Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Slice of Life #20 Challenge Day 18/31: Practicing Self-Care

Slice of Life #20 Challenge Day 18/31: 
Practicing Self-Care

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a lot of changes in the last week of school. Professionally, I have had a difficult time keeping up with all of the messages and directives. I am doing my best to learn how to teach and connect with my students from afar. This is all really new to me. Yet, I know that our administrators, both at the district and building levels, are doing the best that they can - just like I am doing as a classroom teacher.

There have been several moments in the past few days that I have been on the edge of tears. As much as I don't want to admit this, there have been many moments that I have actually cried - sometimes out of frustration, sometimes out of fear, and sometimes out of just feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I don't think that I am alone in experiencing these intense emotions. 

There are so many unknowns; For me, the unknown (and what is beyond my control) makes me feel the most unsteady.  

As a parent, teacher, and friend, there are three things that have been incredibly helpful in practicing self-care for me during the past few days: 

  • Walking around my neighborhood. I am fortunate to have a fantastic walking buddy and now friend, Dave. Although Dave and I are on completely different paths in life, he and I have shared fantastic conversations and connection. It's been a good, meaningful distraction. 
  • Writing in my notebook. It's still my daily practice write at least three pages. More than anything, Writing has been my way out when I have experienced anything challenging. Each day I continue to list what I am grateful for. Practicing gratitude is often how I can flip my perspective to something more positive. 
  • Talking to loved ones and friends on the telephone. Yes, talking, not just texting. A few days ago I swear I could actually hear my friend Steve's smile in his voice. More than once, he has made me laugh when I was feeling cranky. In general, talking on the phone has helped me stay connected with people that I may not be able to see in person. It helps me feel less alone.

Fellow readers, what has been most helpful to you during this time? 

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  1. The uncertainty shakes us all to the soul. The urban district I work in is not implementing distance learning. We have educational links available for those with internet and devices. We are in a holding pattern right now, not sure what our next steps will be.
    As for self care, I've been writing, connecting with others remotely, organizing a closet, walking. The problem I'm having is staying focused. My mind moves to social distancing and concern for what is next.

  2. These three ways to self-care have served me well, too. I also work out each day and have listened to and read poetry as well as written lots of poems this week. You have had so many changes this year, so you deserve a good cry. I cried last night as I wrote and poured my heart onto the page.

  3. As time goes on, I think we will begin to realize just how important this self-care will be. I went for a walk yesterday, and it felt sooo good just to be out. Hang in there.

  4. Walking, writing, reading, family, chats with friends, mindfulness exercises, and food keep me sane.

  5. Please don't feel ashamed of crying. We have this capacity for a reason. These are unsettling times and identifying the things which calm you and connect you to others is vital to staying upright against the wind. My own self-care is quite similar: getting outdoors for fresh air and sunlight, writing, and evening chocolate.

  6. Good advice. I too have been overwhelmed by all we need, want to do for our students.

  7. Trina, everyone is feeling overwhelmed that I know. It is difficult not to feel this way she everything is closed, even our cathedral. We were told that Easter Sunday Mass is not going to be live in the church. It will be broadcasted on TV-this is a first. I have been writing, cleaning out my attic, and going for walks to remain calm. Today, I started not looking at the news broadcasts because they have been making me upset. Stay well.

  8. Walking, talking & writing - these are such good things to do. In my life I'll add baking and reading - but I'm realizing that getting out of the house (even when it's cold) and seeing friends (from a distance if necessary) is really important. We're in this for the long haul - so we need to know that we can cry & know that we can care for ourselves, too.

  9. It's interesting how we're reconnecting as a society in different ways. It's the upside of all this for me.

  10. We are all just doing the best we can...and that is okay. Great perspective.

  11. Loved your list. I've been making more calls too. And there's something so gratifying about hearing a friend's or family member's voice. Daily walks are helping keeping me sane. I'm trying to make more time for meditation and prayer. There are so many needs.

  12. walking, talking, and writing are always good items for a self-care list. Having a new routine is helping me. Cats of course. Daily yoga (follow @erikhinton on twitter to find out what time each day he will be teaching a free hourlong class from his NYC apartment!). I need to get outside more. I want to start following your example of a daily walk.


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