If you are like most, your attitude may have taken a real beating with the last few crazy weeks.  Uncertainty abounds, requirements are changing how you teach, and concern for your students, friends and family are paramount.

Well, the initial shock should be wearing off, you are beginning to “find your feet” through all of this, and your ability to adjust to this “new normal” should be improving (we hope).  

However, when we go through shocks of this magnitude, we need to remember it isn’t always a linear progression.  There will be some days you feel up to the task and others, for no apparent reason, feel like you are swimming upstream – in a hurricane – with a 50-pound sack of worry on your back.

That’s why this blog post is going to concentrate on how you are caring for yourself. By your very nature, you care for others, or you wouldn’t have gone into the teaching profession.   But you can’t continue to carry others if you don’t make time to work on your own wellbeing.  

Here are a few funny, timely finds for you to think about as you are swimming the maelstrom.

  1. You’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home.  One word can change your attitude.
  2. What are you grateful for today?  Make a point of reflecting every day to remind yourself.
  3. Who are you checking in on or connecting with today?  We are all suffering from some powerful isolation, on top of everything we are trying to do to keep our various plates spinning.  Take the time to send a note or make a much-needed call.
  4. What expectations of “normal” should you be letting go of?  It’s perfectly all right to recalibrate. It can be big or small.   But give yourself the time and space to assess what can be “just enough” in these turbulent times.
  5. How are you getting outside every day?  Make a point to get outside when you can.  Your computer work is probably getting the best of you in how long you sit, or how much eye strain you may be dealing with.  Spend a few minutes outside (maybe working on that gratitude thing). It will reinvigorate you.
  6. Find some beauty in everyday things.  Be mindful of that around you. If someone is doing exceptionally well through this, let them know you noticed.  It will help you both. If a tree is blooming you’ve never noticed before, take that moment to drink it in.
  7. Here’s a novel one.  You probably don’t feel like you have any extra time but think about the time you normally spend commuting to your job.  If it is 20 minutes one way, that’s 40 minutes a day you have that you normally wouldn’t. Pay yourself by spending that time on activities you’re interested in for your own enrichment or self-development.  Learn some French, acquire a new skill, you name it, but think about all the time you are spending and carve some out for yourself.
  8. Limit your news consumption.  Many are limiting it to “x” number of minutes a day.  It is easy to go down the “too much news” rabbit hole.  It isn’t helpful. Stay informed, but don’t dwell in what-ifs. 
  9. Think of another challenge you’ve surmounted to remind yourself you are resilient and strong.  Maybe you lived through 9-11. Maybe you kicked cancer to the curb. Maybe you got out of an abusive situation sometime in your past.  You are stronger than you know.
  10. Close your day, every day, with a positive acknowledgment of something you accomplished or learned. It will help dilute some of the negativity you may be feeling right now.

Finally, here are a couple of resources you might put to good use.  This first one is a funny bingo board for using in your meetings (probably not the best for your teaching sessions, though!)

Conference Call BINGO card

Cries of “BINGO!” ring out across the land, right?

And lastly, here is a good link on virtual classroom resources.   This spreadsheet is on Google Docs, is open to all and being added to all the time.  It includes tips for staying sane, tools and activities.  

Stay safe, stay sane and know above all else, how important you all are.

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