Wow, what a year. Now that 2019-20 is officially behind us, it’s time to take a breath. We have survived one of the most challenging and stressful School years ever and we deserve a break now more than ever. Regardless of how your school year will be starting, take the next few weeks to relax, reflect, and renew.
Here’s how teachers can make the most of Summer break.
First, for the relaxing part:
Give yourself permission to totally disconnect from school.
Here are some ways to do that:
*Read some books that are just for fun. Here are some on my list!
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews
On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe
Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer
Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner
Lost & Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs
The Friendship List by Susan Mallery
Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
On the Bright Side: Stories of Friendship, Love, and Being True to Yourself by Melanie Shankle
Stand All the Way Up: Stories of Staying in It When You Want to Burn it All Down by Sophie Hudson
*Keep a list of fun things to watch on Netflix or Disney Plus (Hamilton is my summer obsession).
*Sleep – go to bed earlier, sleep in a little later, take naps during the day.
*Think about your summer self-care routine. What are some things you want to be sure you do every day? Every week?
Here are 10 tips to try:
1 – drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day
2 – get up 30-60 minutes earlier so that you can work on something that is just for you. Use that time to read or exercise, write or create something.
3 – take a walk, even a brief one, every day
4 – move your body in some way for 30 minutes every day (walking, yoga, weight training, Pilates, jazzercise, whatever makes you happy)
5 – get 6 – 8 hours of sleep every night
6 – instead of taking stuff away from your diet, try adding 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day
7 – deep breathing sessions and/or meditation every day
8 – start a gratitude journal – write down five things you are grateful for every day
9 – buy yourself flowers or a plant
10 – try a new hobby – you can learn to do almost anything from YouTube!
Now for the reflecting part:
*Get a cute notebook and some great pens to make some lists!
*Here are some topics I use.
When I think of something for that topic or category, I can quickly jot it down in my notebook. Writing it down helps me continue to relax, knowing that my “brilliant idea” is safely written down and I can come back to it when I’m ready.
~what worked well this past school year? Think about what worked well when you were in the classroom. Then think about what worked well during distance learning. (In case we are doing some combination of distance learning next year, it will be helpful to remember what actually worked!)
~what do I want to change or improve in the next school year?
~what are some books I want to read or things I want to learn?
And now to renew:
*Think about how you want to feel by the end of the summer. What will make you feel like it was a great summer for you? Will you feel more connected to people you love? Will you feel more relaxed? Productive? Healthier? Do you want to add money to your bank account? All of the above?!
*Now think about what you would need to do in order to have those feelings. Will you need to plan to spend time with certain people? What would make you feel more relaxed and less stressed by the end of the summer? What routines would help you feel more productive? What routines would help improve your health or fitness? How might you earn some extra money this summer?
*I like to use time in the summer to spend time with people I love or to catch up with friends I might not see as often during the school year. Even though COVID-19 is still impacting our social lives, use technology to connect with people you have not seen or talked with in a while.
*Make a list of health & wellness appointments you need to make or keep throughout the year. (Yearly physical, pap smear, mammogram, eye doctor, dental cleanings, etc.) Write down the months when these appointments need to be scheduled.
By the way: nobody says you have to do all these appointments during the summer. Sometimes it’s a good idea to schedule a day during the school year during which you will knock out two or three of these appointments.
*Make a list of recipes or healthy meals to try. During the school year, planning and cooking healthy meals can be a chore when you get super busy. Make a meal plan during the summer and try out some new recipes to add to your rotation.
Summer is a time to step back, take a deep breath, and take some time for yourself. How will you relax, reflect, and renew this summer?
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