’s science that supports incorporating affirmations into your classroom. Negative self-talk can increase feelings of anxiety and lead to depression. It can also increase cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, and have negative effects on both the mind and body. Working to shift students towards embracing affirmations and positive self-talk can lessen negative self-talk and bring lots of other benefits to their lives.

• Positive self-talk can help manage and regulate the emotional responses triggered by activation of the amygdala, the section of your brain most closely associated with negative emotions such as fear and anger.

• Positive self-talk can lower anxiety and increase feelings of self control and agency.

• Positive self-talk can help students recognize and process difficult emotions.

• Positive self-talk can make students less judgemental of themselves and increase feelings of self worth and self compassion, which helps students build stronger and healthier relationships.

Here are some exercises and activities you can consider using with students to help them start practicing positive self-talk.


Begin each day by setting aside a few minutes for students to state an affirmation. Use this Create a Great Week worksheet to start each day off with some positive self-talk. Take breaks throughout the rest of the day to complete the rest of the worksheet, or the following morning students can reflect on the previous day.

In the peak and pit section of this worksheet, have students identify the best part of their day and the biggest challenge they faced. Use this as an opportunity to celebrate students’ accomplishments and support students who faced difficulty.


Use this exercise to help students build their self-esteem and develop a positive perspective.

Have students create an affirmation page. Give students a piece of card stock or construction paper and draw things that are important to them or images that represent their values. Students should also write 5 - 10 affirmations on this page. You can provide students with a list of affirmations to choose from, but also encourage them to come up with their own honest affirmations. While this initial activity will take a little time, you can use this as a brain break for weeks to come.

As a break during class, have students get out their affirmations page. You can spend a few minutes having students recite their affirmations out loud as a break, or have students show and explain their affirmations page to a classmate. Students can share with a new partner each time you have them bring out their affirmations page.


Have students find a partner and choose who will go first. The first person will state an affirmation and be affirmed. For example, the first person might say, "I am awesome." Then, that student is affirmed by the partner who will say, "You are so awesome." The first student says affirmations and gets affirmed for one minute before the students switch roles. This is a powerful affirmations activity that only takes a couple of minutes of class time and can be done on a regular basis.


Have students stand in a circle. The first student will say their affirmation aloud. “I am creative!” The student to their right will affirm them, “You are creative!”, and then state an affirmation of their own. The group goes around the circle until every member has stated an affirmation and affirmed another student.


Have students write out their name vertically on a piece of paper. Students will then write an affirming work about themselves that starts with each letter of their name.

Have students spend time creating a personalized list of affirmations on a piece of construction paper or card stock. Offer students a list of suggestions, but allow them to choose which statements they connect with most. Students can also decorate this with drawings, pictures, or cutouts from old magazines that represent things they like about themselves and value. Students can post these around the room or keep them with their other class materials, but once a day make time for students to look at their collage and repeat one of their affirmations aloud to themselves.

This activity can be altered for younger and older students. First, identify a list of negative self-talk phrases. For older students, you can write these out on the board and work as a class to discuss why they are examples of negative self-talk, and then change the language to make the statements examples of positive self-talk. For younger students, you may want to write the phrases out on cards or posters and already have the revised version of positive self-talk prepared. You can still discuss as a class why the negative self-talk is negative and why the positive self-talk version is better to use. After the activity, for both younger and older students, post the positive self-talk examples somewhere students are able to see the affirmations.

This can be done in an in-person classroom or a virtual class. As you work with students to use positive self-talk, they will need regular practice developing positive, self-affirmations. You can have a daily or weekly assignment where students write an affirmation. Give them a format or goal for their affirmations and have students write these as an exit ticket on their way out of class or as a quick assignment submission in an online classroom. One day students might write a simple “I am” affirmation where they identify one of their positive traits where the next time they might write an “I am learning to” affirmation where they identify some way they are improving.

Helping students learn to embrace positive self-talk and affirmations can help students manage the negative emotions they may be experiencing this year while simultaneously increasing their self-worth and self-compassion. Consider making time for affirmations in your classroom and create a great day!

Coping with Burnout

Burnout is the emotional and physical exhaustion you may experience when you’re starting to feel powerless, overwhelmed, and have low satisfaction with the work you’re doing.    Unfortunately, a lot of people are impacted by burnout and if left untreated it can lead to chronic mental and physical health issues.    But fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent and cope with burnout.    Here are 3 Rs to keep in mind if you are prone to experiencing feelings of burnout:    Recognize 👀 Recognize your warning signs for burnout before you’re burned out. Pay attention to your symptoms so you can notice when these symptoms begin to appear.    Reverse When you start to recognize symptoms of burnout, seek necessary support and put stress management strategies in place. Strategies like breathing exercises, affirmations, and a strong gratitude practice can help reverse the impact of burnout.      Resilience 💪🏾 Finally, take proactive steps to put tools in place so that when life and work become more stressful, you’re already prepared to handle it!   

