Updated: Nov 6
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role.
I’m 47 years old, married and a father of two teen daughters. I have been a high school teacher for nearly 21 years.
How has the pandemic affected your environment?
We have pivoted repeatedly during the last few years to online learning, leading to an improvised workspace in my home. In school, the schedule, length of classes and rules around how we can teach and learn have been in a constant state of flux. For long stretches of time, all four of us have been working and learning in our townhome. It has been challenging at times.
What changes have you noticed in your own or others’ state of wellbeing?
I struggled with anxiety and mild depression, caused by some recent losses in my family, stress at work and tension at home, during the early days of the pandemic. It didn’t cause the issues, but it didn’t help. Everyone I know has been affected by the pandemic—stress, boredom, worry and concern are frustrating.
How do you take care of your mental health?
I had work to do. I’ve seen a therapist to do some repair work and now use exercise, some needed life changes and mindfulness activities to manage stress and anxiety.
Despite the difficulties, what are you looking forward to this year?
My newly defined boundaries at work are grounds for optimism, for sure. I am looking forward to more time outdoors (beneficial for me) with my new puppy.
Name one song, film or piece of work that you enjoyed recently.
Ted Lasso has been a real balm for frazzled nerves. I also enjoy the music of The Head and the Heart and The Avett Brothers.