Soon after the 2015-2016 school year ended, I was given an unexpected gift: a day at home all alone. It was glorious! (I took three naps.) Once I wiped away the sleep from my eyes, I was shocked at how tired I really was. Truthfully, a teacher’s work is never done and plans for a new school year are always on the brain.
With a new school year just around the corner, teachers look forward to the summer months to recharge their batteries. Perhaps sharing these refreshing ideas with you will encourage both of us to take better care of ourselves!
- Rest your body – You may not realize how worn out you probably are! Stress is a normal part of life, but it can have nasty consequences on your health. One of the most interesting studies I’ve ever read on how to reduce stress in your life comes from a book by Dr. Caroline Leaf called: Who Switched Off My Brain? Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions. She is a learning specialist who focuses on optimal brain performance. Her book is pretty “cerebral,” but hang in there. She totally wants us to learn to eliminate stress.
- Refresh your soul – Go to the beach, go fishing, go camping, go somewhere… Have you noticed that no matter how exhausting a vacation trip can be, somehow the act of getting away from the routine of life makes a huge impact on your sanity, if nothing else.
- Refill your tank – Your family and your students need you to be filled. You cannot pour into them what you do not possess. If your tank is empty, you have nothing to give.
- Recharge your battery – Whatever this looks like for you, do it! For me it’s doing anything outside: planting flowers, doing yard work, tending my vegetable garden, walking my dogs, etc. Figure out what this is for you and make time for yourself.
- Retain margin – Schedule “off” time in your routine even if it’s only for a few minutes each day. Computers have to be “restarted” in order to realign and refresh. I highly recommend Richard Swenson’s book: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.
- Retreat to the outdoors – As I type these words from a hammock on my back porch, I am surrounded by birds, bunnies, blooms, bees, and bullfrogs. Summer sights and sounds do me good. For a fresh perspective on the need to retreat outside, check out this recent podcast by Andrew Pudewa: Nature Deficit Disorder. If you prefer an mp3 download, try this link: Nature Deficit Disorder: Causes, Consequences, and Cures. You may be shocked to discover the dangers we face in today’s culture. (Don’t despair– there’s hope for the youth of today. Get them outside.)
- Relish the silence – When our kids were small, a friend and I took an annual weekend away to prepare for the coming school year. Without fail, in the solitude of that quaint little cottage, each of us “slept through the night” for the first time in years! This was truly a cottage for solitude…no television, no computer, no telephone…creepy at first, but wonderful. As my high school English used to say: “Silence is golden.”
For more relaxing ideas to get you excited about a new school year, follow me to the next post…
Better yet, share your thoughts below! (PS – they do not have to start with “re-“)
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