Winter break (as well as spring break and summer break) is a great time to reflect on yourself and practice self-care. Around the holidays things can get hectic and school chaotic. Everyone is ready for a break and depending on where you live, cooped up inside. October-December tends to have a lot of assemblies, events, and meetings going on as well. To help you unwind, detach, and refresh, I’ve included 5 tips that help me practice self-care below. Note: The purpose of this post is not to force self-care or promote it as the sole answer to anything you may be struggling with. If self-care is something you struggle to do enough of and want to step up your game, you may find these tips helpful.
1. Prepare For Your Return
You’ll feel much more relaxed over break if you start it with a clear head. Before break, I always plan for lessons for the first week back and make sure I have everything ready. If we have any meetings right away I print what I would need and finish any reports or goal updates (ours are due the first week of January). I also make sure I am leaving a clean office – who wants to come back to a mess? I try to get all of this done the week leading up to break, and if I can’t get it done during the workday I might stay a little later. It’s worth it to me to spend more time on work now so I can spend less time thinking about it over break.
2. Set Boundaries
Turn off that work email. I mean it! If I am checking my work email, I am not truly detaching. Temporarily remove it from your phone or log out of your account. If there is something really that important, your school will get in touch with you. When I mention boundaries that also includes bringing work home. Remember those tips above to prepare for your return?
3. Cross Something Off Your List
Sometimes during the school year, it can be hard to stay caught up on life outside of work. When I say cross something off your list, I’m talking about something you have been putting off. Something that has nothing to do with work and kept getting pushed to the bottom of your list. Maybe it’s getting your oil changed or getting caught up on laundry. Complete and cross off that task that’s been nagging you.
4. Say No to Something
Just because you have more time, doesn’t mean you need to fill it or say yes to all potential plans. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing you can do for yourself. Remember to relax!
5. Do Things You Enjoy
Don’t forget to enjoy your break! Spend time with your family, work on a hobby, follow through on a tradition, try something new. I personally love holiday activities – they make me feel more festive and part of the season. Plus, holiday activities aren’t something you can always do.
I hope you found these tips for self-care helpful. Even if you already knew them, it can be good to hear them again as a reminder. For more specific tricks or challenges, you can find a self-care calendar in my free resource library or download a free self-care bingo for staff.