Jeffrey Anderson observed that "yellow is the color of the east, childhood and morning." Find your yellow!
Weeks one and two, we were shell shocked. Stunned, we hastened to learn new technology, called our students, watched Tiger King and cleaned those cupboards that needed cleaning. Weeks three and four, we got serious about exercise and ploughed through that novel that was collecting dust. Week five, the online meetings began with a vengeance…
Now, week six is upon us and many of us have resigned ourselves to what has become the new normal. And that’s when a few bouts of depression sunk in. Randomly, with no real cause, I felt depressed. In the span of a few moments, I began to doubt myself, my friends, my closest allies. See, this is why solitary confinement is so traumatic for humans. Even this amount of social distancing can have an effect on our thinking. And so, I did what I do when things feel out of control. I made a list and talked myself into the following:
1. Reach out to two students each day. This may be an email or a phone call or whatever works for you. Start with the students who have not been participating in your online activities. You may not get through. Just try. You’d be surprised how much this will make you feel better.
2. Go through the contacts on your phone or your social media and reach out to one friend you have lost touch with. Rediscover someone you’ve lost in the passing of time.
3. Designate a day to try one new recipe a week; find something you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time.
4. Learn something new. What better time than now? Always wanted to learn guitar? French? Some dance on Tik Tok? Do it.
5. Read something that’s not the news. Alternate between a book that is a guilty pleasure and one that will expand your thinking in some way.
6. Remember letters? Send one to someone in your life who is elderly, someone who does not embrace the social media that is part of our lives. They will be thrilled and will read it over and over.
7. Break out of your fitness rut by trying something new. Many fitness apps are offering deals and even free trials.
8. Reserve an hour for self care: try that face mask, paint your nails…it’s time to take that tweezer to those brows. With caution, of course.
9. Clean a window. Let that sunshine in.
10. Just breathe. Remember what that feels like…
Humans are a complicated lot. And teachers are humans who are mostly hard wired to be social and to give. We have lost many things in the last few months: our plans, our jobs, our peace of mind. But we have also been given something: time. Let’s use it to remember the person we’ve always wanted to be.
“…I retreat into my fictional world where everything makes sense—but even there I can’t even control what people do…”