By Stephanie Weese, CFO, MSBO Board Member, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, Livingston ESA
With all of the recent headlines regarding the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, I was noticing that I began to feel sad and overwhelmed. Thoughts like, has it really been a year?! Where did that year go? What did I accomplish? were beginning to take over. I let those feelings swirl around me for a while (probably too long), and felt the stress settle in. Since I cannot control the pandemic, I started to think about how I could reduce my stress response to not only the pandemic, but overall.
I decided to make a conscious effort to shift my focus and reduce my stress. By shifting my focus, it does not mean that I will ignore all of the stressful or negative things that happened. However, I do not want a bad morning, or one negative interaction to tarnish my entire day. Instead, it means that I will not ruminate on those items and will instead look to find something positive within the negative. I ask myself what did I learn from that? Or, is there a positive takeaway that I can use to grow as a leader?
The shift started small, and I have to admit, it was a definite effort. I began with a reflection at the end of the day and tried to pick out one thing to focus on that was positive. Sometimes, the only thing I could come up with was that I made it through the day. On those days, I would turn off my computer and focus on the positive of spending the rest of the day and evening with my family. There were other days that it was easier to identify the bright spots of the day. Those days typically revolved around positive interactions with others. From just catching up with a colleague that I haven’t talked to in a while, to helping answer a question in a group email. My reflection on those days would be that I feel lucky to have a network of colleagues through MSBO that I can reach out to and rely on for support.
Taking it a step further, I now try to shift my focus and reflect throughout each day. If a meeting is stressful, or does not go as anticipated, I focus on what I learned from the experience. Did the conversation challenge me to think differently and expand my knowledge? Did I learn that my approach to the situation was not effective? Even though it can be difficult to look at certain situations in this manner, I remind myself that learning is a growth element that produces positive results.
There are many ways to help reduce stress, this is just one example that I have found helpful. Whatever strategies or tools you use or have used in the past, this is your reminder to take some time to focus on them. You deserve it!
Other Articles in this Newsletter
- Congratulations 2021 MSBO Award and Scholarship Recipients
- Cybercrime Alert: Urgent Notice for Michigan Public Schools
- MARSP Foundation – Scholarship Award Program
- MSBO Board Election Voting Opens March 31
- MSBO Update
- Register Now for Annual Conference Early Bird Pricing!
- Thank You – From the Bottom of My Heart
- Welcome New Members