It’s Not Selfish to Take Care of YOU Too!
It’s October. The new and shiny has worn off of your school year, and if you’re like me, Chinese takeout and a 7 pm bedtime on a Friday sounds like a DREAM.
How do you motivate your people when you yourself feel like you need some motivation? We know that positive environment is one where teachers feel encouraged, supported, challenged to be their best, and empowered. While we can’t control the stress that we know our jobs in education bring, we can alleviate our OWN stress, which hopefully, will translate into better support for our staff, students, and community.
The most exemplary leaders, over the long run, tend to be people who take care of themselves, physically and mentally. They lead with an example of at least an attempt at balance. Balance is a challenging word, I don’t know that I’ve met an educator who feels that they have found that elusive stage of professional/personal balance. But in seasons of your year? You can find it!
The last thing you probably think you have time for is yourself, but that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. From choosing a healthier choice, one meal or snack at a time, to adding in 30 minutes of walking time…burn out is a real thing. You’ll forget why you’re running yourself ragged, while you run yourself ragged. What can you do that allows you some YOU time? Order take out? Join a gym? (with a friend b/c accountability is awesome!) A spa visit? Read a book, for fun. In order to be your best as a leader, you need to be able to ensure you are answering and responding with a clear mind. Some seasons may require you seeking the good to balance the bad that you’re dealing with…it can help break the negative spiral. In my world, a quiet morning on the patio with a book that doesn’t require any deep thinking or a highlighting is a treat, one that lets me empty my mind, We all need to refill at times.
So What Now?
Do you have a place to rekindle your passion? Your inspiration? To remind you of your why? Your mental presence is just as important as your physical one. I find that if I am not careful, I can easily miss the forest for the trees in my principal world. I can let the stress, the calls, the threats, the “never happy’s” suck up all the JOY that can be found in every single one of my days. Whether it’s an online shopping spree, or a marathon, or a retreat with your besties…make sure you have a way to find an inner peace. What have you done recently to take better care of yourself and strengthen your ability to perform well in the other parts of your life?