During the school year, most of a teacher’s time and energy is dedicated to nurturing others. The summer presents the perfect opportunity to practice some much-deserved self-care!
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which specific activities you prefer, just that you’re taking the time to do something for your own health, happiness, and well-being. Here are some fun and simple suggestions for relaxing and recharging during the summer months, which have been teacher-tested and approved:
- Get plenty of sleep. Throughout the rush of the school year, we know how easy it is to neglect our own self-care—and sleep is often one of the sacrifices we make without realizing the impact it has on our health and happiness. The summer is the perfect chance to commit to a healthy amount of sleep each night. You can use a journal or a smartwatch to set sleep goals and track your sleep through the summer.
- Yoga and active stretching. These days, many of us are spending much more time sitting down at a computer. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on long term pain prevention and spinal health. Take some time to practice yoga or learn a few useful stretches to sprinkle throughout your day.
- Start a new hobby. The precious gift of more time means you can finally start that craft or interest you’ve delayed exploring. Pick up an instrument, do some gardening, macrame, or learn to bake—the options are endless!
- Read a book, just for fun. During the year it can be hard to find the time and energy to keep up with our personal reading. The summer is the perfect opportunity to lose yourself in a great mystery novel, or read that band biography that’s been sitting on your shelf all year. You can even start a virtual book club with your colleagues as a fun way to keep in touch throughout the summer. (Just promise each other not to talk about school … too much.)
- Start a new nighttime self-care routine. Calming tea, meditation, skincare, bath, or a relaxing book. Whatever you choose, be sure to carve out some time for yourself and build it into a nightly habit. Hopefully, this will carry over into the school year and help you unwind after hectic days in the classroom.
- Summer cleaning. Cleaning isn’t just for the spring! If you use this time to spruce up your space and get organized, you’ll feel more in control once the new year starts.
- Make a commitment to get outside more. Safely enjoy the weather and get that dose of “vitamin-N” (vitamin nature!). If this is something you struggle to find time for, dedicate a day or two each week to doing at least one fun activity outside. For example, in my house, we committed to doing a little fishing every Wednesday.
- Find a local volunteering opportunity you’re excited about. The act of helping others (outside of the classroom) can have an uplifting impact on your own wellbeing. Volunteering is a great opportunity to experience new ways to help others and make new like-minded friends.
Setting aside some time this summer for self-care will empower you to face the new school year with renewed passion, patience, and energy. Happy self-caring!