Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

by Stacey Ebert /
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Aug 07, 2023 / 0 comments

I grew up on Long Island, New York. Summer was and is my favourite season. For as long as I can remember, summertime meant my summer camp second home, and the moment I could drive meant any spare time spent at the beach. The ocean and sand are so much a part of me that I moved to live beside them for a decade (and later flipped coasts to relish their brilliance all year long). The rest of the year in New York, when it was too cold for toes to find the freedom of flip flops, I wore sunglasses on my head, and drew a beach scene on my classroom calendar—I lived the adage that it was always summer somewhere. To say I had a dire case of seasonal affective disorder is an understatement. 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

The moment summer came to a close, I booked whatever sunny destination escape I could find. In those months between summer’s end and reappearance, I found motivation hard, and the best of me in hibernation. Travel (especially to warmer climates) was my number one vice; it lifted me, set my soul alight, and encouraged that authentic self. 

I clearly remember my first year as a high school teacher, yearning for that February break to take me to a pre-booked Caribbean destination. Upon my return to school, a colleague exclaimed, “Stacey got her groove back.” A light switch flipped. The vitamin D re-ignited my spirit, returning energy that felt dormant for some time. While the glimmer reappeared, the real question was how to access that light switch more often, without needing that airplane, the time off, or the geographic distance?

Can we notice our own needs and get that groove back whenever we wish? 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

In the northern hemisphere, it’s presently summer—a time to regain energy, fill days with sunshine, and assess where we are. For young ones, it might look like all day play, daily desserts, outdoor movies, and staying up past bedtime. For the young at heart, it might look like taking stock, spending time on non-work stuff, summer excursions, and finding passion however we choose. 

That feeling of a reboot, a spark, a refresh, the you flourishing to the surface again…that’s the stuff we want to access, that’s what we want at our disposal at any time. 

How do we do it?

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

The past few years have been a rollercoaster of chaos, challenge, and change. Whether or not the pandemic contributed to any sort of individual stuckness, it’s altogether possible that as a society, we’ve felt off kilter, knocked off our game. It happens to the best of us. It happens at various points of life and development, it happens at seasonal shifts or holiday times of year, and sometimes it lasts for a moment or a while. Baseball players call it a slump, creatives a block, and workers burnout. 

While the sometimes seemingly insurmountable doldrums can set in, it’s paramount to notice the levels and length—and of course, know when it’s time to call in mental health professionals.

When life calls for a shift in perspective, a reminder of the joy, and the yearning for the return of your groove takes flight, what do you do? 

What tools and techniques can we infuse in our classrooms to allow our students to see that, just like in the economy, these downturns are a normal part of life? How can we remind them that the paths to winning streaks and whirlwind success might have some pitfalls and low-lying valleys along the way? 

How do we normalize the periods of stuckness, normalize the process of asking for help, and normalize sharing ALL the steps along our journey? 

We all deal with those moments in life that take work. 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

Some do it on the public stage, while others navigate in private. Whether you head into nature, set Disney+ on repeat, chat with friends, exercise, hit the playground swings, listen to music, bake cookies, dive into that hobby, go to therapy, find professional help, or whatever strikes your fancy. 

Know that these messy moments are a normal part of life, that you can keep putting one foot in front of the other, that an icky day is not an icky life, and that, until you can believe in yourself, we unquestionably believe in you. 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

5 Tips & Tricks to Reawaken Your Spirit & Get Your Groove Back

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

Flip perspective on its head

In my first anti-gravity yoga class, Lauren, my instructor, reminded us that our hammock could hold the weight of a baby elephant, and since we were all far tinier than a newborn pachyderm, we could swing and flip to our heart’s content. At the apex of class, we went upside down. The floor became the ceiling, our feet felt miles above our heads, and the whole world looked that little bit different. 

In that moment, magic happened. 

We have the innate power to flip that perspective whenever we wish…without the assistance of that colorful silk hammock. Lie on the ground and take that yoga pose ‘legs up the wall’, get curious about something new, or channel any author who today keeps their potentially many rejections framed to remind them that every chance is a possibility. 

Turn toward the motivation of sports figures, entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists who found success after what the world calls many failures. In a recent course I took, a professor told a story about learning to juggle. He reminded listeners that one of the first things you learn is not only to drop the balls, but to be okay with dropping the balls. 

When we flip the perspective, possibilities arise.

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

Trust the process

In the throes of a doldrum day, trusting the process doesn’t always break through the noise. Sometimes, our impulses and desires for success in the now are hard to ignore. Sometimes we need to learn to sit with it, pivot, re-direct, turn the page, or even close the chapter and start a new one. 

We loosen the reins, stop holding on so tightly, have a bit of faith in the journey, and do the necessary work to move us along. 

And, sometimes, we change course, choosing a path that grows out of discomfort. 

