Last week was overwhelming. The barrage of information, the emotions, the awkwardness of newness, the worries, the uncertainty and the isolation. Everyone, no matter their professional calling, is in triage stages of crisis in their homes. If we had never multi-tasked before, we are now on a level we’ve never seen before. All the roles we have played before have intersected.
As Brooklyn Borough Director & my supervisor, Katie Riggs-Poy stated, “everyone may be impacted differently but EVERYONE is impacted.”
When teaching, you evaluate and re-evaluate your plans and strategies. You give it a few good shots, you improve where you can, you keep what works and you begin again where you need. It is time-consuming and can be emotional but the outcome is positive. The effect produced is efficient, the focus is refined. It is a kindness you would extend to a learner in your class. I am applying this practice to my current work-from-home lifestyle.
I am keeping a schedule as best as I can but am adding in the edge of flexibility. We may be up and rolling on time, but perhaps it is Pajama Day today. I am looking for ways to keep our working space organized and engaging. One side of the dining room table is business, and the other is for meals and games. A few baskets help to corral needed items and are easy to stash away.
I am holding boundaries of time. I keep my work time set and, in this crisis, evaluate what is immediate and what can wait. I am also applying boundaries of limits to my social media. Even with outreach of best intention, it can leave my head spinning so I try to take away one thing on which to focus; right now, it is rainbows in our windows.
I seek new ways to accomplish tasks and break them in gently. I am no longer face-to-face giving workshops, but I am recording snippets and posting them. I take breaks. I have been trying the Pomodoro Technique, although lately we are deferring to my daughter’s one-song dance break every hour on the hour. I have always appreciated the concept of supervision when working at PDHP. I use it to my advantage and am grateful to the boundless understanding with which Katie listens, acknowledges and advises. I notice the tell-tale signs of anxiety taking root and that’s when I breathe….4 counts to inhale, 4 counts to hold, and 8 counts to exhale. That reminds my head and my body that right now, right here, we are ok.
Be gentle; let go of shortcomings and instead return to the process to reflect, evaluate, refine. Embrace awareness from that earlier awkwardness. Each day will be a better version of us. We are doing the best we can.
For more information on the Pomodoro Technique…check out this video:
-Cary Anne Fitzgerald, Parent/Community Coordinator, PDHP