Being a teacher can feel like a 24/7 job, once the classroom door is locked and school staff depart the school for summer break, some teachers have difficulty switching off from teaching mode. Do you still think about marking, lesson planning, class results when you are on your holiday? Here are 5 tips for summer self care, to help you put yourself first.
1) Switch off
Easier said than done! We are half-way through the summer holidays, so hopefully you have managed to switch off from work mode or at least have set boundaries. You can do this by trying to go a week without checking school emails. By consciously avoiding doing school related things such as preparing lessons, marking and thinking about the return to the classroom. If you do need to work, you can set physical boundaries by completing your work in an area that you don’t associate with relaxation. This means that when it’s relaxation time you won’t be associating your calm space with concentration and work. What kind of things do you do to set boundaries? Let us know!
2) Stop feeling guilty
In 2019 the Teacher Wellbeing Index found that 72% of educators would describe themselves as stressed. 2020 and 2021 will no doubt be considered two of the most difficult and stressful school years to date. It’s been a hugely challenging professional experience for teachers and school staff who have kept the education industry afloat in desperate times. As a result of this, teachers have spent a lot of time taking care of others this year, and it is unsurprising many are feeling guilty for finally having a break and taking time for themselves.
On top of this teachers are made to feel fortunate and lucky for having a summer break when most professions do not. This results in teachers feeling like they should be spending their time doing certain things and if they’re not meeting expectations this results in feelings of guilt. Educators need to remove the mindset that you have to be productive all of the time. This is your time, if you want to use it to get lots of jobs done around the house then go for it. If you want to binge watch a show on the couch for the day, then you’re totally within your rights to do so! This is your holiday so do what makes you feel happy.
3) Spend time with loved ones
After the disconnection from family and friends over the last 18 months, now is ample time to start reconnecting and spend time with all of the special people in your life. Here are some ideas:
- Days out to the park
- Beach days
- A trip to the fair
Spending face to face time with family and loved ones has huge benefits compared to when it is digital. It significantly reduces the occurrence of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness.
4) Do things that you enjoy
Are you guilty of not indulging in things that you genuinely enjoy and opt for scrolling on your phone? You’re not alone! This summer make it your mission to do at least 5 activities solely for you, that give you a greater sense of satisfaction. This can be painting, reading, enjoying a film, or doing something physical like swimming. Find out why engaging with truly satisfying activities is important for you here.
5) Download the EveryMind at Work app
It’s really important to us here at SupplyWell that you are empowered in looking after your mental health. This is why we offer teachers that sign up with us exclusive access to the EveryMind at work app. It offers tailored tools and resources from the comfort and convenience of your own device. The app incorporates mindfulness throughout and encourages proactive management of your own mental health through engaging content and insights. You can visit EveryMind here.
Another fantastic app for mental health is the calm app which is great for sleep stories and guided meditation. Are you interested in reading more about improving your mental health? Check out one of our previous blog posts on managing stress.
We hope this blog post has given you some helpful tips. What teacher tips do you have for summer self-care? Share your advice on Facebook and Twitter! We love to learn some tried and tested techniques from teachers.