Bouts of burnout may feel inevitable, but the truth is there are a lot of tools and strategies you can put in place to help prevent and cope with burnout.


  Learn more about these strategies in my Cost of Care Course.

Discovering The Mako Method™ (Our Framework for Managing Stress)

New Year – Same Me.    The New Year isn’t about reinventing myself. But it is a great time to reintroduce myself, and for all of us, it’s a great time for re-evaluating our goals, our work, and our intentions for the upcoming year.     I work as a stress management consultant helping people build resilience to the stress they are experiencing. I also work with teachers, mental health professionals, police officers, and others who work around stressed populations.    My goals are to:   
  1. Help people manage their stress. 
  2. Help people teach these practices to those they serve. 
  The foundation of my work is called The Mako Method™. This is my personal framework for building resilience to stress. The framework consists of different actionable strategies that I teach folks to help them navigate their way through stressful experiences.   When it comes to stress management, The Mako Method™ strives to:   
  • Make It Accessible: You don’t have to pay to go to a yoga class, or meditate for an hour – this framework consists of things you can do from anywhere on any budget. 
  • Make It Manageable: The framework is made up of actionable practices; exercises you can actually do to start managing your stress. 
  • Make It Work: The Mako Method is evidence-based strategies that have been proven to help people change the way they can process and perceive stressful information. 
  The Mako Method™ has the power to change the way we process and perceive stressful information and ultimately change the way we respond to stressful situations.   

Watch the full video to learn more about The Mako Method™ and to learn more about my journey as an entrepreneur. 

And be sure to download my FREE Mako Method Guide to start taking control of the stress in your life. 


Establishing & Enforcing Boundaries for Helping Professionals

As a caregiver or helping professional, you give a lot of yourself to the people you serve.    You give your TIME, your ATTENTION, your EMPATHY, your PATIENCE, and COMPASSION   You do this because you want to provide the best care possible for those you serve, and that’s awesome, but *WHEW* all of that giving can be quite draining.    If you don’t learn to set AND enforce some boundaries, you run the risk of continuing to take on more & more responsibilities until you are no longer effectively able to serve because you’re bogged down by feelings of burnout, exhaustion, and possibly even resentment.      But let’s be honest, enforcing boundaries can be tough.    Here are 3 of my tips for establishing & enforcing your boundaries and protecting yourself from burnout and compassion fatigue:   
  1. Reflect and Prioritize – Make a list of the things you need time for in order to be happy, healthy, and able to provide care for others. Make these things a priority.
  1. Learn to Delegate. When you recognize you’re stressed or starting to develop feelings of anger & frustration, know that it’s time to ask for help! 
  1. Accept the Guilt, and Move On. Don’t be ashamed of feelings of guilt as you start to enforce your boundaries – that guilt’s a reminder of your generosity & desire to help! But don’t let that guilt trick you into altering your boundaries. Acknowledge feelings of guilt and then move forward with your boundaries still in place. 

Want to learn more about boundaries and making sure you can recharge so you can be more fully present and compassionate as you support others? Check my Cost of Care course!


Low Impact Debriefing

Do you ever feel like by the end of the day you’ve collected a bunch of stories you just HAVE to share?    When your work involves helping others, there’s a high probability that you often experience or hear about difficult situations that you want to share with others. It’s completely normal to feel like you need to unload about your day. There’s even a name for it.    Informal debriefing.    But if we aren’t careful when it comes to this kind of debriefing, it can have damaging effects on the person we are sharing this information with.    So here’s a tip:    Breath before you debrief.    Before unloading about your day, take a moment to consider how the weight of your collected stories may impact the well-being of others. It’s still important for you to share, but make sure to do it in a way that is considerate of the mental well-being of those you share with.   

Learn more about ways to protect yourself and those around you through low impact debriefing in our Cost of Care course.


The Power of Perspective

Once you know your stressors, there’s a powerful tool you can use to help you cope with that stress. This tool can have a HUGE impact on your life.    But – this tool can be hard to access.    What is this game-changing tool?    🛠  Your. Perspective.🛠   Perspective building is huge for shifting the way you perceive stressful situations, AND it helps the way you respond to stressful situations   To start thinking about shifting your perspective take the time to:    
  1. Identify your stressors. 
  2. Take note of which ones are within your ability to control. 
  3. Analyze how you respond! THIS is where you have control. 
  You have the power of choice. While a bunch of your stressors may be outside of your control, you can control how to respond to stressful circumstances. By developing journaling, breathing, and gratitude practices you can help shift your perspective in life’s stressful situations.   

