Beautiful days do not come to you. You must walk towards them. -- Rumi
Most of us have heard the adage, “Put on your own oxygen mask first.” When times are stressful and others need our help, we must remember to take care of ourselves. This time of year, I often feel I need to put my mask on first!
The second to third week back from the holiday break is a time of stress for children. The first week back is full of excitement, seeing friends and teachers they might not have seen in a couple of weeks and sharing all that happened over break. In the second week, the kids (and the teachers) hit a wall of exhaustion as they build back their stamina and get their brains back in gear. It is hard work that is invisible to the naked eye. Unlike plants that go dormant in the winter, young humans go through a growing period in the winter. This period of growth is tiring. You may notice your children are experiencing more social conflict, lower cognitive functioning, disorganization, and clumsiness. It is normal, but it can be tough for them and the adults in their lives. During this time, children can be more resistant to transition and may be more emotional than usual. I have watched it happen repeatedly in my nearly 25 years in education. I can almost set my calendar for it; I even bought more tissues to have in my office for this week.
If you or your children have been feeling a little blah or experiencing the ups and downs of mid-January, remember to put on your oxygen mask first: read a book, have dinner delivered, and reduce your evening schedules where you can. I also hope the unexpected snow day gave you time to play outside with your family or take a nap and helped to reset emotions and ease back into the school routine. You’ve got this!