So I’m constantly amazed and inspired by how hard educators work each and every day for the students and for the school and for the community. I’m not just talking about the school day though, where we teach, plan, collaborate, assess, attend meetings and all the rest, but also about the time that we spend at night and on the weekends, and even during our holidays. Countless hours thinking about how to do better and be better for our kids, and for our school, and for our world. It’s a job that is never ever finished, and even though it’s super rewarding and spirit lifting on so many levels, it can also take a toll on a person’s mental health.
Educators pour so much of their souls into their jobs, and we take it all home with us, and ultimately, teaching and our passion for education is very much who we are…it defines many of us. In my opinion, there is no better vocation on the planet, and I think that no other job is as important as what educators give to the future of our world, but the truth of it is if we’re not careful, it can absolutely be a burnout endeavor. Today I want to strongly advocate for the notion of taking time for yourself, and finding a daily outlet where you can decompress, re-energize, and reconnect to the most important person in your life…you.
Education can be a very stressful profession as you know, particularly at excellent, high performing schools, and it can be difficult to juggle all that you want to achieve at work with all that you need to take care of at home. Often times we can strike a balance that seems to work to keep us on top of everything, but what can be lost and sacrificed in finding that work-life balance is our own mental health…our “me time”, which is ultimately is the key to being your best self. I guess I’m asking you this week to reflect on how much time you are actually spending on yourself each day, and if you find that it’s hardly any at all then you need to commit to making a change. I know that’s easier said then done for many of us, and carving out a daily 30 minutes or so can be a daunting task, but really, it’s something that you need to do. I struggled with this for a very long time early in my career until I found an outlet and a routine that worked. It meant getting up 45 minutes earlier than usual but the change that I’ve noticed by giving 30 minutes of my life to me each morning has been transformative and profound.
When I get up and hit the streets for my early morning runs, it’s a gift that continues giving throughout the day. It gives me time to think, and to dream, and to celebrate, and to reflect, and it gives me that endorphin rush that I carry with me to school every morning. It was hard to get into the routine for sure, but now it’s a habit that I couldn’t even think of breaking. Anyway, it certainly doesn’t have to be running, and it doesn’t have to be early in the morning, but the idea of carving out some time each and every day, and finding that outlet where you can connect with yourself is a good one…I promise it will positively impact your life, your job, and your mental health in tremendously positive ways. At the heart of it is this…you can’t be your best self for others if you don’t make yourself the top priority. So, what’s your outlet? If you have one, well done and keep it up, if you don’t then find one and watch your life start to get immeasurably better. Have a wonderful week everyone, and remember to be great for our kids and good to each other.
Quote of the Week…Do not let a day go by without taking time for yourself – some time you spend in pure pleasure, as you see it-Napoleon Hill