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Extending Grace to Yourself

The shift to remote and hybrid learning has not been easy, and I don't think anyone would claim that the journey was smooth sailing.  As I continue to work with districts and schools on an on-going basis, I try my best to help them overcome continuous challenges and frustrations. Through it all, educators have risen to the occasion and have innovated their practice at a more frequent pace than any time in history. At least, that is the way I see it, but as the pandemic wears on, educators are still trying to figure things out.  I am here to tell you that you are not alone. Virtually everyone, no matter the profession, has and continues to experience challenges during this unique time.  Just take a look below at what this lawyer went through.

I can't help but laugh every time I watch the video above and never even knew that there were avatar filters available in Zoom. However, there is a fundamental lesson here. We are still in a constant state of flux.  So much of what we are attempting to do is new, or other challenges materialize out of the blue.  Professional learning can most certainly help, but that has been placed on the back burner in many cases.  Thus, it often falls on educators themselves to figure things out.  Then there is the fact that students and colleagues are in desperate need of support so that natural reaction is to put individual needs on the back burner to help others.  While this is admirable and the right thing to do, it is imperative that educators extend some grace to themselves. 

It seems simple, but the reality is that extending grace to yourself isn't easy or something one aspires to do because it just doesn't feel right. Nancy Fulkerson explains why it is essential to do so.

When you feel like your day is unraveling or you've been hard on yourself for whatever reason, "giving yourself grace" is about giving yourself that kindness you often deserve. Sounds awesome. The type of thing you'd want your best friend to do for herself because you don't want to see her breakdown.

The fact of the matter is that what you have done and will continue to do matters. During tough times giving yourself some grace can make all the difference. Here are five ways to do this:

  1. Dedicate an hour doing something you are passionate about.
  2. Give yourself a pat on the back or even look in the mirror while stating that you did well today.
  3. Engage in something that is all about YOU.
  4. Close your eyes and take a deep breath when something doesn't go right.
  5. Begin and conclude your workday with self-affirmations.

Things will not always go as planned, and adversity will always be around the corner.  Continue to always show grace to others while remembering that you need it as well. It is more than ok to give yourself a pick-me-up when needed.  Please know that your dedication and commitment are truly appreciated.