The finish line is in sight and summertime is just around the corner! Remember, these next three months help make the other nine months survivable because you get a chance to unwind and take care of yourself for a change. To make the most of your summer vacation, here are some ideas to help you relax and recharge.
- Do nothing
It’s tempting to jump right into your summer to-do list, but take a day (or two or three) to simply unwind from the hectic fray of the last days of school. Lounge around the house in your pjs, take a walk in the park, read a magazine from cover to cover, listen to a funny podcast, or just stay in bed.
- Pamper yourself
While this school year was an improvement over last, it was still fraught with concerns about missed learning, staff shortages, and everyone’s overall health. Therefore, whether it’s a massage, a facial, a pedicure, or a new haircut, be sure to pamper yourself this summer because, let’s be honest—you deserve it!
This summer, let your imagination run as wild as your students on the last day of school. Engage in any activity that turns off the analytical, data-driven part of your brain—you know, the part that gets way too much attention during the school year?—and turns on the creative, inspired, experimental part.
Take the same advice you give to your students and pick up a book this summer. Read anything that gives you joy, lets you escape for a bit, or even relaxes you enough to fall asleep. If discussing and sharing your opinions is something you appreciate, consider forming a summer book club with your friends (see number 6)!
- Learn something new
You’ve been teaching others all year—now it’s your turn to learn. If it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a class, this will give you the opportunity to be a student again and could even inform the way you teach in the fall. If possible, combine this goal with number 3 and learn watercolor, drawing, jewelry making, scrapbooking, etc.
- Spend time with friends
Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day routine we forget we even have friends. Thank goodness for summer! This time allows us to reconnect with people we might not get a chance to see during the busy school year. So, plan to get together with friends at least once or twice before it’s back to the grind.
- Do some physical activity
When I think of exercise for relaxation, my mind automatically goes to yoga. However, if that’s not your preference, physical activity of any kind has been proven to reduce stress and stimulate endorphins. Take a brisk walk, jog up and down the stairs, dance to your favorite music, or take advantage of the warm weather and go for a swim.
A leisurely stroll through the mall or past storefronts is not how I do my shopping during the school year. I’m usually hectically sprinting in and out of aisles to get what I need and get out as soon as possible. Now that you have more time on your hands, wander around aimlessly and let curiosity be your guide.
By Kelli Drummer-Avendano