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  • Pam Koutrakos

Making MY Plan: Self-Care During School Closings

Like many others, my mind has been preoccupied with thoughts of the children in my home, my extended family, students near and far, colleagues supporting all those students- and their own families… and of course, our community at large. Two days ago, I imagined writing a few different blogs, each with unique ideas and resources for preschoolers, elementary school students, and older students at home. To that end, I have been stockpiling and consolidating the ideas friends and peers are posting online- and creating my own “one-pagers” to share (and have handy during my scheduled time available as part of Gravity Goldberg LLC’s free online office hours). But, I decided to focus on something else for my first blog this week.

This morning, I had some time to sit in a quiet house while others embraced a Monday with a later start time. As I scrolled through social media, I saw that a friend posted about a free 2-month Kindle Unlimited subscription, and thought to myself, ooooohhhh, that’s a lot of great reading! And then it hit me. Unsurprisingly, there is one person that I have not thought too much about... myself. I decided to take a few of those quiet minutes to focus on me and make a list— because let’s face it, that’s who I am. My list was carefully constructed with a concerted effort toward NOT including lofty goals. Since self-care is not something I am great at in “typical” daily life, I know better than to be overly ambitious now. Here is the bare-bones list I created for myself:

I recognize my list is not glamourous. It does not include daily yoga, trying out new recipes, learning a new hobby, or having a strict delineation of work and family hours. I would love to do these things, and maybe I will… but for now, I want to prioritize simple, actionable items I KNOW I can do.

As I reflect on my own top five, I realize that at their core are elements that are important to me. The Kindle Unlimited offer that sparked my self-pondering represents a treat - something I would not normally splurge on. The cleaning schedule represents what I logically know is appropriate, but as a bit of a germaphobe, have been (overly?) obsessed with lately. The week-long cleaning schedule is an attempt to restore balance. The early morning coffee-drinking provides some quiet time as we embark on an “all family, all the time” situation. The dog walk gets me outside, breathing in some fresh air. The gratitude journal reminds me of how lucky I am. I hope my five help me feel recentered. The goal is to manage my own stress, so in turn, I can be there for those around me.

It is likely that my list is not representative of what would appear on your list. You may not even be into lists! Regardless of your methods, processes, or personal priorities, I wish you peace and nourishment amidst all that surrounds us right now. Take care!

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