Snowy trees from above

 

For so many of us and the students and families we serve, the holidays are a mixed blessing. Even in the best of times, many of our students who see school as the anchor in their lives may be dreading being home for so long without the connections with teachers and peers that sustain them. Expectations of others about holidays can up our stress level as well. And, of course, COVID continues to be stressful for extended families who have differing viewpoints on vaccinations and masks.

There are lots and lots of websites that talk about self-care. Some have activities you can do. Take advantage of those! But in addition, think about Meg Wheatley’s approach to “creating islands of sanity” in your life. What would it look like if you took each environment of your life (family, work, social, etc.) and consciously thought about the people in each who are the “I would want you in my lifeboat during a storm at sea!” people and take the time to talk about how your little group can create an island of sanity for that environment. Think ahead about who you’ll be spending time with during the holidays. If some of those extended family members are just a little hard to take, plan ahead for how those who most support you can have a little plan about getting through those times in the best shape possible.

Finally, another big suggestion is that you find more ways than ever to HAVE FUN AND LAUGHTER! Walk into a classroom with a Groucho Marx set of glasses with the big nose and mustache, and sing them a hilarious song. Surprise the teachers with a video of something fun. Also, for those students who really need the anchor that school provides, consider making a quick video that they can access that is both a fun message and one of hope and looking forward to seeing them in the new year.

Then take a big dose of self-care for you! Every day, do one thing JUST for you!