- Embrace the disruption to your routines.
- Reconnect with yourself by starting a journal, creating fun videos and songs for your students, finding a way to laugh everyday, or using your talents to help someone else.
You are important. I don’t know if anyone has told you that today. Or yesterday. Or even in the last week. But you are, and I need you to know that. Remembering you and your worth is so vital.
Two months ago, I knew exactly who I was…mostly. I knew what made me tick. What made my heart sing and what got me out of bed in the morning. Second grade teacher…check. Mom to two littles…check. Wife…check. Lover of books, coffee, and music. Confident, organized, and motivated.
Then, the world came crashing down and time stood still. Suddenly, everything in my life was turned upside down and everything I knew about myself was thrown into question and confusion. Teacher? Yes, but now virtual, not in the classroom. Mother? Yes, but now stay at home and homeschooling. Wife? Yes, but now with a different dynamic because we are together ALL THE TIME.
Confidence became overrun with anxiety. Organization became muddled and floundering while motivation was pushed out by the overwhelming nature of daily tasks.[scroll down to keep reading]
Fight or Flight?
In times of stress, our bodies are conditioned for fight or flight, and I did both. I fought the change and tried to flee the uncertainty. I ran from the perceptions of what teachers “should” be doing and what parenting “should” look like while fighting against the freedom of no plans and endless stretches of time.We don't have to do it all in one day, but we do need to take baby steps to make sure we are reconnecting with ourselves. Click To Tweet
One day I would overcompensate by trying to be everything to everyone. And then the next, my to-do list would sit untouched. I wavered between gratitude for extra time with my family and anxiety over not doing enough. I couldn’t find my footing in this new normal. In the midst of the chaos, I lost myself. I lost the parts that made me who I am and love.
I imagine there are a lot of you who feel as though you’ve also lost yourself along the way. Maybe you started off this journey aimless and wandering. Or maybe you hit the ground running, but are slowly losing the fight the longer this continues. Maybe you were fine as long as there was hope of going back to school. But now…
Finding Your Way Back
Today, I refuse to let stress and anxiety win. I realize it’s imperative to remember who you are. To remember what you love and what makes you smile. Once you remember, then go do it. Be it. Share it.
If you are creative, channel that energy into a project. Love writing? Start a journal. If you love music, create fun videos and songs for your students. Find a way to laugh everyday. Use your talents to help someone else. We don’t have to do it all in one day, but we do need to take baby steps to make sure we are reconnecting with ourselves.
What I’m learning is that the people in our lives need us to be authentic. There’s a reason your students and your families love you. Find that person again and hold on tight. While our current situation seems never-ending, the truth is one day this will end and life will resume. It may look a little different, but we will go back; to school, to work, to restaurants, to our daily routine.
Who will you be then? You, the real you, are too important to push aside and forget. And you might just find that you like, and appreciate, yourself a little more than before.
About Maggie Gifford
Maggie Gifford is a 17 year veteran with a background in elementary and special education. She is currently loving 2nd grade! Maggie’s ultimate goal is to reach all learners and develop self-motivated change makers. Her passion is to go beyond the standard to make learning fun! She thrives on coffee and good books.. She lives with her husband and 2 children in southeast Ohio.