I’m a runner. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of a good 10K or Marathon. As you might expect, these races require a lot of training and perseverance. The races themselves can be brutal, as you’re pushed beyond your limits to reach the finish line. But surprisingly, one of the hardest things for runners to learn is how to rest.

This may sound strange, but I promise it’s true. When so much time is dedicated to running and training, it becomes difficult to simply stop moving and turn off. The same could be said of teaching. Educators spend so much of their time preparing lessons, grading papers, pursuing PD, and a hundred other things. It can be hard for us to simply put things down and take a moment for ourselves.

Rest Like a Champion

As summer begins, many educators are probably struggling with feelings of restlessness. Maybe you’ve already started looking into new PD opportunities or seeing how you can get a jump on the fall semester. These aren’t inherently bad things, but it’s important that we also remember to rest during the summer season. After all, if we want to cultivate more time and energy, we first need to cultivate a healthy work-life balance. Here are just a few strategies to help you relax this summer:

  • Get Off Social Media: Seriously, just sign off for a weekend. Nothing good comes from staring at a screen all day. Instead, step away from Twitter or TikTok and spend your weekend in the real world. You’ll be amazed at how much this will improve your mental and emotional health.
  • Meditate: Taking 15 or 20 minutes to meditate can do much to clear your mind and ease tension. Put on ambient music or seek out a platform which provides tips and techniques. Then, take a small amount of time to just let go. Don’t let yourself worry about what comes next – just be in the moment. For these 20 minutes, give yourself a reprieve.
  • Spend Time in Nature: If the weather permits, spend some time outdoors. Go for a walk in a local park or take a trip along the shore. If the weather is bad, visit an arboretum or indoor garden. You could also swing by the nearest aquarium! Research has shown that spending time in nature can help a person feel calmer, happier, and refreshed.
  • Cook Something New: Variety is the spice of life! For some, cooking can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. It can be something as simple as making a batch of chocolate-chip cookies. Finishing a small task can help boost your energy and having something delicious to snack on afterword’s is a bonus.
It’s Summertime!

There’s certainly a lot of work to do on the horizon. The new school year will doubtless have plenty of trials and challenges for us all. For now though, take the opportunity to relax and give yourself permission to step away for a while. Use this summer to give yourself the time and space you need to recharge. Remember, rest can be just as important as work, and as a teacher, you definitely deserve it!

For more free educational resources, or ideas on how to promote healthy SEL, simply follow this link!

*Image courtesy of Michal Klajban via Wikimedia Commons.