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Have you ever gotten to the end of the day, looked at your to-do list, and realized that you didn’t even get through half of what you anticipated doing? It’s a terrible feeling. It often leads to negative self-talk and a wave of overwhelm. Over the years, I’ve learned that when I over schedule myself, it just results in me feeling bad about myself.
Every time you plan something and you don’t follow through with it, you break trust with yourself. If you break trust with yourself everyday, it negatively affects your confidence. It’s a signal to yourself that you aren’t enough and overshadows all the incredible things you actually have achieved. In case you need the reminder, you have achieved so much!
I experienced this cycle recently. Since this podcast is so incredibly important to me, I typically write and record my episodes on Monday mornings when I’m feeling fresh and inspired. Well, when I sat down to record this episode, I was just so exhausted. I wasn’t ready to transition from weekend mode into work mode. I love hosting this podcast, so this wasn’t normal for me to feel resistance to this specific task.
Rather than pushing through, I did something I don’t usually do. I gave myself a break. First I took a quick nap and then I went outside for a walk and listened to an audio book. I soaked up the sun and enjoyed the 80 degree beautiful day. Do you know what happened when I did that? I got inspired. Then I took the rest of the day to get other things done and came back to my podcast recording the next day feeling more motivated than ever.
Today I want to speak with you about giving yourself this incredible gift of building white space into your schedule, both at school and in your personal life. At the end of the day, we work to live. We don’t live to work. While it’s tempting to keep adding more to your to-do list, focus on what really matters rather than making everything on your list of equal importance.
When you take yourself off the hamster wheel and give yourself some grace, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when you’ll figure out how to solve that problem that’s been wearing you down or plan the best lessons for your students. The next time that you hit a wall and feel like you can’t go on, I want you to pay attention to that voice before you hit burnout. This is your sign to push pause. Get outside or do something that makes you feel like you again. I promise that building this white space into your days can feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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