I’ve read a lot about teachers at all levels being under a great deal of stress over the past 12 months (since joining the team at School Planner Company). There’s even research that suggests people often experience stress to such a level it becomes a health issue that can interfere with daily life – often on a catastrophic scale. This isn’t only a ‘working hours’ problem; teachers will often bring their concerns home with them, and it becomes even more of a problem that affects all parts of their life.
I admit, I don’t personally know the weight on the shoulders of teachers, and can only go by what I have learned in my time working for SPC. Something I can do, though, is offer some tips for self-care that you should definitely give a try now the summer holidays are here. There’s still time to get everything sorted for September, and we’ll cover that in later blogs – I promise. But at this moment in time, there is every reason to take a deep breath and know that it’s completely acceptable to be kind to yourself.
Do that ‘one’ job
It might be painting the ceiling in the bathroom, re-planting a flower bed, or trying a new recipe. Something that you’ve been meaning to do for weeks or months but haven’t been able to justify doing it on account of the stack of marking growing steadily in your hallway. We all have little odd jobs that we wish we could do, and when you stop putting it off and allow yourself the time to actually do it, it feels extremely satisfying. And satisfaction is synonymous with happiness, so you know it’s going to feel good.
You had to know this one would be here. You might even spend every day teaching others about how good exercise is for the mind and body; right now is the perfect time to indulge in whatever physical activity keeps you feeling well. It doesn’t have to be intense cardio that has you out of breath (although if that’s what feels good, by all means, go for it); it can even just be something you enjoy or want to try – use your imagination. Take the family bowling; it’ll raise your heart rate and you can enjoy some friendly competition.
Indulge in a little selfishness
Make sure you do one thing that makes you happy once a day. Reminding yourself that you deserve things that make you feel good can do wonders for self-confidence in subtle ways, so give yourself permission to eat that biscuit, use the expensive shampoo, or even watch that TV programme that you swear you don’t enjoy but secretly can’t help following the online discussion.
(Re)connect with nature
Whether you spend much time outside or not, summer is undoubtedly the best time to be enjoying the great outdoors, come rain or shine. If you have green fingers, there’s no better time to get out in the garden and do a little bit of landscaping. Don’t like getting your hands dirty? Get your daily dose of exercise with a long walk, and take in some of the scenery. If you’re not that familiar with your area (or even if you are and want to find new routes), there are lots of online resources to plan your walk. Some examples can be found here, here, and here.
What self-care do you recommend?
The great thing about self-care is there’s always something that’ll be completely unique to an individual, meaning there’s almost always going to be something new to try. With that in mind, we hand over to you; what keeps your mind and body feeling well during school breaks?