If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. – Dalai Lama
Summer is so close, so, so close!
Though there are many fun and relaxing ways to enjoy the summer break, it can be hard to slow down after a busy school year. And while it may be tempting to keep the gears going and use the extra time to prep and plan, self care for teachers over the next couple of months is important for mental health and wellness.
To help you shift your focus to self care, we list 5 tips below, and included are two printables: A reflection tool to help you think about SEL for the coming year and a journal to use over the summer.
5 Tips for Summer Self Care for Teachers
- Tie up loose ends: Invest a small amount of time at the end of the school year to reflect, and gain a lot of time in the summer not worrying about what was or could have been. Our SEL Impact Planner gently guides you through packing up the last school year and evaluating impact and alignment of school values and SEL lessons. With this behind you, you’ll be prepared for next year with a clear vision of what to keep and where to continue for the best SEL experience with your school community come Fall.
- Set clear boundaries: We know light bulbs never dim for educators, and teachers often plan, prep, and keep working even during breaks. Still, setting boundaries and framing when and how much time you’ll devote to curating your ideas gives you room to enjoy time off. Try allocating a specific portion of your day or week to check in on your planning and ideas, so you can easily let go a bit during the time in between. To help with this, we’ve included an ideas page each week of our Self Care for Educators Journal packet. Now you can jot down notes and thoughts as they come to you, but hit the pause button until the time is right.
- Have a vision for relaxation: What does relaxation look like for you? Trying a new outdoor space or a recipe? Maybe learning calming breathing techniques? Having a vision for how you will unwind will help you achieve relaxation and joy as the days of summer pass. With students we often suggest Vision Boards to articulate how they will achieve their dreams, and now you can use the vision boards each week in the Summer Self Care packet to plan new and relaxing experiences over a well deserved break!
- Set a goal: Is there something you’ve been putting off? We’ve all got a list of “One day I’ll get to its,” and summer is a great time to work on something you’ve been putting off or wanting to learn. Remember to break down new goals into baby steps so each part of the journey is obtainable and realistic. Including mindfulness goals too, such as less screen time or making time for meditation, is beneficial when practicing self care. Read the quotes each week in the Self Care for Teachers packet and reflect on a mini mindfulness goal you can try.
- Find the calm: All year you’ve been giving students tips and tricks on how to find and keep calm. From Belly Breathing, to Mindfulness and Coping Strategies to Cool Down Spaces, you’ve taught many ways to find peace and relaxation to the kids. Now it’s your turn. These methods are limitless when it comes to age and who can benefit from them, so go ahead and stretch that belly with some deep breaths, make a cozy space for calming down, and practice mindfulness when things get tough because you, educator, know how to find the calm.