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Your Well-being

Let’s Talk About It

New York Teacher

The pandemic has brought unimaginable changes to our lives. The union’s Member Assistance Program created the Let’s Talk About It workshop series for UFT members. These wellness workshops are led by a licensed clinician and give members time to share their experiences in breakout rooms and learn new coping and healing skills. Below are some key takeaways from the first two workshops in the series.

Navigating transitions

Are you worried about coping with the fear of change? Some pointers:

  • If you’re concerned about returning to school buildings, remember that getting back to normal is like a dial, not a switch; try to acclimate yourself a little at a time.
  • Know the facts because knowledge is power. Don’t make assumptions.
  • Focus on what you can control and not things beyond your control.
  • Take time for self-care, whether in 20-minute or five-minute intervals throughout the day.
  • Communicate your feelings to others.
  • If you have friends who are reluctant to go to events — even if they’re fully vaccinated — don’t push them. We all react differently to traumatic experiences.
  • Know that everyone has a different comfort level around the “new normal.”

Reigniting our inspiration

Want to reconnect to personal passions, discover a new rhythm for home/work life balance and inspire yourself after the long pandemic? Some suggestions:

  • Go deep: Think about what brings meaning to your life and value to your work.
  • Try something new; follow your passions and inspiration!
  • Explore more deeply new interests developed during the pandemic.
  • Show empathy for yourself and others.
  • Acknowledge your feelings — they are real.
  • Engage others you trust when you are not feeling your best.

As more of us return to in-person work, keep an eye out for people who may need mental health or social support. MAP is available for counseling and referrals by emailing mapinfo@uft.org or by calling 212-701-9620.

The UFT Member Assistance Program offers short-term counseling and outside referrals to help you deal with a wide range of issues.