Tuesday, February 1, 2011


If you live in a place like Michigan, you either love the winter, or you tolerate it. Regardless, by the month of February, most people have experienced at least some level of the winter blahs. Snow piles up, the sun doesn’t shine for days, and the cold starts seeping into your bones. These things piled up with the daily grind of work and everyday frustrations can drag you down. This is the time when effectiveness takes a backseat to survival mode. You see people going about their day-to-day business just trying to survive the winter and whatever cold or flu bug has been passed around for the umpteenth time.
February is the perfect time for “sharpening the saw”. Sharpening the saw means taking time to renew ourselves: body, spirit, heart, and mind. Without taking time to care for ourselves and get refreshed, we begin to lose our effectiveness. We become disillusioned, depressed, and apathetic.
Take time to think about what you can do right now to
renew your effectiveness. Sign up for that exercise class you have been thinking about, or just enjoy a walk in the snow instead of sitting in the house hating the weather. Take time to renew your spirit, thinking about the direction your life is taking and what kind of person you have been lately. What changes do you see that you can make? What do you need to do? Take time for your relationships. Spending quality time with family and friends as well as building relationships with co-workers can help you feel connected to what you are doing every day. Last, take time to refresh your mind. Even though at times like this our minds can feel overloaded and burned out, we need to stimulate our minds to feel truly refreshed. Signing up for professional development or reading an interesting book or article can help reaffirm our purpose and vision. Find ways to renew your enthusiasm for teaching and remind yourself of the importance of the work you do every day.

- Karen

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