Teachers deserve their well-earned summer break. But there’s always the potential to feel holiday guilt. We all know the nagging feeling that not thinking about lesson plans is somehow not quite right.
Thankfully, Teacheroo has some top tips on how to properly switch off for summer. So go on . . . you’re worth it!
Create your personal bucket list
We all have unique aspirations about how we’d like to spend the summer recess. It could be holidaying on a remote Scottish island. Perhaps there’s a creative arts course you’ve always wanted to try out?
However, unless we actually detail these personal goals in advance, it’s easy to let the weeks quickly slide by without even trying to realise our holiday dreams.
So write down your bucket list of best things to do this summer. It will bring focus and an action plan to finally enjoy the pursuits that flick the switch from work mode to play.
Be thankful for the good stuff
Encouraging a personal sense of gratitude every day has been shown to improve our ability to relax both mind and body.
It’s also incredibly easy to achieve during the summer break. Simply pay attention to what’s made you happy each day and make a note of it.
Maybe you enjoyed a fabulous meal, discovered a new wine or happened upon a beautiful nature walk you hadn’t known about.
To make the happy associations stronger, take a picture on your phone and a build a memory bank of all the things that make you feel good.
Remove all work reminders
The best teachers really do love their job but enjoying the break is all about switching off from work. The last thing you need are reminders that can tip the life-work balance by steering your brain back into work mode.
Resist opening up the laptop to check work emails for at least two weeks and disable the calendar reminders and message notifications on your phone.
Rather than regularly dipping into next term’s lessons, choose a book or a movie that transports you completely out of yourself and any notion of school.
Plan nothing-to-do days
Okay, so there will be certain logistics to your holiday time that need addressed in advance. But having whole days where you have absolutely nothing scheduled will open up big spaces to relax and rejuvenate.
Why not put the Niksen method into practice?
Inspired by the Dutch word Niks, meaning nothing, essentially this is the art of . . . well, doing nothing. There are no daily life goals, long-term professional objectives or even a hint of trying to be productive.
Away from the fast-paced and fully immersive world of education, allowing yourself this time out gives the mind the space it needs to truly relax and recharge itself. This is also hugely important in tackling any subconscious work-related health problems such as stress.
Look forward with confidence
Switching off is vital for our long-term health and wellbeing. Sometimes, however, so too is very briefly switching on to ideas that can help take the potential stress out of finally returning to work.
Planning allotted time for preparation will make sure you feel in total control of your schedule, while also not straying too far across those important work-holiday boundaries.
You might want to create a course overview for the year, break it into units of study and decide what resources you’ll need.
Simply by taking one afternoon out to reflect on the way you work – both the positives and negatives – will help plan that work-life balance early. It will build your emotional resilience for next term. And it will leave you the rest of the summer break all to yourself.