8 Way to Focus on You This Summer
Posted 3 months ago by Justin Smith
Hey! You made it. Summer is here, school is out, and you have two blissful months of freedom.
Teacher burnout is extremely common, and that’s why it is so important for you to take care of YOU this summer. I know that to-do list may be nagging at you, or that running tally of tasks to check off before the next school year begins may be constant in the back of your mind, but before you succumb to the weight of those responsibilities, make sure you’re filling your cup. As teachers and administrators, we are constantly giving. It’s vital that we don’t forget to give back to ourselves. If we don’t, we are not only doing ourselves a disservice, but also our students. So, take a break from the lesson planning in order to plan something great for yourself!
8 Ways to Focus on You This Summer:
1. Take a Trip
Removing yourself from your everyday routine will kick off summer the right way. By putting yourself in a new or different environment, you are forcing yourself to change perspective, routine, and recognize that you earned this break. A full blown vacation not in the budget? Camp out in the backyard with your kids, visit a friend or relative, or go anywhere that makes you feel unburdened. Even taking a day trip to gaze out over a lake can be humbling and restorative.
2. Relax & Pamper Yourself
Teaching and working in schools can be both mentally and physically exhausting. Therefore, working in some time this summer to indulge in self-pampering is not only earned but necessary. Fellas’, this goes for you as well. Everyone likes to be pampered in a different way. Depending on your personality, anything from getting a massage to tinkering with the hot rod in your garage can feel like pampering.
3. Unplug & Recharge
Take some time away from your laptop to recharge your batteries. Dealing with constant emails and the need to always be around a computer or phone is draining. This summer, refocus yourself on what matters most to you. Take a deep breath and step away from the technology.
4. Read a Good Book
Other than the fact that educators should always model a love of reading, delving into a mesmerizing story or an inspirational biography will remind you of why learning is so important. Broadening your imagination will make you a better teacher as well as a more interesting person. Plus, “having no time to read” is no longer an excuse.
5. Sleep & Move
Those two seem contradictory, right? But they are both so important to your well-being. Take advantage of not setting an alarm, and don’t feel guilty about sleeping in. Think about all the sleep you sacrificed this school year. And make sure that you are moving your body in a way that feels good to you. You now have the time to go for walks, practice yoga, or go to the gym (if that’s your thing). I know I can be guilty of becoming a couch potato when I’m out of my regular work routine, so making a point every day to get some movement in is invigorating and usually leads me to be more productive in my day.
6. Experience Nature
Nothing changes your perspective like being in nature. No matter where you live, this is something you can do to relieve stress, energize the mind, and dwell in gratitude. Take your dog for a walk in the forest, visit your closest beach, hike a nearby mountain, or star gaze in your backyard. Bring yourself back to the basics of our world, and humble yourself by the beauty of it all.
7. Finally Complete that List
I’m not talking about the no fun laundry list of chores, I’m talking about the DIY projects you have been putting on the back burner because they aren’t as necessary as your day to day tasks. What hobbies do you have that you want to indulge in? Finish that puzzle, re-paint that dresser, sew that dress, complete that needlework, fix that engine, and plant those flowers. These tasks are the ones that make you happy when you complete them, so why not do it now?
8. Make a Schedule– or Don’t
Are you the type of person who feels best when you have a routine? Then make one! And if the idea of having a set schedule every day fills you with anxiety, don’t. The main advantage of summer vacation for educators is that it’s a small part of the year where you are not responsible for 50 + children and their success. Your priority is you. Don’t forget that!