b'FEATURED ARTICLELeading yourself and others through tough times To say life is demanding right now is a dramatic understatement.The challenges school leaders, teachers, students and parents have been facing since thepandemic began are complex and seemingly unrelenting.This of course is especially true for those operating in states enduring repeated and lengthy periods of lockdown. U nfortunately, none of us has the power to controlplanning.Now they are juggling home schooling their our circumstances.The simple truth is the onlyown children, with learning new technologies and striving real power we have in life is to choose how weto achieve high standards of learning outcomes for their perceive the reality we are faced with and in turn respond.students.We can choose to rail against the truth or choose to focus on what is within our control and find ways to navigate ourselves through. And of course, the pressure on school administrators is just as intense as many deal with worried parents who are struggling to pay school feels, resetting budgets, Reflect for a moment on how often you have observedrescheduling events and so the list goes on. people wasting energy and time feeling resentful about their circumstances, rather than working out what they can do about it.Have you yourself experienced theThe first step toward coping is accepting that life is debilitating impact of wallowing in misery or allowing fearcomplex and demanding a lot more from us than what to consume your thinking? was considered normal not so long ago.Recognise that there is only so much any of us can do with the finite resources we have which includes time and energy.The World Health Organisation defines mental health as being a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normalWe need to maintain empathy for one another and be kind stresses of life, can work productivity and fruitfully, and isto ourselves also.Dont expect too much of yourself, your able to make a contribution to her or his community. colleagues or your loved ones.Of course, we all need to keep striving to do the best job we can do, but lets also adopt a flexible, supportive and tolerant attitude that will Reflecting on that definition it isnt difficult to see the sizehelp everyone to feel a little more confident that it really of the challenge for most people around the world rightdoesnt matter if we fail to get everything right.now.What we defined as normal stresses of life only 18 months ago has changed in ways few of us could have imagined. Our psychological and emotional wellbeing is a constantly shifting thing.We all live each day somewhere on a continuum between optimal mental health, represented For a parent daily stress may have included the hustleby feeling good and functioning well, and mental health inherent in getting kids ready for school and out the frontissues represented by adverse changes in the thoughts door on time.Now many of these parents are being askedand emotions that dominate.to supervise their kids school day while also maintaining focus on their work demands. Take each day as it comes while being disciplined about looking after yourself.The formula for maintaining For teachers a typically stressful day may have includedwellbeing isnt particularly complex but sticking to the balancing the demands of classroom time with lessonroutines that help can be challenging.NOVEMBER 2021 77'