Written by Deena Sobel, PBDA School Counselor
The last few weeks have brought out a variety of emotions in each of us. For many, life has become an uncertain balancing act; taking each day one step at a time while navigating the uncharted seas of distance learning, working remotely/managing businesses, and being a present parent.
Yet over the last several days, one metaphor that keeps coming to the surface for me is to “put on my own oxygen mask first.” I initially hesitated to say this, given the fact that we’re seeing far too many masks these days, but I also realize the sentiment speaks volumes. It is a reminder that invites repeating: take care of yourself first so that you are equipped to take care of others, especially the little ones in your life.
Self-Care vs. Self-ish
As parents we have to stop viewing this as selfish, but rather as self-care. Parenting over the last few weeks has presented unforeseen challenges, forcing us to reach down to the depths of our, at times, non-existent patience, to model the behavior we want our children to emulate. But let’s face it, it’s difficult and exhausting. Managing the influx of your own email is hard enough, but now you’ve been asked to keep track of your children’s Google Classrooms, Gmail accounts and Zoom requests, and for some of you that’s multiplied by three or four!
With that said, I would like to pass along the advice I received from a colleague and friend last week:
Also, remember to care for yourself so you can take care of others. This is the part that may take a bit of creativity. Even though an evening out with friends or family isn’t possible right now, a group Facetime is and can be just as rewarding. Don’t discount the power of communicating with others, sharing the highs and lows from your day, or just having a good laugh.
In addition to carving out some time for adult conversation, exercise is also key. Many local gyms are offering online classes along with the countless workout routines posted online. One of the many benefits to living in South Florida is the ability to get outside for a swim, bike, or run any time of year. Making time in your day for your own self-care will ensure that you are ready to help and support your children.
Please know we are all in this together, even though you may feel alone. Don’t be afraid to take care of yourself so you can step back and appreciate this precious gift of time that we have been given – time to reconnect with each other, even remotely; time to watch the excitement in our children’s eyes as they learn something new from their incredible teachers; and time to just be present.
For more information about Palm Beach Day Academy’s distance learning program, please visit us here.