I had a conversation with a student toward the end of the year – it was just a quick chat in the hallway – while she was on her way to class. She was late and I knew she hadn’t been here the day prior, and so I wanted to quick follow up with her on a conversation we had had earlier in the week. Coincidentally, I ran into her in the hallway on that day as well.
(Sidebar – I think our most productive conversations might be had in the hallway, on the off-chance we run into someone and take that opportunity to do a quick “how ya’ doing?”)
Turns out she had taken a “mental health” day to process some of the things we had spoken about earlier that week. She needed it. I would encourage anyone to do the same – adults and students alike. You need to be the best version of yourself in order to be available for anyone else. On an airplane, it’s why they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. You need to be there for your little ones (or anyone else, for that matter). You can’t do that if you’re not healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally.
Back to my kid in the hallway. I walked with her to class. As I had mentioned, she was already running late. I asked her: “What Now?”
I wanted to know what happened next.
she took a day off to take care of herself.
Take it if you need it.
But then what’s next?
What’s your plan?
Don’t just show up without a plan,
tell me you spent the day on the couch –
feeling sorry for yourself –
and now you’re here without a plan for moving on,
for taking care of yourself now that you’re back in the swing.
She looked at me before she walked into class. We were only a minute late. I don’t panic about tardies unless they’re chronic. And then I still don’t panic, really (This is another sidebar, perhaps a topic for another day).
The response was one pretty typical of teens:
“I don’t know; I haven’t thought that far ahead.”
And I knew we’d be meeting again.
So are you living your best life? How do you know? Are there things you need to follow up on? Questions that nag at you that need answering? How will you answer them? How will you make the time to ensure that you really, really understand what it is that’s bothering you?
One of my favorite quotes that I’ve been pondering recently comes from author, speaker, entrepreneur and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk. He said: “You’re not coming back. Now live like that.”
If you lived every day like that, what would it look like?
How are you living your best life?
If you can’t answer that,
take a day off.
Think about it.
Come back with a plan.
Take care of yourself.