Educators, Here's What You Need to Know About What You're Feeling: It's GRIEF
The last few months have been, well, challenging and overwhelming for educators. The instant shift of what we do, how we do it, where we do it, and with whom we do it has been jarring. It basically has changed how we as educators do what we do - teach and learn and grow with children. There are logically a whole lot of feelings that go along with it.
Anger – disappointment – frustration – overwhelm – depression – confusion – sadness….
And then, suddenly, we aren’t going back. We can’t say “good-bye” to the kids moving on; we don’t get to support and celebrate their progress face to face; don't get to see some colleagues for the last time…
The results can look like:
· Find yourself feeling angry
· Looking for someone to blame
· Yelling at your own kids… your spouse…the cat…. Your reflection
· Crying for no reason (or for good reason!)
· Depressed and overwhelmed by what comes next
· Can’t remember what’s normal anymore
· Not sure how to come out of isolation
These are the signs and symptoms of the grief process. It can be disorienting and exhausting, and if may feel as if it won't end. That's where your resilience comes in!
Resilience is what allows us to forge our way through and within the process. Managing ourselves throughout and within the grief process is crucial to being able to move forward. It is also how we help and support our students and families in moving forward. We need to increase our toolbox, find more tools, and practice applying them.
But what does it look like?
Grief is called a cycle… but it doesn’t necessarily cycle around. It can be pretty much all over the map and back again. It looks a lot like this, with arrows that go in between all the parts to all the other parts:
We travel around and across and back again as we figure out what is going on inside ourselves and around us. We repeat places we've been, sometimes feeling like we are on a merry go round. We look for exits, reach for tools. We seek balance and how to right ourselves.
That’s just it, really. People are naturally resilient. Reminds me of the toys back when my children were young (dating myself here!) “weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”
While we as humans sometimes fall down, we are hard wired to stand back up, MOSTLY. That’s resilience.
Unfortunately, without tools and skills to keep righting ourselves, we can get so lost in the grief cycle, so caught up in where we are and what we feel in the moment, that we can’t see our way out. If our toolbox is full of choices, we have more opportunity to learn what we need to learn and move on. That's because our tools are how we activate our resilience.
That means activating our resilience requires a toolbox full of a variety of tools that we can apply, adjust, and reapply. That’s what allows us to keep moving, allows us find our way forward. Finding the resources you need to continue to build your toolbox is crucial. None of us is ever done filling up our toolbox.
Some things that support our resilience include
· our meditation and other practices that allow us to tap into a source of higher or collective power;
· our social network – face to face and virtual – that keeps us connected and grounded in a community;
· professional development opportunities that allow us to grow and learn, keeping our brain agile and active; and
· self-care practices that allow us to re-center, ground, and find a level of inner peace.
What are your practices that support and activate your resilience? Feel free to comment and let me know!
Looking for a FREE opportunity to build that toolbox? With Respect is offering a Virtual Ed Series and this month it is all about Grief.
Join us for our next live virtual event on June
16, 2020 at 11:00 Pacific Time for “Grief to Grounded: 4 Steps to Crossing the
Threshold of COVID to Classroom." Not only are we talking about the grief, but we will give you 4 steps to get from grief to grounded (they are actually the 4 Steps to Resilience!).
Ready to join us?
Click here to register for your FREE membership on our new virtual platform where we have online courses, our live virtual events, and a myriad of unique learning experiences to explore and enjoy, all geared to increase your toolbox..
Already a member? Simply sign up on your dashboard for the Grief to Grounded event and the virtual classroom and coursework will be available on June 16th at 11 AM Pacific time.
Got questions? Email now: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can't wait to see you there!
Leah Kyaio, Founder/CEO
With Respect, LLC