If you’ve got a few days away from your classroom during the winter months, there are some potentially beneficial exercises to try. They may help to reduce stress levels, give you an opportunity to reflect on successes from the first semester, and prepare yourself for a fresh start when you return. Try one or a few of these winter break must-do’s for teachers to give yourself a chance to catch your breath.
Winter Break for Teachers: Time to Reconnect with Yourself
Winter break is a time where students and educators alike can take a step back from lessons and spend some time without homework and a busy, structured day. Teachers can benefit from a little time at home, and making it a priority to relax and reflect.
5 Relaxing Winter Break Must-Do’s for Teachers
These 5 relaxing activities might help you to connect with yourself over break:
Getting out a notebook or sketchbook and putting pen or pencil to paper can be a very relaxing activity. Whether or not you are a writer or an artist, putting your thoughts and imaginings down on paper can be a helpful exercise in cleaning out an overwhelmed mind. Consider sitting in your favorite chair or heading out to a coffee shop to let your mind wander onto paper.
2. Finding Quiet Time
It might sound counter-productive for those who are behind on sleep, but for those who enjoy the morning hours, consider getting up and spending some time in the quiet before the day starts. Meditate, journal, or sip a cup of coffee and listen to some music.
3. Cultivate Opportunities for Laughter
Laughter is one of the best ways to get the good feelings rolling and take down stress levels. Whether it’s watching a favorite comedy movie or heading out to a local stand-up comedy show, finding opportunities to laugh can brighten the winter season.
4. Physical Activity
It’s been said a million times, but exercise is both beneficial for the body and the mind. Refreshing exercise activities like a brisk walk or yoga practice can be as relaxing as they are healthy. Finding some opportunities to get outdoors or spend some time on the treadmill can benefit stress levels and might be the start of a habit you decide to continue throughout the rest of the school year.
You work hard, and the reward for that hard work is both the satisfaction of students who are learning important things, but also the experiences that can help you to be an even better educator in the future. Take some of your winter break time to reflect on your first semester successes and growth opportunities. Write them down and set some healthy goals for yourself to strive for in the second half of the school year.
3 Stress-Relief Practices for Teachers to Try on Winter Break
Family events may take up a lot of the time over a winter break, but making an effort to find some calm in the storm can be incredibly helpful.
Cardio and weight-lifting might not be for the faint of heart, but the potential health and mental benefits of gentle, calm stretching makes it worth the effort. Use a few minutes of the morning or evening to stretch and check-in with all the joints and muscles on your body. Find and follow a stretching guide to make sure you cover all the major muscles.
Making mistakes is human, but take some of the pressure and stress off yourself by practicing self-affirmation during winter break. Leave yourself kind notes around your home, or start/end each day with a few minutes to talk to yourself about what you do well.
Sometimes the best way to get away from the stresses of everyday life is to step into another world for a period of time. Take out your reading/book wish-list and pick a book to read whenever you have a spare few minutes every day over winter break. You might not finish the whole thing, but taking that time to get to know new characters and read something that isn’t a paper to grade is a great way to relax.
More Winter Break Tips & Inspiration for Educators
Looking for more ways to give yourself some much-needed refreshment over winter break? Check out the Teacher Life category page or one of the posts below. Also be sure to browse the online store to find thousands of great products, supplies, and tools to make your upcoming second semester the best one yet.