The Holiday Break Struggle: Finding True Relaxation
How teachers can navigate a busy holiday season while finding time for themselves.
For educators, a holiday break can sometimes feel like anything but a break. While you may have time off from your job, you often don't get time off from family obligations, holiday shopping, and seasonal events that fill up your calendar.
This is especially true after a year or more of physically bringing your work life into your home through remote learning. For your mental health and your own well-being, it's important to take time for yourself to unwind and actually enjoy your break from school life.
Repeat after me, 'I am enough.'
One big hurdle to fully relaxing during your time off is wondering if there's more you should do to catch up, to do your job better, or to get ahead. This self-doubt is also a big contributor to burnout.
Remember that you've done all that you can for your students during a difficult time, and your efforts are sufficient enough. You are enough. Full stop.
Know when to say 'no.'
It's the season for scheduling conflicts: tree lightings, recitals, parades, bake sales, gift exchanges with friends, and family dinners. It can be exciting to finally get back together with people you haven't seen for a long time. But it can also be stressful. Practice self-care by not forcing yourself to be everywhere all the time.
Here's a great phrase, "That's not going to fit into my schedule." If the scheduling conflict is that you have a meeting with a book on your couch, that's nobody's business but your own.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Move your school stuff out of your sight. Put the papers, books, and file folders in a drawer, or a cabinet, or a closet and close it. Don't just turn off your notifications, delete the email app from your phone.
By putting away all of these visual reminders, you can give yourself permission to not think about work, even with a passing glance.
Some additional resources:
Connect with fellow educators for encouragement and motivation on our Facebook Group for teachers.