Before I begin, I would like to set the stage, for selfish reasons, because I want to look back at this blog post 10 years from now and remember exactly what this time in my life was like. I’ve heard many people suggest keeping a journal to capture this unprecedented time…so I’m going to rely on this blog. So here I go!!!
At this point, I have been working from home for SIX WEEKS! Say what?!?! I didn’t know it then, but Friday the 13th (of March) was my last day of physically going into work. That last week of physically going into work was emotionally draining to say the least. You could guarantee entering into a room and hearing, and very likely engaging in a conversation surrounding the coronavirus. I simply remember feeling emotionally and mentally EXHAUSTED.
The beginning of that week teachers were called down by administrators and notified of students who were being kept out of school because of possible exposure. Everyone was scared. Everyone (including myself) thought THEY knew the best decisions for the school, and at the end of the day, everyone just wanted to be ok.
That night of Friday the 13th, the superintendent sent out a call to the entire district to state that our school and community were safe and were to remain open the upcoming Monday. My group chat BLEW UP!!! Looking back, it’s clear that everyone was feeling a mixture of nerves, anxiety, anger and pure confusion. While neighboring school districts were receiving news of closures, we were receiving news that we were remaining open. (Enter confusion!!)
The next morning I woke up from a text message from my aunt that said “Schools are closed for 2 weeks..”……and that’s when sh*& became real.
The struggle was REAL:
I struggled. I struggled REAL hard that first week. I talked to my therapist and explained how lost I felt. I went from feeling emotions of anger and confusion wondering why my school wasn’t closing, to feelings of wishing I could go to work. I was lacking confidence. Everyone has something (or more than one thing) that makes them feel confident and teaching is that thing for me. I suddenly couldn’t do the action that made me feel most confident and I was struggling.
Ok, so the point of this post isn’t to tell you how hard it was for me because I know it was equally as hard for you. Perhaps you are still struggling and that’s OK! But for me, I purposely made changes that quickly turned my struggles into pure work-from-home SUCCESS and I want to tell you what has WORKED for me so you could transform any struggles into success as well!
Five Magic Ingredients:
- Keep a similar morning routine! –
When I physically go to work, I wake up at 5:30am. I eat breakfast, enjoy some “me” time and get to work by 7am. By the time 10am rolls around, I have already taught 2 classes and accomplished SO much. When I started working from home, my routine went down the toilet. I didn’t know if I was supposed to still wake up at 5:30am or if I should get dressed out of my pajamas if I didn’t HAVE to. Was I going to do my makeup and put in my contacts? I didn’t know how to “work-from-home.”
So my first week of working from home, I woke up around 9ish and by the time I got myself together, I got onto my computer around 10:30-11. This may seem “normal” and “totally fine” for you, but if you read the paragraph before this, I was used to accomplishing SO MUCH by 10am so this new situation was NOT working nor satisfying me. Similar to other situations of stress, we sometimes don’t see obvious solutions to help us get out of those funks. Therefore, I spoke to my therapist who helped me figure out that perhaps keeping a similar routine to the one I had while physically going to work, would make me rediscover those feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment. And you know what….it worked!!!
So here is my current morning routine:
- 7:30am – Wake up! (2 hours extra of sleep for the win!)
- 7:40-8:15ish – Make & eat breakfast & enjoy “me” time!
- 8:15ish – Get washed up, put on some mascara, change out of my pajamas
- 8:45-9ish – Hop onto my computer and get to work!
- 9:00-12ish – WERK!
2) Don’t watch the news (as much) –
I think it’s important to remain informed, but you don’t have to watch the news all day every day. If something is SUPER important for you to know, I’m sure a friend or family member will inform you!
3) Establish Boundaries –
Teachers CARE so much and are communicators. Therefore, having the Remind app or Google Classroom app on your phone can be SO dangerous. That’s why your need to establish boundaries, not only for yourself, but for your students as well.
Here’s what I did:
- I established with my students that they can reach out to me from 9-3, but if they contacted me after 3pm, they would get a response from me the following day.
- I stopped checking my work email after 3pm
- At 3pm, I opened up my phone’s notification settings and SHUT OFF the notifications for the Remind app and Google Classroom
4) Practice GRATITUDE –
You guys….this WORKS!!!! I decided to whip out my Start Today journal from Rachel Hollis and write down 5 things each day that I’m grateful for. I think people throw around the phrase “I’m grateful” and don’t give their brain the opportunity to actually BELIEVE it. In my experience, It’s more powerful to actually write it down and THIS. IS. MAGIC!
Here’s what I do:
- Each morning before starting to work, I take 1 minute to sit at my desk and write down 5 things I’m grateful for. IT’S. THAT. EASY
- When you do this, your brain holds onto those positive thoughts and it REALLY changes your outlook.
5) MOVE YO BODY! –
I don’t mean to continue plugging Rachel Hollis, but she knows what she’s talking about. (This is your time to go find her Instagram and follow her if you don’t already) If you follow her, you know that she strongly believes that everyone should move their body for at least 30 minutes a day. So…that’s what I started to do and it’s more MAGIC. If you currently don’t move your body for 30 minutes a day, try it out and see how you feel!
Alright, so here are 5 magic ingredients that I mix together that have truly transformed my struggle into success. Do you have a magic ingredient? I would love to know!
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