In Need of Wellness


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 The view from Great Bay, Seacoast New Hampshire – my hike this weekend

Yesterday was a rare day for me. I did less than one hour of “work” and spent much of my day engaged in relaxing activities and enjoying my family. I must confess that I love Memorial Day weekend, mostly from my memories of my father and appreciation for him and the millions of other men and women who fought for our freedom. But I also love the ability to stay up late on Sunday night, knowing that I can sleep in on Monday.

But like most educators, the month of May is a bit like the weeks before April 15 for accountants. Today I have 22 projects listed on my Omnifocus task management program and about 57 to-dos listed for the month of May and June is only a week away. 

My reflection on wellness yesterday began with my participation in a research study by my colleague Dr. Kathleen Norris of Plymouth State University. A former Principal herself and now Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Learning and Curriculum at PSU, Kathleen designed a thoughtful survey and sent it to current Principals, asking us to reflect on the status of our wellness. There were the usual statistical questions in order to desegregate the data, but there were many questions that probed my own level of wellness and the need to support the wellness of those I work with. 

Thoughts on wellness:

  • There has to be a limit on hours worked before there’s diminishing returns on productivity. Finding that sweet spot has to be a priority for me.
  • I have to model wellness. Carrying the Diet Coke from meeting to meeting isn’t a good image. I need to encourage staff to eat well, exercise, and reach out when stress reaches a breaking point. 
  • It’s easy for me to justify not going to the gym since this month is so busy. But I have to remember that there are short term gains for exercise in the release of endorphins and reduction of stress. It’s all likely to make everything more productive. 

The question is if I will heed my own advice. Be well my friends, in this merry month of May.

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