It’s no secret that being a teacher makes it harder for you to relax. Your mind is always on the classroom. Even when you have time to yourself after school or on the weekends you are stuck with grading, lesson planning, extracurriculars, supply shopping, etc. Teaching takes 110% of your energy, 100% of the time.
Even if you love teaching more than anything in the entire world, you will get burnt out fast if you don’t put school aside and take some time for yourself.
This winter break you need to put all thoughts of the classroom aside and make yourself a priority.
Here are some easy ways teachers can relax and reflect this winter break:
Find Quiet Time
Whether you have an extra 5 minutes when you get up in the morning or a free hour in the middle of the day, find the time to be alone and just breathe. Mediate, sip coffee, write your thoughts in a journal, read, or just close your eyes and relax.
It’s common knowledge that physical activity does wonders for the mind and body, but if weights and cardio aren’t your thing- we don’t blame you- find a simple activity that is, like stretching. Everyone can stretch no matter what age or fitness level. Use a few minutes when you get up in the morning to stretch out your muscles and release the tension, this will help your blood flow and your body will feel ready to take on the day.
Watch a movie, see a comedy show, call a friend, etc. Being without your kiddos and your teacher friends for a week or two may make you start to feel a little down in the dumps, but laughter is the best medicine for the winter blues. Find opportunities to laugh each day.
If you are stressed about the rest of the school year and you just can’t seem to get it off your mind, take some time to write down a few goals for yourself and your classroom before the end of the school year. You don’t need to solve every problem this very second, but these goals should be stepping stones to help you solve them. If you would rather not think about school, then write a few personal goals and where you would like to be in 2020. Once they are written, don’t dwell on them, there is nothing you can do until the beginning of the year. You have a game plan, so let it be until January.
Most Importantly: Do Something That Makes You Happy
If there is one thing that you do this winter break, be sure it’s something that makes you happy. Walk your dog, bake Christmas candy, watch Elf 20 times in a row, paint, do yoga, visit friends and family, anything that puts a smile on your face. Be selfish about taking time to do these things, as a teacher your time is never really your own, so use this break to do things that you want to do, even if that means cancelling other plans.
Taking care of your self will be beneficial for both you and your students when you all come back in January. If you get the proper rest and relaxation over break, you are guaranteed to come back happier and less stressed, and that will make you a more effective teacher in the classroom.
Now, we just have to get to winter break….. But don’t worry the countdown is on! How many days do you have left in the year?
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