We are just over halfway through this summer – a summer that has most definitely been one of the strangest many of us have ever experienced. From COVID-19, recent civil unrest, and the uncertainty of what will happen with school in the fall, this summer has not been the relaxing break from reality most of us needed. Despite the struggles, and the unique way we are spending our time away from friends and family, we have discovered there are opportunities to reflect and appreciate certain aspects of this unusual time. We’ve heard interesting ideas and perspectives that have brought us comfort knowing that we can get through this together, and we might even come out stronger on the other side. Executive Director for the Future of School Amy Valentine challenges us to be aware of how we are spending our energy when we return to the routines we had prior to the pandemic. In a recent podcast, Opportunity Thrives, she shared this quote: “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal that are worth rushing back to.” – Dave Hollis But what does this look like in practice? How can we use the inspiration we’ve gained during the pandemic to recommit to what’s really important to us and our families? Here are a few ways we see this in the actions of our daily life. 1) Simplify, simplify, simplify. One of the most important lessons that many of us have taken to heart during the past several months is that simplifying our lives can be very liberating. Not being able to participate in most in-person activities does bring the added benefit of forcing us to eliminate things we really did not need or enjoy. Scratch that volunteer gig you dreaded off your list and forget the long commute and endless traffic. Despite the hardships, fewer in-person commitments does make life less complicated. And now that we are all spending so much time at home, it’s a good opportunity to declutter and organize our physical spaces. Encouraging your student to do the same could bring a sense of calm to their room and the house. Plus, there are studies proving that decluttering can be beneficial to your health! 2) Revel in the small moments. Yes, we can’t go to concerts with big crowds, grab dinner with friends, or celebrate milestones like we once did. But we can still take a walk in the morning and appreciate the sunrise. We can spend more one-on-one time with our child. And we can appreciate the slower pace of life without running from one activity to the next. 3) Stay grateful. There are numerous studies touting the benefits of having a grateful mindset. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a moment to think about three things we’re grateful for first thing in the morning or recounting a few happy moments at the end of each day. In the midst of a hectic meeting or the stress of managing family life, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Reminding yourself to be in the present moment might be all you need to remember that as stressful as life is right now, this too shall pass. How we can help We know everyone is going through a lot right now. If you’re seeking homeschooling options, or want to provide additional support for your student, reach out to us today to learn how we can help: www.apexlearningvs.com.