Did you make it through that first long day of school? I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted, my kids are exhausted and it already feels like we’ve hit the ground running. My son came home from school today and asked, “could just do something fun this evening, like summer didn’t end?”
It’s hard to believe just a few days and weeks ago we were soaking up the long summer days playing joyfully in the waves of fun! Now, the leaves are turning, the evenings feel cooler and the mornings seem darker.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Fall. I love the start of the new school year. It always feels like a fresh beginning. The students are keen to start a new year with good intentions, the walls of our classrooms look great and we’re recharged and ready with high hopes for a good year.
But, then we get through that first day… and it’s like we never left.
And for me, as soon as I’m back to school the dreams (or as my retired PE teacher father calls them the “school-mares” – and yes, he still has them too!) seem to become even more vivid as we start back into this routine. The other night in my dreams I was fighting with one of the kindness teachers in our school about having a space to work in- she just wouldn’t let down and I woke up feeling heavy and hurt. It was hard to go to work. (side note… I did go in that morning and gave her a HUGE hug and told her I’m so grateful for her. Made us both feel better). We, as educators, so quickly start losing sleep, fretting over our students and our lessons and then summer slips farther and farther away from our memory.
So, how do we hold onto the summer feelings and stay present for the rest of the year (or at least September)? Here are a few quick practices to keep you from forgetting that “summer feeling.”
- Make a list of all the things that made you happy this past summer and then post it by your computer or in your classroom so you won’t’ forget or take a moment and print a photo of your favorite spot you visited. Have some sort of visual that brings you back to the feeling of joy so you can savor that good feeling.
- Give yourself permission to have boundaries at school, at home, in all parts of your life. Often we start September with big ambitions. Slow down and say no – for your own health and for those around you. If you burn out everyone you care for suffers.
- Notice the good things that are happening around you every day… even better get a buddy at work and for three weeks text each other each weekday two or three things that went great at work! Having a practice of gratitude enables us to feel better on a regular basis.
- Don’t forget you’re not alone and if you feel alone reach out! There are tons of resources to support your wellbeing. Talk to a colleague, administrator or friend. Or go see your counsellor or clergy member. We ALL struggle from time to time. It’s what makes us human. Be human and admit it!
- And if you are near to the Lower Vancouver Island, join our next AWE retreat where we wrap up all the September exhaustions and put them away to get you ready for October and the rest of the Fall.
Leave feeling nourished, calm and grounded. Register HERE
I hope the rest of your school year goes smoothly.
Reach out and tell me what you do to make sure your September is full of positive moments and healthy wellbeing!