Holiday Break Self Care Tips for Educators

Categories: Resources

When I tell people what I do for a living, I often get a variety of responses.  First of all, no one really knows what occupational therapy is, so I often get asked if I find people jobs.  When I explain more in detail about my day to day role and responsibilities, people may say things like ‘wow, it must be great to be done at 3 and have summers off!’ (insert eye roll here); or ‘that sounds like a really rewarding job’!  Recently someone said to me ‘that sounds really challenging.’  This stuck with me.

Yes, I think working in education is one of the most rewarding things a person can do, but it doesn’t mean it is going to be easy.  It is OK to be tired, it’s OK to need a break, and it’s OK to ask for help!  As educators, we give so much to others.  The old saying is true-  you cannot pour from an empty cup.  The holiday break is a perfect time to take a step back and actually focus on caring for yourself.  Here are some tips you can try!

 

Shut. It. Down.

Seriously.  Try to shut down your teacher brain for a little while.  Leave your teacher bag at work, or put it in the closet when you get home.  Take your school email off of your phone.  Everything will be waiting for you in January.   

Tackle something that’s been on your to do list.

I think educators feel very guilty for taking time for ourselves because there is ALWAYS something to be done.  My husband is a teacher and coach, so I know in our house the school year is so crazy that we often push off little tasks if they aren’t important because there just isn’t time.  Take time to tackle a few of these items on break, and in turn you won’t feel guilty about relaxing because you can check a few things off of the seemingly never ending list. 

Do what feels right.

Cut yourself some slack.  Sleep if you need sleep.  Binge a new show on Netflix.  Whatever you feel like doing, allow yourself to just do it and do NOT feel guilty about it.

Connect with old friends.

During the school year, I can be a terrible friend.  Holiday break is a great time to redeem myself.  Luckily, I have amazing friends and no matter how often we see each other, we can pick up as if no time has passed at all.   Even if it’s not in person, setting up a Skype date or a phone call with friends to catch up can be amazing.  

Try a new hobby.  Or an old hobby.  

Do you love to read but haven’t read a book for fun in a long time?  Do you love yoga, crafting, or baking?  Are you interested in trying meditation but never seem to have the time?  This is the time to reengage in old familiar hobbies or try something new, whatever it may be.  You do you!

Slow Down.

During the school year, we are constantly on the move.  Everything is fast paced.  When my 5 year old wakes up, he now asks me ‘Mommy are we late?’ – because most days,  we absolutely are.  I’m literally running from the moment I leave the house – running to the car, to daycare, to my next therapy session.  Then, we rush home to do the homework, dinner, bedtime, work ,relax, prep for next day routine, etc!  The hustle can really wear on you.  Take time over break to truly slow the pace of life down.

 

Educators by nature are some of the kindest and most passionate people I know.  Educators don’t get into the job for the fame, glory and the pay – they want to make a difference in the lives of children.   I am so honored to work with so many dedicated and amazing educators everyday!  I see how hard you all work.  I know that your students are your babies.  You want to give them absolutely everything – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  It can be so hard and so exhausting to juggle all the demands of teaching and life.  You give SO MUCH to your families, students and coworkers.  You cannot forget about yourself.  Have a wonderful holiday!

 

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