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Welcome back everyone!

(And before you read another word, you can scroll to the bottom and listen to the post if you prefer.)

By the time you read this you will (if you’re reading this in New Zealand) have just about navigated your way through the first week of term.

Congratulations! Well done! You’ve done it! Again! Against the odds even!

The holiday break now seems like a distant memory, but if you’re like us on the Forty Hour Principal team, you might still be enjoying the afterglow positive energy that flows from your break away and into the early part of the term. 

The key is to keep this afterglow well and truly shining for as long as possible.

So just for a moment I need you to stop thinking about your Red Level Covid Plans, your BCP’s (thanks Iona for this lovely new acronym), your Audit trail, Analysis of Variance and first Board report of the year. Oh! And also forget about answering those annoying emails about facemasks and exemptions.

Park it, and take a little time to plan for yourself a survival plan.

This plan, written when you’re relatively fit, healthy, energetic and “with it” will help you manage those times when you’re relatively flabby, sick, downright tired and despondent. This Survival Plan is for you to access during those times when looking after yourself has become just a little bit too hard.

For me, I’m going to write it as a ten point plan. The number doesn’t really matter, but for artistic purposes ten always has a nice ring to it.

I’m going to make this plan look pretty and official looking and then I’m going to print it off in colour and stick it somewhere bold, so that I can refer to it really easily. Who knows, I might even stick it to the lid of my laptop.

These points are going to be a hotchpotch of ideas that I know, when I apply them to myself, that I get enjoyment and energy from. Your points will be a lot different to mine, but you get my drift I am sure. These are for you to dive in at any time that you need a “pick me up” to get you going again.

My plan is called the Lime Thickshake Plan and involves the following:

  1. Leave school at 3:30pm with no guilt allowed two days during a given week 
  2. Buy something unhealthy but delicious like a Lime Super Thickshake from a Night and Day. Yes that does sound particularly lame, I agree. But they’re amazing and my wife has banned me from having them … ever! 
  3. Listen to my Uplift playlist on Spotify – one that I’ve already prepared just for these occasions. This playlist has songs that I find emotionally uplifting and positive. A bit of fun … songs that connect me with brighter times.
  4. Go for a walk in my favourite place looking for piwakawaka. For me it’s a bit seasonal here in Timaru where I go walking. Autumn time is lovely in the Scenic Reserve, Winter/Spring down on Caroline Bay. Somewhere serene.
  5. Ring Murray. He is probably my oldest friend and lives 2,000kms away. Sadly to say I speak with him far too rarely, but when we do it’s like nothing has ever changed. The key here is to have a real conversation. As in a spoken conversation. A connection.
  6. Go for coffee with Davo. 
  7. Write a Journal … take some time to write it all out e.g. write what’s going on and then write three scenarios – worst thing that could happen, best thing that could happen, and most likely thing to happen
  8. Get away – get out of town during the next available weekend. A mini break does wonders. Put a safety net of cash aside each week so that when you need to go, it’s not going to be the lack of cash that will stop you.
  9. Delve into my list of favourite sayings and re-introduce myself to the concept that nothing is forever, both good times and bad times come and go.
  10. Indulge in my hobby. Give myself the freedom just to immerse myself in that and to block out everything else. For me it’s the band I’m in. When I grow up I want to be a rock star …. And I’m still striving towards this.

It doesn’t matter how long your list is, or even if it actually is a list. What matters is that you have a plan in place all ready to go when you hit those difficult times where you’re finding it hard to keep your head above water.

And because we’ve all written so many darn plans over the last three years, you’ll find this one is a breeze!

Steve

 

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