Take it from Dan Harris. When this television news journalist and self-proclaimed skeptic had an on-air panic attack, his entire world shifted. While he didn’t have any form of meditation or healthy bits of self-care in his daily regimen, today he’s the author of 10% Happier, host of the eponymous podcast, full-fledged supporter of the science behind and practitioner of meditation. Perhaps meditation can work for you, or perhaps it’s a maybe at the moment. 

Either way, the art of continuing to remain open and curious, showing up, learning to let go and let be, and sitting amidst the unknown and uncomfortable will challenge those slumps and maybe even help to reframe the possibilities.

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

Use your resources

At the start of the pandemic, I made a decision to infuse more good news into my social media world. Following pages like @goodnews_movement made me cry those happy tears and add more joy to each day. Between that and others like it on Oprah, Ellen, and a zillion other good news sites, I found extra goodness by tapping into those neurotransmitters that turned a blah day into one with moments of sparkle. 

It was there I saw a story about a struggling author. A parent who took many years to write his book—and after publication, it sat on the bottom of the list and shelves for years until a family member shared his story on TikTok and it went viral. The smile on the face of the author was even greater than the rocketing surge in sales. 

We all have untapped resources. Perhaps it’s social media, perhaps it’s friends and family, perhaps it’s a course, talent, coach, mentor, teacher, librarian, stranger, book, therapist, or memory. We have them, and it’s up to us to find our way to uncover and activate them. Find a motivational hook, sign up for a new course, write a mantra on colored post-its around the house, get a therapist, pop prompts into your phone. 

Remind yourself that sometimes stuck spots are detours back to your authentic self.

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

Just keep swimming

Katie Ledecky, champion of long-distance swims, became the first woman to get to 20 world championship medals, tied Michael Phelps for the individual world championship gold medal count, and did it in her signature style: smashing first place and arriving seventeen seconds ahead of the second place swimmer. 

Tatyana McFadden, considered the fastest woman in the world and holder of 20 Paralympic medals amidst a slew of other epic accolades, has shown the world the power of determination and grit. Her story, her inner mantra of “I can do it,” her formidable talent and even greater mindset, and her lawsuit against her school for the right to compete, are part of what sets her apart as one of the greats! 

While Finding Nemo’s Dory may have epitomized her signature phrase, it’s the fierce phenoms like Ledecky and McFadden who remind us to take the time we need, work on our strengths, shut down the naysayers, find our support squad, take the chance, and not only get back in the game, but soar to the top of the field.

We’ve witnessed celebrated celebrities wait decades to receive that Oscar, and while they, like everyone, have all encompassing moments of doubt and that screaming imposter syndrome, they continue to put one foot in front of the other. We’ve benefited from the ferocity of spirit and the wise lessons of lion-hearted humans like Michael J. Fox, who remind us of the power of gratitude and optimism in seemingly insurmountable situations. 

So, when we need a little extra pep in our step, moments to wallow in the wilderness, or tell that imposter syndrome who’s boss, channel the spirits of those who thought they couldn’t or were told they couldn’t and instead..THEY DID!

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back

Do you believe in miracles?

In the movie Miracle, the story of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team, a commentator exclaims, “do you believe in miracles?!?” The movie depicts the real-life journey of humans, sport, politics, and life, and draws on a thread of endless hope, continued belief, and a full manifestation of what’s possible. There are downturns, injuries, boycotts, disbelief, disappointment, and discouragement…and then, there’s the power of possibility. 

It’s the unfettered faith of a sports fan who holds on for decades to witness their team win a championship, the continued persistence of the writer who hears constant rejections, the determination of the elite athlete to re-emerge after seemingly never-ending setbacks—this is getting that groove back in action!

Whether you follow motivational speakers, listen to podcasts, take the affirmation or daily mantra approach, meditate, make those vision boards, work on manifesting your dreams, hone your visualization techniques, enhance your gratitude and optimism practices, find personal cheerleaders or cheer yourself on—it may not happen overnight, it may take playing the long game, it might test your patience and fire up your grit, but just like that 1980’s sports commentator, you, too, can believe in miracles. 

And, if you’re not yet ready to muster all the strength to believe in yourself, know that until you do—we believe in you

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Getting your groove back



Please click the photo below for a collection of my Through the Eyes of an Educator columns:

Through the Eyes of an Educator: A Compendium


Stacey Ebert, our Educational Travels Editor, is a traveler at heart who met her Australian-born husband while on a trip in New Zealand. Stacey was an extracurricular advisor and taught history in a Long Island public high school for over fifteen years, enjoying both the formal and informal educational practices. After a one year 'round the world honeymoon, travel and its many gifts changed her perspective. She has since left the educational world to focus on writing and travel. She is energetic and enthusiastic about long term travel, finding what makes you happy and making the leap. In her spare time she is an event planner, yogi, dark chocolate lover, and spends as much time as possible with her toes in the sand.

Check out her website at for more of her travel musings.