"Can't Stop! Won't Stop! Don't Stop!" Those were the words my sister used while fussing at me about not taking care of myself. Yeah, I know… I know. The last time I had been to a Doctor of any kind was when I was pregnant....... five years ago. I know I'm not the only one guilty of not taking care of myself. Teachers, while we are superheroes, we are NOT invincible. When you are dedicated, motivated and determined to make a difference as a teacher, you pour all of your time, energy, resources and HEART into what you do.
Last April my husband reminded me of an anecdote I had heard years ago which was, unfortunately, making an unpleasant appearance in my current life. Balls were falling all around me. You may have heard this anecdote before... We are living our lives juggling rubber and glass balls. As jugglers we try to keep all the balls in the air, but there are times when we "drop the ball". The concern comes when we think about the type of ball that falls…is it a rubber one or a glass one? It’s okay to let rubber balls fall because they can bounce back, for example if all the papers don’t get graded it’s not the end of the world. (think…File 13) The glass balls on the other hand are the ones you really want to take care of and pay attention to. Glass balls represent our friends, family, relationships, and you and your health. If a glass ball drops, it doesn’t bounce back. It breaks.
Understandably, our priorities shift during the ebb and flow of our lives but placing too much neglect or giving too much attention in certain aspects of our lives can be detrimental to other balls we’re trying to balance. It’s okay to put the grade book down now and then. Although it’s a pain, make those sub plans so you can "take a day". Make that appointment you’ve been putting off. Take that well deserved and much needed mental break. Attend that get together with friends you haven't had a chance to spend time with. Some days, leave work at work!
I know you’re trying to do it all, but realize if you don’t take care of yourself first you won’t be juggling anything. Make time to rest, refresh, reflect, reignite…and in some cases reconsider.
BALANCING ACTION STEPS...
Prioritize Career & Personal “Non-Negotiables”- Separate your non-negotiables from other tasks that are not as important.
Schedule time for personal “To-Do List”- Schedule 20 minutes per day to knock out small personal tasks. (This includes scheduling personal appointments you keep putting off.)
Set Boundaries- Be intentional about your time. Work productively and don’t over do it. In other words, do fewer things, better. Make time to do things that bring you joy.
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