Winter Break Self CareNov 16, 2021
I don’t know how, but we’re already in November! The school year seems to be a strange mix of dragging on, but also flying by. Is anyone else in the same boat? I’ve seen so many teachers this year mention how burned out they feel, and how this year is somehow harder than last year. I have to say, I agree! As November treks on, and the nights get darker earlier, I think now is a good time to start thinking about how to take care of ourselves during the upcoming winter break. Here are my suggestions for how to take care of yourself over winter break.
Do something creative
When I have an extended amount of time away from work, such as during winter break, I try to catch up on all the crafting I missed out on. Personally, I love to crochet. I mostly work on projects for other people, but sometimes I’ll crochet something for myself. I find the process relaxing, and it’s a nice chance to engage my brain with something that is completely separate from work. I encourage you to find a creative hobby that has nothing to do with work. You can learn knitting or crocheting, painting, learning a new instrument (just for fun, not because you have to), cooking, or any other type of hobby where you’re creating for the sake of creation.
As teachers, we often talk about the concept of creating “lifelong learners” or “instilling the love of learning” in our students. How often do we practice what we preach? There are so many topics I’m passionate about, but I very rarely have time to learn about them. I like to dedicate part of my breaks to learning new things. Sometimes it’s related to education because I honestly love learning about music and learning disabilities, since that’s my school’s focus. But I also love learning about things like history or gardening. Engaging your brain with knowledge outside of your classroom is a great way to rejuvenate your brain after a long first semester.
Prepare yourself for the upcoming semester (just a little)
I know this is not necessarily the most exciting piece of self care, and it might even feel overwhelming. No one wants to think about work during a break. We have to remember, though, that self care is not always bath bombs and face masks. Sometimes, it’s doing the small, boring things that can prepare you for the future. I know that I often feel overwhelmed when I leave planning until the last minute. A form of self care for me, then, is to get at least a little bit of preparation done ahead of time. Think about things that often stress you out after winter break or things that feel overwhelming. Take a bit of time to think of ways that you can make your life a little bit easier once your break is over.
Try something new
This can be any number of things! I’m someone who loves trying new things, but I know not everyone feels the same way. Some people might want to travel somewhere new or learn a new skill. Others might go to a new restaurant or try a new hobby or binge watch a new show. No matter what you try, make it an enjoyable experience for yourself!
This winter break, I hope you make a mindful decision to practice some self care, whatever that looks like for you. You have worked so hard this year, and you deserve some down time! Let us know what your winter break plans are in the comments! For me, my winter break is going to be a lot of family time, zoo trips, and catching up on some well-deserved rest.
If you want to more on teacher self care check out this episode of That Music Podcast.