Hitting the Teacher Reset Button Over the Christmas Holidays
What a feeling!
I will never forget that amazing feeling of reaching the end of the Autumn term and looking forward to the Christmas break. I always had a genuine sense of serious accomplishment after a whole term of blood, sweat and tears, putting my absolute everything into helping the children in my class (and across the school) to learn and make progress from their starting points. From missing my lunch to fit in extra interventions to coming in extra early to help a colleague set up their provision, I gave it my all. I was absolutely shattered but it was all worth it.
The children had all gone home, the classrooms were empty, but the excitement and joy of the whole staff was in every corner of the school. Even the most uncompromising of people were actually cheerier and said ‘Merry Christmas’.
So, you have a whole two weeks to relax, recharge and get your brain and body back to a functioning level ready to begin the Spring term with a boost. Here is a list of 10 generally nice activities to help you recuperate.
Watch a Christmas film.
Grab some munchies and snuggle down under a blanket to watch a Christmas classic. Turn your phone off (or put it on silent as least) and focus your whole attention on you, the food and the film.
Go for a Winter Walk
Getting outside is a great way to de-stress and also good exercise. Wrap up warm and don walking boots or wellies. Find a local spot where you can meander along walking footpaths, through fields, over styles and appreciate the beauty of nature around you. It is even better if its frosty.
Listen to a good Christmas playlist
Music is great at creating atmosphere and there is nothing like a Christmas playlist to lift your spirits. Why not do a little Christmas bop at the same time to enhance your mood and get others to join in?
Have a relaxing bath
Close the bathroom door after running a warm bath. Light those Christmas scented candles and even add some chill out Christmas music. Soak for as long as you dare (without getting that horrid crinkly skin) and switch off your busy brain. Ahhhh. Bliss.
Do some Christmas baking
Find a favourite recipe to follow to make some treats. Gingerbread always go down well, as does a sticky ginger cake. Or why not push the boat out and make a trifle. The smell seeping from the oven is to die for and the taste of your hopefully successful baking is worth all the effort and washing up. Don’t forget to lick the bowl!
Spend time with people you like
This one sounds simple, but it is really effective. Arrange to meet friends or family and spend some quality time together. Your time is precious so spend it well and fill it full of happiness and laughter with people you like.
Read a book
Something that you rarely have time to do as a teacher is read something that isn’t related to teaching or learning in some way. Reading helps to focus on something which doesn’t require a lot of brain power and it’s very relaxing. Choose a book that you know you will enjoy and potentially have the time to finish.
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Turn the alarm off for 2 weeks (except if you have young children as you rarely need an alarm) and enjoy the extra hours of lie ins. Why not have an afternoon snooze after filling your tummy full of yummy Christmas food? Sleep will not only make you even more glorious but recharge those teacher batteries too.
Have a clear out
After receiving gifts and goodies, there is always the need for a good clear out. Audit and rearrange your wardrobe and belongings and give unwanted items to mind as well. Plus, you will be all ready at home to get back to school in January.
One way to ensure that you truly relax is to not do any school related work over the Christmas period. I used to do my planning for the first half of Spring term before Christmas, after I have completed all my data analysis. Then I knew that I could really relax over the break without having to dread the workload that weekend before going back to school in January.
Remember to make things work for you and make time for yourself. You deserve it!
I hope you enjoy trying out these relaxation ideas. I know I will be making sure I do most of them. Embrace some Christmas cheer and indulge in some Christmassy self-love.