How are you feeling today?
I check in with my first graders as they sign in to our Zoom classroom each morning.
I check in with colleagues and friends.
I check in with my family at the start of the day, or at dinner.
In our district, we have been studying the work of Marc Brackett, Founder and Director of The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and author of Permission to Feel, and I am convinced that it is important to take time to check in on feelings, to name those feelings, and to have strategies to change how we feel. I know that it’s more important than ever as we continue to face the many challenges of trying to navigate a pandemic.
But lately I’ve realized that I’m not doing a great job checking in on my own feelings. This has been a tough few weeks. I have three family members who have tested positive for COVID, our school is going back to a full time schedule, which I fear increases the risk of people getting sick, and I am losing a few wonderful students from my class as they decide to return to in person schooling.
I realize that I’m just plowing forward, trying not to think about how scared, angry, and sad I’m feeling. I know I’m stressed, but I’m not doing anything about it (with the exception of drinking more coffee and eating more cake, which does help….in the short term). When my friends, colleagues, and family members say, “How are you?” I’m replying, “Fine!” Unfortunately there is nothing fine about it.
Today I am going to stop, take stock of how I’m feeling, try to name it, and then see if I can shift my feelings to a calmer, more focused place.
Wish me luck!