Teachers, admit it or not, as much as we love teaching and being with our students throughout the year, the demands of our profession can really take a toll on us. That is why we all deserve a break to rest and practice self-care during the summer. By doing so, we are able to recharge, reboot, and refill ourselves in time to welcome another school year ahead.
But what exactly is self-care?
Contrary to what other people believe, self-care is not about taking grand vacations or indulging in expensive shopping sprees. Self-care, in its most basic definition, means taking care of yourself and doing things that are good for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It can be as simple as reading a page or two of your favorite book or taking an extra five minutes for a warm bath.
This summer, we have rounded up the easiest ways that teachers, like you and me, can enjoy the summer break and practice self-care, even if we have our own children to look out for.
Focus on Yourself
As teachers, our schedules can be so hectic and full for ten months straight. Because of that, we tend to push our personal needs to the bottom of our priority list. With a more open schedule during summer, now is the opportunity to focus on yourself. Take the time to have your annual physical check-up or visit a health practitioner for any concerns that you've been putting off in the past months. Remember, being healthy is as important as having a great lesson plan for the upcoming school year.
Take a "real" break
Shut down, unplug, and reboot – these are all easy to say but really difficult to practice, especially for teachers. But trust us when we say it is for the best. Taking time to hibernate and stepping out of the teacher mindset (even for just a week!) will give you the opportunity to focus on yourself and your family. Enjoy your downtime by playing with your kids, taking a nap, or reading a book. This will help you recharge and regain the enthusiasm of teaching and seeing your students again.
Feed your curiosity
Yes, we know what you are thinking, taking classes and trainings during summer is contrary to taking a break and resting. But we all know for a fact that as teachers, we see learning opportunities everywhere, all the time. Summer is a great time to feed your curiosity and expand your knowledge by becoming a student once again. But don't stretch yourself too thin. This is not all about you getting ahead of others; rather, it is about you filling in your knowledge well and taking some time to satisfy your natural curiosity. There are many enjoyable ways to learn aside from formal trainings, such as finding a good podcast or a YouTube channel to subscribe to or even reading a good book on self-development.
Try something new for a change!
If you are up to it, summer is the best time to try something new. Maybe you want to start a mini-garden? Attend a yoga or meditation class? Or perhaps you want to try baking or learn a new recipe? During summer, you have more time to experiment and explore new hobbies. Whatever it is, do something that will make you feel good and productive, even if it is not connected to teaching. PRO Tip: Students love it when you tell them an interesting story about your summer once they get back to school!
You've probably heard it a dozen times, but it's true: self-care isn't selfish. So don't feel guilty about pampering yourself a little, whether that's going to a spa or visiting your favorite nail salon. You can even turn this experience into a bonding session with your partner, your daughter, or some girlfriends you haven't had the chance to have a long talk with during school days.
As we wrap up another productive year and get ready for a new one in a few months, remember to enjoy the months in between. Summer presents us with a great opportunity to put back the focus on ourselves and our family. Self-care is one vital investment we can make, especially if we want to become better teachers. By dedicating time to care for ourselves during summer, we replenish our energy and enhance our resilience in time for when the next academic year begins.
Tune in to Teacher Time Mastery for Secondary ELA Teachers Podcast for more tips on how to up your teaching game and at the same time reclaim your free time!
Looking to start the next year off right without sacrificing your summer bliss? Check out the upcoming Vocab Vigor membership, complete with weekly vocabulary lessons done for you, with lots of side perks, too!