Hey stressed out teacher – this post if just for you. I mean you – not your students – just you! This time of year teacher stress is high, and understandably so. You have been pouring your heart and soul into your job for 9 months and despite the fact that you love it, you’re tired. Been there! The end of the school year comes with so many hurdles to jump, “i’s” to dot and “t’s” to cross. It’s stressful, you know it, and you do your very best not to share or show that stress with your students or your family. Been there too! But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Your much deserved break is quickly approaching and I want nothing more that for you to take some time to say goodbye to your stress. That’s what today’s post is all about and it’s just for you!
Top 5 Ways to Say Goodbye to Stress
Sure there are lots of way to de-stress. Here are my Top 5 Ways to de-stress and enjoy a stress free summer! Over the years I’ve tried many different things but these 5 work every time.
1. End of the Year Massage
Yep – I do this – every single year. In fact, my end of the year massage appointment is booked months in advance and I look forward to it for months too. When I get stressed I carry my stress in my muscles. My back cramps up and gets very tight. Sometimes it is physically painful. But I don’t just go get massage because of that. I really enjoy the quiet “me time” too. I have a massage therapist that I adore, and over the years has become a great friend. She is an amazing person that I enjoy chatting with and she has these fingers that know just where to find my stress knots. I call them her magic fingers! 🙂 My body gets physically relaxed, my mind gets relaxed, and I leave there rejuvenated and ready to take on summer! If you’ve never had a massage I highly recommend one. If you’ve got a thing about not doing it, a facial or good pedicure works just as well! Make some time for a little pampering!
2. Set School Aside
For me, and many of you this one is hard but I think it is so important. Set school aside. Don’t work on next year, don’t beat yourself up over this year. Just set it aside for a little while. For me, I don’t do anything school related for at least 2-4 weeks. I just need that time to unwind a little and connect with the rest of my life that seems to get shoved on the back burner during the school year. I can’t say a specific amount of time because I think it differs for everyone. But if you are like me, you know when you are ready to start thinking about it again. Make yourself set is aside if even just for a couple weeks. I’m pretty sure you’ll be glad you did!
3. Spend Time with Those You Love
For me this is my family. I love spending time with my family and during the school year that family time just seems so little. I’m married to a teacher and coach so when he is in season we don’t see him much anyway. I love using the time of the summer to just be together, do some fun things, go on vacation, reconnect, be silly together and make memories. I also love reconnecting with friends during the summer. Take the time – make the time to spend with those you love.
4. Partake in a Hobby
I’ll be the first to admit that this one is tough for me – really tough. Why? Well I’ve always said that teaching was my hobby because I love it so much. Sorry – but for our de-stressing summer that just won’t count (and it violates #2). When I have to think about a hobby I just can’t. There was a period of time that life was just so busy that I didn’t have time for a hobby. So in recent years I have started making myself take time to find a hobby, do something I enjoy, or learn something new. Now you are likely to find me behind my camera lens. I started taking pictures to preserve memories, but I’ve found that I really, really enjoy it. It’s relaxing to me and I love seeing God’s amazing creation from a different perspective or viewpoint. I’ve found myself camera to my eye, chasing a butterfly through a field without realizing it. Yep – really happened – multiple time! Whatever it is you enjoy – make time for it. Here’s the camera I use and LOVE! It’s not the newest model but it still takes amazing pictures!
Don’t have a hobby? Here’s some ideas: reading, writing, journaling, music, learn a new instrument, scrapbooking (paper or digital), shopping (YES – this is a real hobby!!!!), hiking, running, antiquing, thrift store shipping, repurposing, singing, learn a foreign language, gardening, bird watching . . . I hope you get the idea. Find something you enjoy doing and make a little time this summer to do it! Maybe these things will give you a little inspiration!
5. Take Care of Yourself
Teachers and moms are a lot alike – we naturally tend to put others first. If we have a little time, we are likely to give it to others before ourselves. This summer make some time for putting you first and take care of yourself. Sleep in a little, exercise, make good food choices – just take care of yourself. If you have never been one to do this I can tell you it is hard. At first it feels very selfish to go and exercise for 30-60 minutes when you could be doing something else that likely benefits others. But do it! In fact, taking care of yourself is a gift to those around you. If you do it consistently I bet you will find that you are a better person – a better spouse, a better parent, a better friend, and next year a better teacher. Just do it – make yourself do it – and get ready for how good you will feel. These are two of my favorite workout programs, both only 30 minutes for the workouts. I can do that in the summer and during the school year!
Well – that’s my Top 5 ways to de-stress and enjoy the summer. Trust me – you can do all 5 of these things and still catch up on the housework (which is always a big item on my summer to do list!) I hope that you will make time to do 1, 2 all 5 of these things. I want nothing more than for you to have an amazing, rejuvenating, stress free summer!