Wellbeing Shouldn’t Be Underrated

Well being is certainly not to be underrated…
I confess to having gone a little bit crazy during the pandemic… Maybe a little is an understatement, but because so much time has passed let’s leave it at that.
Every person I know had their share of difficulties and problems of course but as a chance to vent a little and maybe reach out to others that may have had or still have their share of hardship I’ll share a little about my own, and how these impacted my general socio-emotional state, the result was very positive so if you feel like you have a little time or interest in this subject bear with me 🙂
On March 8th, 2020 my father passed away suddenly, he had been found dead in his yard while mowing his lawn. I got the tragic call from my sister who lives there. He had been in the USA for over 30 years and I got the news at the end of the day while alone with my youngest son. It was devastating, to say the least. My US visa was expired and by sheer luck, I managed to issue an emergency visa in 24 hours and was able to rush to attend his funeral and say goodbye… Meanwhile, the world seemed like it was ending… to me it was… the pandemic was beginning to explode here in Brazil and I was in the US and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get back or if I’d be stuck there. I was worried for my 2 sons who had stayed in Brazil and me, their mother and guardian away from them. The news was blaring with disastrous announcements, there was no toilet paper at the supermarkets and the shelves were empty, generalized panic was breaking out… People were hoarding, businesses were closing and my family and I were trying to mourn our loss and at the same time keep up with the world craze that was all around us. I was very worried about my school because we started to hear that there would be a lockdown and that all businesses would be on lockdown very soon. Dad died, a world pandemic, stuck in the US, away from my kids, and business in peril.
On March 17th I was able to fly home to Brazil, the whole situation was surreal but at least I was going home to my kids… as I land in Brazil on March 18th again it seemed like the world feel a little more on my head… I felt lost, sad, tired, furious, numb, anxious and so many other things at the same time. I was mourning my dad… how the heck was I supposed to deal with all of this at the same time? Employees who depended on me, rent, bills, a new way of teaching that had to be invented in order not to lose all our students, my children who were suddenly in need of homeschool, and of course, a LOT of socio-emotional support, so many doubts and uncertainties. I felt like I had nothing to squeeze, nothing to give… but I was wrong.
Sure, I did a great deal of crying, venting, being angry, of saying things I didn’t mean… but I did manage to pull through. Today, over 2 years after it all started I feel much stronger than I was back then.
After two weeks of lock down we began online teaching at my school, it took us 1 month to get the hang of it but the methodology I developed was a great success among the students.
We lost around 15% of our students in the beginning but gained them all back after about 4 months, we even conquered other markets and have now students from all around Brazil e also abroad. I started working more and more with teacher development and dove into work. I followed my two sons very closely at school and was able to detect where they most needed help.
“What about you Isadora?” you may ask, well on my side things aren’t so simple I can’t say I’m doing fantastic because I’d be lying… These are some of the things that help me get through everything and keep focused:
• I try to take one day at a time and stay in the moment. I find that letting my mind wander off too far gets me anxious and I know that anxiety will only set me back.
• I try to focus on the huge gifts that life has given me and try to cultivate a constant feeling of GRATITUDE. My husband and sons, and my mother who is well and very much alive (in fact she’s traveling around Europe as I write). My sisters who both live far but who I know are always there for me. The fact that I have a home and food on my table and so much more.
• My work has truly blossomed over these past 2 years. I consider myself truly blessed to be able to celebrate 9 years of Stars English School in just a few days.
• The fact that I allow myself a few moments of “me time” every single day, even if it’s just to have a warm cup of coffee and read a single page of a book I enjoy or take a hot shower while listening to some music I enjoy.
• Surrounding myself with people who care about me and who I care about, not bothering about superficial relationships.
• I take care of ME. My day starts at 5 am every day and we live far from the downtown area, I go home at around 7 pm every single day. Knowing this I try to organize myself as well as I possibly can with: healthy meals for me and my sons (yes, I do cook every day I don’t buy frozen) sow e eat well, I try to look nice on the outside even if I don’t feel nice inside all the time because I know it helps and I keep my house clean and organized for the same reasons (even when I’m exhausted). I get exercise at least twice a week because I know that if I’m not strong enough it will affect many areas of my life (also socio emotionally).
• I try to read things that give me pleasure and that will help my mind either focus on something useful or take it off something unuseful.
• I try to name my negative feelings and pay attention to them when they pervade me… this helps a lot because I find that often they go away…
I do other things too but I feel this is getting a little too long 🙂
The bottom line, we can overcome our problems. Have faith and stay strong in your priorities, beliefs, and especially yourself. I get through my problems every single day, as all of you do in your own lives, sometimes it’s easier and sometimes it’s harder. Problems will never cease to exist but the way we handle them can make a HUGE difference.
Isadora P. Costa

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