Simply your summer and take the mental break you need. Your mental and emotional well-being depends on it!
What a year!
It is my hope that by now, you are officially done with your academic year, and hopefully, your administration is giving you some days away without any committee meetings or extra curriculum days.
Right now…all of that stuff should be the last thing on your mind.
Rather, let me give you FULL PERMISSION to TAKE A BREAK!
It is completely normal to feel absolutely drained this time of year. You are excited to go on a vacation, but not overly motivated to pack. You want to take your kids to the pool, but don’t want to pack a lunch. You want to stay up late with all the neighbors who are throwing barbecues or bonfires, but you really just want to sleep.
It is absolutely normal.
Take it easy.
Although the summer is your “big break” of the year, you don’t have to go all out. Instead, make your mental and emotional well-being your priority these summer months. Ask yourself:
- What do I need to do to relax?
- What can I do that will help me push all education out of my mind for a couple of weeks?
- How do I create a stress-free environment around me?
- What things can I do with my kids, spouse, pets, etc. that will be more fun than work?
I feel like we teachers try to pack it all in…in order to truly enjoy this precious student-free time, but in doing so, many of us overdo it.
I know I am guilty of it as well! So, let’s work together to incorporate some of these low-stress activities into our days, shall we?
Go for a morning or evening walk.
It’s okay to go slow (unless you want to run). Enjoy the scenery around your community, stop for breaks, and go at your own pace. Enjoy this opportunity when your time is not completely dictated by the clock in your classroom.
Put your phone/computer away every once in a while.
This is a tough one, I know. Sometimes those social media posts are our entertainment, but it truly is refreshing to step away from screens. I personally like to put my phone away after five pm. It forces me to focus on the life in front of me and spend meaningful time with my husband and friends.
Read a book.
You know…something that you actually enjoy! I have a personal love for young adult literature (which is maybe why I am in ELA) but the books are so good and sometimes I want to read them right alongside my students.
Develop a hobby.
What are you going to do when you retire? Ha! I always laugh at this question because I am still SO FAR away from retirement. However, it is a good question to ponder, because it makes us think about what we would do every day if we weren’t working. Some people like to craft. Some like to volunteer. Some like to simply hang out and enjoy the sun while bird-watching! 😉 Whatever it may be, this is the time to do some of these things you enjoy…and if you can’t come up with a hobby you enjoy…develop one. Spend your summer trying out new things! It could be really fun!
Live in the moment.
We are SO GOOD at thinking ahead and planning out the next day or next week that I know at least for me, it is hard to truly enjoy the present. However, summertime is my time to try and it is yours too! Rather than multitasking while your kids play at the park, actually sit back and enjoy the sound of their laughter. Watch that movie with your partner without checking your phone on and off. Stop trying to get the perfect picture at the lake and just enjoy BEING at the lake! Get my point? 🥰
I think the overall goal is to simplify your life this summer…
You deserve it. Our school year is so full of lesson plans, bells, meetings, etc. and to take a true mental break from it all, we need to simplify our downtime. I know this may be challenging, but do the best you can. Your mental and emotional well-being probably needs it more than you think!