Melrose Free-Press: Dr. MC says ‘Self-care isn’t optional’

The Melrose Free-Press featured Dr. MC’s presentations for the Massachusetts Partnership for Youth with an eye towards mental health during COVID-19. 

These uncertain times have educators and professionals more anxious than usual. The Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth welcomed self-care enthusiast Dr. Theresa Melito-Conners to share her resources and knowledge about taking care of yourself.

On May 21, the Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth (MPY) welcomed Melito-Conners to host a webinar titled, “Self Care is Not Cancelled: Cultivating Wellness and Adjusting for Uncertainty During COVID-19.”

Melito-Conners’ workshop contains many self-care practices and provides resources on the best way to practice. Self-care can reduce stress, anxiety and much more. She said how “self-care is not optional.”

Melito-Conners explained how educators and professionals can become easily burned out due to always wanting to provide the best education, assistance and care.

“I think some of these issues we experience with retention, like teacher burnout, could be alleviated with self-care,” said Melito-Conners.

The audience for the webinar reached over 400 people. Executive Director of MPY, Margie Daniels and Melito-Conners explained how the audience was extremely enthusiastic throughout the two-hour Zoom webinar.

Daniels has been with the non-profit organization for the last 13 years. She said educators are very focused in providing their students as much as possible during these times where learning is virtual.

“I think that professionals are really immersed in providing help to educators and students,” said Daniels.

Bringing it home

Melito-Conners, a 2001 graduate of Melrose High School, last August took the position as the Out of District Special Education Coordinator for Melrose Public Schools. She is also the founder of “Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret

The self-care enthusiast just completed her PhD and said she is thrilled to be back in the district; a community she cares about deeply.

“Around 2011, I had finished my Masters and started working at a private education day school. I realized very quickly I needed to take care of myself in that environment because I was bringing home [the work],” said Melito-Conners.

Melito-Conners has presented the topic of self care around New England since 2017. She has been invited to schools, events and to talk to paraprofessionals. She said virtually hosting a presentation is a different way to engage with people.

“This was my first time presenting for MPY. I’m humbled to have been a part of the list aside some of my colleagues,” said Melito-Conners. “I think for leaders and teachers there is a burnout in education. They are asked to do so much. They are heroes.”

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