See the full video below and If you’re looking for more strategies to help you with perspective practices, download my FREE resource guide The Mako MethodTM.

  **A final note about toxic positivity**   I love to preach the power of positivity, but please, be sure to use this when you’re ready. Acknowledge your feelings, and only when you’re ready, move on to this perspective building. This is not a tool for dismissing your emotions, it’s a tool to bounce back from stress.    Build your resilience to stress and create a great day! 

Warning Signs

🚦 ⚠️ 🚦 ⚠️ 🚦 ⚠️   We know how to read a lot of warning signs…    So why do we often ignore the most important warning signs around us: Our body’s warning signs of stress!    One of the best strategies for managing stress is to be proactive in recognizing how we react and respond when we begin to experience stress.     As you learn to pay close attention to how you respond to stress, you can use that information to develop a sort of warning system that tells you “Hey! It’s time to take a break and implement some self-care!”    How do you start paying attention to your warning signs?   
  • Review your symptoms of stress and identify how you respond and react.
  • Take daily check-ins and ask yourself how you are feeling and managing your stress.
  • Journal about your day and be on the lookout for spells of tough days.
  From there, you can start to view yourself as a stoplight. You learn to recognize when you are green, and your self-care is going well and you feel good, when you’re yellow and feeling slightly stressed and may need to take additional care, and when you’re RED and need a very intentional break and time to rest and recharge.   If you develop some stress management strategies, this can include breathing, journaling, gratitude, and affirmations practices, when you find yourself in that yellow zone, you’ll be better equipped to help yourself move towards the green and stay away from the red.  

Find those stress management strategies on my signature Cost of Care Course.

Work Life Balance

Do you feel like managing your work schedule and personal life is a constant juggling act and you’re one false move away from dropping it all?    We often talk about trying to strike up a work-life balance. Work-life balance is this idea that we can equally prioritize the demands of our personal and professional lives. But this pressure to prioritize everything can be a bit overwhelming.    When you’re trying to give 100% of yourself to everything you realize one thing: You can’t.    So instead of aiming for work-life balance, I like to talk about work-life harmony.   Here are some ways to start finding this harmony: 
  • Accept that there won’t be a perfect balance, and that’s okay. 
  • Take care of yourself, body and mind. 
  • Set your boundaries, and enforce them.
  It’s not about perfect balance, it’s about giving yourself permission and grace to figure out what works for you for personal and professional harmony.      Instead of feeling pressure to give 100% to everything, start thinking about giving 100% of yourself to YOURSELF.    For more information about these strategies and more ways to find work-life harmony check out our signature Cost of Care course.

You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup

You can’t pour from an empty cup. So I want to know, how much is in your cup right now?    We talk a lot about serving others – but what I’m NOT hearing enough of is the push for those of us who serve others to take care of ourselves and make sure we are well.    We all want to pour out but if you just give without giving yourself the opportunity to replenish, well that’s a recipe for burnout.    So here are some strategies I use to make sure my cup stays full so I can continue to show up and serve others: 
  • Breathing Exercises – One of my favorites; deep breaths help me calm down and think clearly
  • Schedule Self Care – I don’t just say I’m going to do it, I put it on the calendar
  • Connect Outside of Work – I make sure to have conversations about things OTHER than work. 
  What do you do to fill YOUR cup?   

Learn more about taking care of yourself so you can continue to show up and be the best version of yourself for the people you are serving in our Cost of Care course.

Coping with Change and Uncertainty

Surges in COVID cases, holiday plans still up in the air, constant changes at work, is anyone else feeling completely overwhelmed by All. This. Uncertainty?!    It’s been an unpredictable year (to say the least) and coping with the stress that comes with the sort of change and uncertainty we’ve all experienced can be difficult.    So if you’re finding it hard to cope and you’re feeling overwhelmed, I want you to know that it’s okay. You’re not alone in feeling this way. And the good news is there are ways to work through these types of experiences.    Here are some things to keep in mind as we navigate these uncertain times. 
  • Take some time to grieve. It’s okay to feel sad and angry. 
  • Reframe your perspective. Process those negative emotions, but then move your focus towards accepting the change and moving forward. 
  • Focus on what you can control. While the loss of control creates feelings of stress, taking note of what you can control may help alleviate some of that stress.  
  And one of my favorites –   
  • Celebrate your Wins! This helps build our positive perspective. So no matter how small it may seem, know that every good thing right now deserves to be CELEBRATED! 

Watch this video and find strategies for self-care in our Cost of Care course!