Well, holidays have arrived – perhaps affording us with a well needed time to rest and reflect on the year that was. Those of you who watch our BGS assemblies regularly will see in today’s edition that I use the metaphor of sailing rough and unchartered waters to describe the year – a year genuinely like no other. I talk more about that in this recent article – where I discuss the need to actively reflect on challenge. Active reflection turns situations we may view negatively into learning opportunities – this is as true in the classroom as it is in life. What we take from our experiences is partly in how we view and process them. I hope you see the end of the year as a time that provides you with the mental and emotional space to do that.
The other important thing to do I think is to take a real break.
It has been a strange year in regards to this – with many of us working from home, and working in staggered ways to manage the challenges of remote learning with young children. Sometimes this extended our work time into the evening, which may have even led to us feeling like we were “on” all the time. Stress (as I mention in this recent publication) and the busyness of the end of year also contribute to this. I know it feels like quite some time since I really took time out to recharge my batteries to full.
The importance of this was reinforced to me recently when I listened to a talk by Kristen Douglas of Headspace Schools. Douglas focused on yes, the need to reflect on the year to make sense of it, but also the need to switch off to facilitate this process. We may feel work is too demanding, or there is too much to do at home and with family coming up to Christmas – but we will never reach that quiet space within to make sense of the year without CREATING an opportunity to.
Remember this recent article on the value of QUIET.
What might that look like for you? It might look like time away from routine, time spent in another environment. I always find that without the constant reminders of things I should be doing, I am more likely to be able to switch off. It might look like putting away that work computer that we have spent so many hours on this year, and being uncontactable for a few days. How long since you have done that? Isn’t this just the perfect opportunity to do so?
It might be a massage, a lone bike ride, a catch up with a friend… it might look like a complete technology detox for a few days. Think about what works for you and how you might be able to make it happen.
And once you do it during the holidays… think about how you can allow yourself quiet space to reflect as a part of your 2021 routine. It might even be one of your New Years Resolutions!
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