Are you or someone you know experiencing a crisis of calm? Do you feel like you are in the cycle of reactivity where everything is elevated and magnified? What is the biggest gift you can give yourself right now? Calm.
Calm can be challenging to accomplish and it’s what you need to overcome the current challenges and persist for the rest of the year. The frantic pace that many are experiencing can only be sustained for so long and run the risk of burnout.
It is true that many people are in an elevated state with a racing mind, worry, frantic and reactionary behavior, upset, and lack of ease. Lives and routines have been disrupted. For school and community leaders this couldn’t be more true. If you interface with the general public at all, you are not alone! There is much that can be done in order to minimize or prevent a personal crisis of calm.
A Positivity Zone reinforces a solutions oriented mindset and greatly contributes to a calm environment. Commit to be gentle with yourself. Turn off your inner critic. You are doing the best you can. Implement the 5-minute complaint rule. Institute habits and practices that minimize external and internal overwhelm or chaos and reinforce positive experiences and feelings.
You don't have to be in a yoga studio to use a mantra. No-one even has to know you are using it. You can simply select a mantra that you find calming and then repeat your mantra to yourself when you are in a tense, stressful, or overwhelming situation. A good example would be: “Nothing can disturb the calm peace of my soul”. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
If someone lashes out at you personally over a district policy or conflicting educational philosophy ask yourself “What will happen if I don’t say anything at all?” The answer may very well be nothing, which might be exactly what you want and need! Incorporate the phrase “I need to think about it for a while” or "I will get back to you on that" before making a decision or giving a definitive answer. YOU get to choose when and how you respond. Unless it is an emergency, wait. Very few situations constitute an immediate response. Take advantage of how and when you respond to minimize the rollercoaster of reactivity and have a greater sense of calm.
Find a quiet and private space and breath for One Mindful Minute! How often do you stop breathing when you are in a stressful, worrisome, or intense situation or environment? Have you ever noticed when you are stressed you are actually holding your breath? Tame your mind in One Mindful Minute by focusing on four to five slow, intentional and deep breaths each minute to calm your senses and gather yourself. Start with one minute and then, take another one if you need to. Regain your calm One Mindful Minute at a time and repeat until you feel a returned sense of calm. Use your mantra during this time for added effect!
Not all professional development is created equal! The Edsolutions Group professional development "Labs" are designed to elevate your work and personal life. I would say our professional development is also personal development and delivered by someone who has been there! I'm talking about yours truly and encourage you to attend of of the EdSolutions Group professional development "Labs"
A sense of calm is the greatest gift you can give yourself to help you through this year. If you feel a lack of calm in your professional or personal life right now, I hope you feel empowered to overcome the crisis of calm.
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Lisa Imel, M.Ed. is the President and Chief Educational Consultant of the EDSolutions Group where she serves as a school strategy consultant, digital course creator, leadership coach, and more! Through her work with school districts, colleges and secondary and post-secondary leadership partners she develops business community partnerships, ideates, creates and implements systems and structures so that you can lead a more productive, meaningful, healthier, happier, work & personal life. Our work will help you have a greater impact and influence more of your students to achieve brighter futures! As a life-long educator, high-school, middle-school, and elementary administrator, teacher and licensed superintendent, she gets it. Reach out at [email protected]
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“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” -Marian Wright Edelman