When life is unpredictable

by | Balance for Educators

It’s really important to me that I walk my talk and I hope you’re finding these blogs and videos useful in your daily life, helping you create balance inside and out of the classroom.

You may have noticed I’ve been a little quiet lately. I wanted to hop in here today and share with you why as well as give you three strategies for reframing to support you in your balanced life, in and out of school. ()

In the last month, life got really real.

As I’m sure it happens for you all too.

But that being said, it’s still really important for us to take those moments and find some fun for ourselves. To find something that’s going to fill us up and recharge and rejuvenate us whenever we need it.

Yes, even when that to-do list grows, and we feel like we can’t find that space.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

The last few weekends, I’ve been busy with family activities, leading a kids yoga teacher training, and I started a graduate program. During the week, I also teach yoga classes as well as work with students as a mindfulness coach.

I’ve also been having some new challenges as a caregiver for my mom.

And of course, teaching my middle-schoolers full time.

Last week, my body said to me: Whoa, Amy you need to slow down.

There were just so many things happening. Too many things.

I needed to find some balance and focus on what absolutely had to get done first. Going, going, going all the time just doesn’t work. It’s what leads us to burnout.

I actually had to call in sick last week – which is really rare for me.

And that’s what brings me to this idea of reframing.

What could have happened? I could have…

  • Gone into a panic
  • Gotten really off track
  • Moved into avoidance behaviors

But instead, I let myself feel overwhelmed. I experienced it. I really became mindful of what I was feeling, all the emotions.

And then I had to shift the script. Because otherwise I would have been completely unproductive and falling into “stuck” mode.

Reframing allows us to review what is happening and see opportunities where perhaps we would have only seen problems before.

Reframe #1:

I had a lot to do for grad school work, but I was sick and in no shape to do anything but rest.

I could look at it like – Oh no! I’m going to get behind on all my reading and never be able to catch up because I chose to take care of myself.

But when I reframed it, I said to myself:

I need to shift how I’m time blocking now and really clear some time so that I can do some devoted work with that and make sure that I’m focusing my attention on my assignments.

So instead of trying to multitask this weekend, I cleared some space. And I started to feel better with everything that was going on. I gave myself a time limit and said okay, here’s the time that I’m going to work so that I can be most productive, and then feel most successful in the work that I do.

That reframe has proven successful so far.

Reframe #2:

As teachers we all know, it can be stressful to be absent, right? Because we’re missing that time with our students. Whatever it is that we leave for them maybe isn’t the same as what we could do if we were there, and we might feel like we’re walking back into a pile of work that we’re going to have to climb out from under.

So reframe here. I looked at it like:

My students need independent time. They need that time with those assignments that I left for them to be able to trust themselves in their work and that it’ll be okay.

So that was something that gave an opportunity for my students and an opportunity for me.

Sure, I’m going back to probably a lot of papers in my inbox, and that’s okay because this gives me the opportunity to get a few scores in the gradebook for the beginning of the fourth marking period.

Fortunately, before my absence I was ahead of the game, and I had my third quarter grades all set because I set that goal for myself at the beginning of the week. And I got that done before I ended up being out.

Now I am also ahead of where I normally am for the new marking period with having scores in the gradebook, which is good because it gives my students meaningful feedback. That will be useful to kick off the new quarter, and then my students get to see the results of the work that they did independently, and it will give them a little bit of confidence, too.

Reframe #3:

Life doesn’t happen TO you, it happens FOR you!

I could see all these things combined as setbacks, or I could reframe, and see it as an opportunity to find new avenues of self-support as I move forward in this very full time in my life.
I can also be grateful for that fullness in my life as well as the learning about myself that’s happening.
Life is unpredictable sometimes.
And we always get to choose how we respond to that. Here’s to reframing and adding a little light when it feels like the shadows are moving in!
I always welcome you to share with me in the comments below or book a complimentary call and let’s chat.
Amy Necci

Amy Necci

Balanced Life Mentor for Educators

Hi, I’m Amy (she/her)!
•PA Teacher 20+ years•

I consider myself a teacher and student every single day. I empower educators with self-support tools so they can live their BEST life!

As a teacher myself, I’m especially passionate about serving educators and feel strongly that learning self-support strategies can benefit anyone at any stage of life. In mentoring educators, my goal is to cultivate a space of acceptance and comfort, offering the people I support permission to be themselves, trust themselves, and grow at their own pace.