The National AfterSchool Association is the leading voice of the afterschool profession dedicated to development, education, and care of children and youth during their out of school hours.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dealing with Frustration

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If you are like me, you're feeling the frustrations of the lingering recession, political stalemates, pressure to do more with less, and the lack of time to do everything that needs to be done. Everywhere I look, I find more that can be done and things that I could do even better. It would be easy to lose control and give up. But I learned long ago that nothing worth doing would ever be easy.

When frustrations mount, we have to make time for ourselves. That means we create time to relax and get away from the daily ‘gnawing gnats’ that pester us and add to our worries. It's important to refresh our bodies for good health. It’s even more important to refresh our minds for good mental health. I do that by connecting with others who do the work that I do, commiserating if I need to, and listening for fresh ideas that will help me address my frustrations. I've learned that the worst thing I can do is try to go it alone. That just leads to an isolated feeling and adds to my frustration level.

I invite you to join us in Dallas, Texas, where together we can support ourselves through these tough times. The NAA staff, the NAA Board of Directors, the Convention Planning Team, and I are committed to assuring that those attending get the support and ideas they need to survive and thrive during tough times.

So pack your running or walking shoes and join us for the GO FAR 5k race/walk during which you can relieve your stress and improve your health. If that doesn’t appeal to you, try our Zumba class. You’ll have numerous opportunities to learn from 200 expert presenters who will surely give you new ideas that will brighten your workdays.  We also hope you will gather ideas from our Science and Arts Fairs about how you can promote STEM activities and make them in to STEAM by integrating the arts throughout your program this year. A focus on the arts will not only increase creativity, but they’ll make us feel better. Nowhere else will you have the opportunity to hear celebrity speakers like we have for this year’s convention.  Our faithful vendors and sponsors will have the latest and best materials and resources that will help you become the best at what you do.

Most importantly, though, things are always bigger in Texas, and the quality of support that thousands of your colleagues will provide you when we gather for the nations’ greatest event for afterschool professionals will be immeasurable – and it will greatly help us deal with these frustrating times.

I hope to see you there.

Paul G. Young, Ph. D.
President & CEO
National AfterSchool Association

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