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Stop, Revive, Survive

Mar 24, 2024

Where I work, we are coming into our final week for Term One. What this means is a two week holiday ahead. I am yet to know of any teacher or school leader who does not work in their holidays. What we have coming during the upcoming two weeks is flexibility in our work. For some, they may push really hard over the next week to create space during their two week break to have a proper holiday. For others, it might be taking half the time as a break and the other half preparing for the term ahead. 

In addition to the upcoming holiday is the Easter long weekend. On TV and on the radio are reminders for those travelling during the break. Reminders of taking breaks and not driving tired are played between songs on the radio or in place of advertising. A catch-phrase over the years during this time has been 'Stop, Revive, Survive'. 

What this phrase is telling us is to take a break, have something to revive you such as a coffee or some food and your chances of surviving are greater. Good message hey?

Can I take this moment to suggest we adopt 'Stop, Revive, Survive' to our role as educators?

Use the upcoming holidays as an opportunity to actually stop. This might mean going to a different location like a hotel, friend or relative's house or a holiday location. If you are like me, being at home is like a holiday and so for me to stop and be at home is a true gift.

Use the upcoming holidays as an opportunity to revive. You know what revives you - catch ups withe friends, a trip to the beach, reading a novel, watching TV, going to the movies, gardening, the beach, shopping, sleeping... the possibilities are endless! Do you know what revives you? This week take a moment to think about what fills your cup and gives your energy then be sure to do that during your holidays.

Use the upcoming holidays as an opportunity to survive. Your chances of sustaining in your role, growing as a professional and developing a good balance are all determined by the way you can stop and revive. To survive is the base, don't you want more? What does more than survive look like in your work? Set a goal for the upcoming term - it might be going to the gym regularly, it might be saying yes to that opportunity to be on a school committee, it might be putting your hand up for that acting role at the next level. 

Sadly, whilst 'Stop, Revive, Survive' is a great campaign, it doesn't solve the problem completely. There are still motorists who fall asleep at the wheel, drive under the influence or become distracted with their phone rather than looking after themselves on the road. Each holiday season there are people who don't take the advice or think they can push through. These motorists sadly become the road toll statistics that are shared on the news. Every year, the media reports the stats but, realistically rather than expecting a zero road toll, they report on whether there has been a reduction in fatalities from the same time period last year

Just like educators - every year there are statistics of burnout, people leaving the profession or those who behave in a way that does damage to staff, parents, students or themselves. Sadly we can't completely remove this happening but we can put actions in place and hope the stats improve from the previous year.

Trying to push through when you are driving and tired increases your risk of an accident. Being distracted but thinking you are 'too busy' to stop and catch your breath sees motorists making dangerous mistakes. I am pretty sure most of those involved in car accidents over the last year didn't plan on it happening to them. Even if someone fell asleep at the wheel or took a quick glance of their phone thought that they would be okay and that an accident wouldn't happen to them. 

We think we will be okay, we think that we are super-human, we think that we are the exception to the rule.

Just like the fuel meter in our car goes down then flashes and indicates 'refuel now' our energy levels can go down and we get those indicators that we need to refuel. The 'it'll be right, I can push through' has seen people run out of petrol and end up stranded on the side of the road needing help. Same with our energy levels. 'I can push through' can see people get sick, run out of energy and end up requiring some serious help.

This holiday, please take time to 'Stop, Revive, Survive'. However it may look, you are in the driver's seat of your own well-being. 

How will you revive so that you can be more than a survivor coming into the new term?

Anne-Marie 

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