The holiday season is amongst us and all the hustle and bustle creates a stressful time in every teacher’s life. Family obligations, holiday shopping and school festivities make a busy teacher’s life busier than ever! Not to mention, grades are due, projects need to be collected, final assessments are taking place and if you are like me, you haven’t even thought of wrapping Christmas presents yet!
So, what do you do? How do you stop the stress from overpowering your life and taking over in your classroom? Follow this Recipe for Rejuvenation and you will allow yourself balance, peace and a true holiday break!
Ingredient #1: Rest
Most teachers I know, go to bed late and get up early! It never seems like the day is long enough for all the responsibilities of our personal and professional lives. However, rest is critical! Getting sufficient sleep is an absolute must to stay healthy, happy and productive! We are beginning a two week break, so now is the perfect time to get caught up on lost hours of sleep! Enjoy this break and sleep in! Turn the alarm clock off and let your body REST! If you have little ones at home that rise early, rest on the couch while holiday cartoons play! Even if you are not asleep, your body will appreciate the hiatus from constantly being on the go!
Ingredient #2: Relax
How do we define the difference between resting and relaxing? Resting is the art of turning off and doing nothing. The best kind of rest is sleep, but when sleep is not possible, simply lying on the couch or in a comfy chair can suffice. Relaxation, however, can take many forms and mean something different for all of us. While some people rely on exercise to relax and clear their mind, others plan a night out with friends, some need nature, others choose a long drive. Whatever form appeals to you, make time during this holiday break to RELAX! Head out on a trail, take a yoga class or schedule a coffee date with a friend but whatever you choose, make a promise not to think or talk shop!
Ingredient #3: Read
We are educators and by and large we love to read! Unfortunately, most of us save all of our good books for summer break! I have found that picking up a great book to read over winter break is my most delightful holiday treat! Make sure that whatever book you choose is for pleasure and not for work! Leave the research alone, save the teacher memoirs for another time and put down that copy of the latest ACTFL journal! Choose something fun, light, surprising and purely entertaining! Make it a new holiday tradition to actually do what you have always loved and READ over the break! Oh, and post your favorite titles in the comment section below!
Ingredient #4: Repeat
Rest, Relax, Read…..Repeat! The perfect 4 ingredient recipe for a rejuvenating holiday break! Don’t just get one night of fitful sleep. Don’t just veg out on the couch one day with a reality TV show or great book! Repeat these ingredients!! You have two weeks off, make that time slow down by carving out time for you! Teachers give of themselves all year long. This holiday break, give yourself the gift of a true break! Repeat this recipe and you will start the new year rested and your students will reap the rewards!