Try the SOAK Method

by Stephanie, May 18, 2020

As we continue in quarantine, week after week after week, I find that my patience is wearing. Juggling my own work, my children’s school work, the house work and everything else in between can be exhausting on the best of days after this long stretch of staying home (Who knew how exciting a trip to the grocery store could be?!). And admittedly, I can feel it wearing on me and the way I interact with others. I needed a mini-intervention and found it surfing through the Internet looking for quick ways to ground myself throughout the day: the SOAK method.

I learned the SOAK method from Amy Crumpton’s blog post onMedium and have been calling upon it ever since. Here’s how it works:

When you find yourself having a moment of sadness, frustration, anger or other negative emotion, take one minute to reframe your mindset and restore your sense of well-being in a few easy steps:

  • Stop. Take a mental break and check in with yourself.
  • Own. Acknowledge your feelings. Feel them.
  • Ask: What is the most loving thing I can do next? (This is important!)
  • Keep going. Actually do the loving thing for yourself and keep going.

I’ll admit: this works. When I feel frustrated that I did not get enough of my own work done before needing to help the kids, I’ll give myself a little grace rather than beat myself up. When I’m sad thinking about the status of our world, I’ll remind myself the most important thing is that we are healthy. It works.

I think this is the perfect little hack for coaching as well. We work with teachers who are all dealing with their own unique situations and emotions and may also feel fatigued, stressed and frustrated. These feelings make us act and react in ways we might not normally have. So, rather than respond accordingly, stop and try the SOAK method. What’s the most loving thing we could do for teachers during this time? These small acts of kindness (and courage!) might be the very thing teachers need the most.

Need a quick way to spread the word? Take a look at this fantastic image Ona Feinberg created! You can find her at @OnaFeinberg.
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  1. This is great, Stephanie! Thank you.

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  2. I love this post! It is exacty what I need right now! Thank you!

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    1. I'm so glad, Krista. It's really helped me as quarantine continues and continues!

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  3. I love this so much! I made it into a slide to share with my teachers, citing you of course! https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Oi0pUEMszPgtc4x3wrVp3_rkFSHLkUcfLmEpO-KL-UM/edit?usp=sharing
    :-)

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  4. Ona! This is BEAUTIFUL! May I share it with my teachers too? I love it!

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    1. Absolutely! :-) Your words, I just put a few fonts and a stick figure! LOL. Thanks for the awesome idea.

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  5. Love this! I just finished creating this "sketchtivity" in my notebook!!!

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    1. Yay! So glad you are getting started on your notebook and added such an important page!

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