Happy Spring, TEPSANs!

Spring symbolizes new growth and transformation. We enjoy warmer temperatures and the revitalization of life around us. However, spring can be a stressful time in the school business. Resiliency is an important characteristic as leaders navigate teams through the demands of rigorous assessments and an extremely busy time of year.

Merriam-Webster defines resilience as the ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change. Resilient individuals ride the waves through difficult circumstances while maintaining balance and well-being.

So how do we build resilience in ourselves and those around us? One of the best strategies is to intentionally recognize and appreciate the blessings in your life. Our bodies are unable to feel anxiety and gratitude at the same time, so it is important to spend time focused on gratitude.

Before you get out of bed each day, close your eyes, and think of individuals who are important to you. Visualize their faces as you think of reasons you are thankful for their presence in your life. This habit will accentuate what is important and start each day with a positive outlook.

Several times throughout your day, stop, take a few deep breaths, and notice things around you. Focusing attention on what you see, hear, and smell, will provide rest for your brain, reduce stress, and provide you with renewed energy for the tasks at hand.

Another strategy is to prioritize kindness. Everyone has someone in their life who occasionally tests their patience. When you recognize these individuals may be facing their own set of struggles, you may develop a greater sense of compassion. When you silently send positive thoughts to individuals who challenge you, your brain releases dopamine, which improves your mood and increases happiness.

Finally, take time to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. You may enjoy exercise, a favorite hobby, or spending time with family, friends and loved ones. These activities recharge your batteries and prepare you for whatever comes your way.

I hope these simple strategies help you build resilience in yourself and those around you. As you finish strong and thrive in the face of challenges throughout the remainder of the year, please remember the wise words of Danny Meyer:

Life is a series of waves to be embraced and overcome.

Ride the wave, y’all!

Cindy Tierney is the Executive Director of Student Services & Federal Programs in Lufkin ISD.

The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA), whose hallmark is educational leaders learning with and from each other, has served Texas PK-8 school leaders since 1917. Member owned and member governed, TEPSA has more than 6000 members who direct the activities of 3 million PK-8 school children. TEPSA is an affiliate of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

© Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association

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