School decisions have been made and families are outstretched in strength to carry out their choice with diligence, with grace, and with preparation for the chapter of learning either in a school building or in the home. I know that this time is unique and challenging, and yet stories of resilience and grace are rising up to meet each individual family with steadfastness for the season.
In our home, conversations of power words are used often as we navigate fears, insecurities, bravery, and the like. The power word of “YET” was a big one we used last year as we talked through learning how to achieve, YET were not seeing in the immediacy, and the power of building up hard work for reward. This year as we made school decisions for in-building learning, showing up to the questions of our kids is a high priority as we move forward.
The power word of “PAUSE” keeps coming to mind as we listen to their excitement and to their fears and build-up prep for expectations in this school year.
“Mom, I am really glad that you made the decision to send us back into the classroom and I really hope that it sticks because I want to stay.”
What happens when we are watching a show and we click the PAUSE button? It stops for a moment and then it restarts and we keep enjoying the show. Why do we press PAUSE when we are watching a show? It is because we are needing to focus on something different for a moment and then we go back to it when we are ready.
So then, what if we approach this school year with the POWER OF PAUSE instead of seeing it as a stop?
If we know that if remote learning happens, then it is a PAUSE from the building and we believe that the support of our school continues and that we do not have to be led by fear if that happens. So a PAUSE in quarantine or remote learning just means that we are focusing on something different for a moment and then we go back to it when it is ready.
In light of the power word PAUSE, we worked on a QUARANTINE prep list to focus on if that happens and to build up the mental strength of readiness for it as we navigate through this time together.
Quiet your mind.
Take a nature walk and time to breathe and to enjoy the quiet. A change of schedule can be a challenge, especially for structured-loving minds. Allow this space to give you a PAUSE to focus on strengths and build up movement and stress-reducing activity together.
Unleash negative thoughts.
Have a journal for each child and give journal prompt questions to write out or draw a picture of words to process through together. This will allow a safe place to get out of those emotions and be supported in them.
Adventure is still out there.
Use the spaces you can still do, like fishing, exploring in socially-distanced ways to create family time in this space.
Rest your energy.
Let this be a time to invest in exercise, in sleep, in immune-boosting ways to give your body fuel.
Acknowledge your support team.
Have zoom game times, connection points to have fun with your people.
Yes, take time to rest your mind, body, soul at the same time, and straight-up get some SLEEP.
Trust in places that you do know.
Throughout this COVID season, it has been a strength to lean on the places that you do know, which is asking ourselves the question, “How can I choose something TODAY that builds me up?” There is always, always something to be grateful for. Trust in gratitude, even in the storm.
I am brave.
Say that again. Use this time to voice mental affirmations to build up STRENGTH.
Jump online and invest in drawing, music, training for a hobby you love. Use this time to build up a skill you’ve wanted more time to do.
Back to the hiking, my kids loved writing out their own scavenger hunt lists and then using that for writing, creative expression time, and adventure.
I know that each of our homes are full of the need for flexibility and for grace in this season, and I know that perspective to respond in grace upon grace in this chapter will build up character as we grow together.