10 Ways to Relax This Summer
The end of the school year is a bittersweet time for educators. Mornings without alarms and the ability to use the restroom anytime are within reach. Yet the idea of not seeing your students' faces smiling back at you every day brings a hint of sadness, making it hard to let go. It’s time, though, to reflect on the year. You can finally exhale a sigh of relief and celebrate your accomplishments.
Even though it didn’t always feel like it, there were many wins throughout the school year! You made sure students felt safe and loved. You offered praise and encouragement to those who struggled and challenged the ones who were ready to fly. You taught students how to think deeper and set goals.
Now it’s time to set some goals for yourself. How are you going to spend your summer break? We’ve got some ideas for you!
Enjoy Some ME Time
It might feel selfish to prioritize your well-being because teachers give, give, give all day, every day. But self-care is essential. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take the time to rejuvenate yourself! Read for fun. Binge-watch a new series. Spend time in nature. Meditate. Start a gratitude journal. The ideas are endless. Just make sure that the focus is on you.
Supplement Your Income
Many teachers use the summer months to earn extra cash. You could stay in your lane by teaching summer school, tutoring, working as a camp counselor, or coaching. There are job options unrelated to teaching, such as lawn care, pet sitting, or retail sales. It could even be time to start that online shop for your artistic creations.
Keep Your Head in the Game
Teachers are the definition of lifelong learners. Districts provide professional development sessions throughout the summers. There are always new educational strategies or programs to learn. Many teachers enroll in post-graduate work to further degrees and advancement opportunities. How about taking a learning getaway by registering for a conference in a city you’ve always wanted to explore?
Vacation or Staycation
It doesn’t matter if you’re hiking in the mountains, soaking up the sun on a beach, or touring museums in your own town. It’s essential to unplug from your daily grind. So set aside your planners and ignore the reminders on your phone. Take time to unwind. The only goals should be relaxation and fun!
Teachers try to stay in touch with friends during the school year, but it’s tough. An educator’s schedule isn’t the typical 9-5. Since summer days have less structure, reach out to those friends and family to reconnect. Grab a coffee together. Meet for dinner. Bring your kids or pets together for playdates. Or simply sit on the couch and chat. Lean into those relationships. You’ll be glad you did.
Improving fitness should be on everyone’s list. Take a class at the gym. Find an online exercise program to do at home. Start walking in your neighborhood. If you start a fitness habit during the summer, you’ll be more likely to continue it when school starts again.
Attack the Chores…Finally
You meant to get to the boxes in the basement and clean out your closets over Christmas Break but didn’t have a chance. Spring Break came and went, too. Now is the time to finish those chores once and for all. They’re not going anywhere. Make a list and check it twice. Then, cross off those chores for good!
How about getting creative with a few DIY projects? There are many options, such as accenting a wall with wallpaper, making a compost bin, personalizing t-shirts, painting the front door, building a raised garden bed, or tiling a backsplash. YouTube tutorials can help make projects come alive!
Get Ahead for Fall
Others may think teachers have summers off, but planning for school never stops. Attend those workshops and conferences over the summer to gather new ideas. Consider different ways to design your classroom. Map out some lesson plans for the beginning of the year. Planning in a relaxed atmosphere will make a big difference when that full-throttle schedule returns.
Edit Your Life
What about those parts of your routine that didn’t work this year? While switching things up during the school term can be difficult, summer is a great time to find alternatives. Start with a family calendar to keep track of events and appointments in one glance. Devise a plan to ease the morning rush by choosing clothes, organizing backpacks, and packing lunches the night before. Stock up on supplies you often replace to reduce extra trips to the store. Try meal prepping to see if it’s something you’d like to add to your routine.
No matter how you choose to spend your summer break, make it count! You earned this time. Enjoy every second of it.
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