Hello Friends! As some of you may have noticed, I took a much-needed summer hiatus from blogging, Twitter, and, well, education to an extent. I’m always reading and always learning but…I really needed some time off. While some of you may be just beginning your summer break, mine is quickly coming to a close. I head back to work in less than two weeks and I’m really excited about it. I love where I work (both my site and district) and I’m also excited to start bringing new content back to I Heart EDU.
But back to that hiatus…I hope that each of you has taken some time to yourself this summer. For me, I was a bit burnt out for a variety of reasons – both personal and professional.
First of all, I am a full-time working mom and wife. That’s right – I’m both. It drives me crazy sometimes when people say that I’m not a “full-time mom”. It’s not like I take my “mom hat” off when I go to work and put my “work hat” on. I wear both hats every day, all the time. When I’m at work, I think about my daughter and how her day is going. When I’m at home, I think about the things that have to be done the next day at work. It’s a balance but I love it. Both jobs are incredibly demanding and I love each of them. In addition to this, I manage a blog where I have posted 207 posts in less than four years, which is roughly one post a week for those years. I’m active on social media and conversations on education tend to be a natural part of my daily thinking and conversation.
However, these are normal things in my life. They aren’t new. They don’t even really burn me out. To be quite honest, it was social media and the news that I have found to be incredibly overwhelming in the past several months. It’s funny…I actually think I’ll get some judgment on that sentence. Yet, this is how I feel and I believe I have a right to that feeling. I’ve been overwhelmed by the constant amount of information that has come at me and my family over the last four months. So, I needed limits on a couple of these worlds (specifically Twitter and Facebook) to better promote my own mental and emotional health. I hope you have been able to do the same.
Here are a few of the things that I have done this summer to support my “hiatus” and get my mind back in the right place for the upcoming school year:
Social Media Limits
In May, I downloaded the Stay Focused app to my cell phone because I found myself spending too much time on social media and getting very overwhelmed by it. The two platforms that I was experiencing the most stress were Facebook and Twitter. I am a big believer in the idea that people are allowed to have their own opinions – whether I agree with them or not. However, some of the opinions, conversations and news being shared were causing a lot of stress during an already stressful time.
So, I set two limits:
- Twitter: I completely blocked it from my phone for the last 5 weeks.
- Facebook: I limited it to no more than 5 minutes per hour with the app shutting off at 8 PM every night.
Now that I have had a chance to decompress and take a break, I think that I will move Twitter to the same set up as Facebook. I’m ready to start jumping back into conversations and preparing for the upcoming school year.
Also, you may have noticed that I did not include Instagram on this list. Personally, I haven’t found Instagram to be overwhelming or stressful, therefore, I have not set any limits on it.
Personal Blog & Hobby
Alright, I know that this is the strangest one to have on this list considering I took a break from blogging…and then I started a new blog. Trust me, I totally see the irony in this situation. That being said, I created a new blog to do something different – something non-work related. Something that allowed me to be creative and share my hobbies with others.
For me, I love blogging. It’s relaxing and it helps me get my thoughts out. I’ve been debating starting a personal blog for over a year and finally felt inspired to do it. Don’t worry – I Heart EDU isn’t going anywhere. I still plan on sharing weekly posts to support educators. However, I hope you will also join me on this non-work related adventure, too. 🙂
This summer, my brain was finally able to slow down and enjoy reading. I’ve read for pleasure, work, and my own spiritual growth. It’s been a relaxing hobby – but also a self-reflective one. Here are a few of the books I’ve read:
- The Origin Series, a sequel to The Lux Series
- Running Scared: Fear, Worry and the God at Rest
- Making Your School Something Special
Due to COVID-19, we haven’t traveled as much as we normally do during the summer. However, we did get to take the trailer out a couple of times. We spent a week camping in Vail Lake in Temecula and next week we will be heading to Zion for a week. Camping has always been one of my favorite things to do and it feels great to get out of town and into nature. Given the strange times, it’s also a safe way to continue to social distance while getting away!
I hope that each of you are enjoying your break this summer. I will be somewhat off the grid next wee but stay tuned for more posts this month!