Hi, friends! How are you? No, how are you really? It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? My last post was from March 16th when we were just three short days into quarantining. Businesses were just starting to close and schools were just beginning to prepare for what we all imagined would only be a few weeks of online classes. No one could have imagined that three months after my last post, a post filled with some semblance of hope and optimism, that we’d still be here in quarantine, with many of us still grappling with the same sense of uncertainty, confusion, and disappointment we did when this first started. Most businesses are still closed, schools are closed for the remainder of the school year, and some students are still adjusting to remote learning. There are new ways of grocery shopping, restrictions on social gatherings, and even mandates that require us to wear a mask whenever we’re in public places. Despite recommendations from leading scientists and doctors, some states are just now starting to ease some coronavirus-related restrictions which will give us a glimpse of what it’s like to eat out, shop, and socialize in our new normal. Continue reading “Motivational Monday: It’s OK Not To Be OK”
Friends! It’s almost time to celebrate, toss your texts to the side, and kick up your feet. Hopefully, you’ve caught the Hamilton buzz and have been “writing day and night like it’s going out of style.” If you too find yourself just “non-stop,” remember to take a much-needed break between your studies. Breaks are scientifically proven to improve your focus and productivity, but you have to make sure you’re selecting effective study break options that will help you reenergize and refocus. While watching Netflix or playing video games are easy go-to’s, they won’t give your brain the rest it needs to recover. Remember to schedule in five-minute breaks after 30-60 minutes of studying. Here are 10 suggestions to help you optimize your study breaks:
Wow! Is this really the last week of October? Where did it all go and why did it go so quickly? It seems like when I was younger, every day moved so slowly. I thought I’d never reach adulthood, and here I am in my late twenties wishing things would slow down, appreciating every single moment, relishing it as if it were my last. The sad thing is that for so many people, these sweet and precious little moments are few and far in between.
Happy Tuesday, friends! Since entering the wonderful world of private school teaching, I have noticed my students are dealing with a type of stress, exhaustion, pressure, competition, and anxiety I don’t think existed a few years ago. For some, it’s debilitating. For others, it’s embarrassing. But I want you to know anxiety isn’t something that should be shamed or stigmatized. Anxiety is normal. Anxiety isn’t dangerous. Anxiety can be problematic. Anxiety is manageable. Take a listen to today’s Dear Kermit podcast for three tips to better manage your anxiety, and comment below if you have any additional strategies that work well for you!
Every Sunday night, my high school principal sends a beautifully crafted email of encouragement and wisdom to the faculty. Of course there’s pertinent information as well, mostly updates and important dates to remember, but at the heart of her messages are words of inspiration—and this week’s was no different. Just three days ago, I received an email that reminded my colleagues and me of the importance of self-care. We’re one week shy of midterms (insane!!!), and finally halfway through the longest term of the school year. Faculty members have been trucking away like trains on a track, turning our wheels faster and faster, not breaking, not stopping, and not resting since we started orientation and planning week in August. We’re exhausted, sleep-deprived, dehydrated, famished, and probably a hop, skip, and a jump away from falling ill or quitting (whichever comes first, right?). We’re turning into zombies and pod-people—tiny shells of our previous existence. Okay, okay…maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here, but when we stop and take a moment to breathe and reflect deeply, we can start to see and feel what we’ve often been ignoring. And as I sit and consider my own thoughts and feelings, I can’t help but think about yours: how do the students feel?
Happy Yom Kippur, friends! For my non-Jewish followers, Yom Kippur is a Jewish holiday that recognizes the importance of atonement and repentance. It is a holy day, and for most, it is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Now, whether or not you’re Jewish, you have to admit there is something so powerful about having a day devoted to both asking for forgiveness and, in a sense, getting a chance to start over with a clean slate. Similarly, I’m sure it’s no coincidence that today is also the first day of fall! In his 1925 classic novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald writes, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall” (118). It may not be “crisp” where you are (yet), but the sentiment remains— today is a day for you to turn over a new leaf, a day for you to get a second chance, and an opportunity for you to start over.