Switch off this festive season

Congratulations: you made it through another term. The holidays are finally here, and you’re enjoying your well-deserved break.

For many teachers, thoughts of school and worries about returning to work in January can stop them from having a relaxing Christmas and New Year.

We’re here to share our best tips to help you switch off this holiday season, to ensure you’re refreshed and ready to go back, when the time eventually comes.

RECOGNISE

Understanding that your worries are perfectly normal is the first step. You certainly won’t be the only teacher feeling like you should be working and planning through the holidays, but if you don’t take this time to relax, you won’t be at full capacity to go back to work in the new year.

Recognising your worries and doubts is the first way to make sure you take care of yourself this festive season.

TREAT YOURSELF

Why not do something that you wouldn’t normally do – or don’t have time to do – during the term?

Whether that’s treating yourself to a nice massage, or heading to the spa for a pamper day; or if exercise relieves your tension, spending a week day at the gym or going for a brisk walk in nature.

Doing something you wouldn’t normally do when you’re at work is not only a nice treat, but a reminder that this is your time to do what you want, and relieves the pressure you’re putting on yourself.

STAY SOCIAL

Similarly, make the time to see people that you just don’t have time to through the term.

Whether that’s family, friends, or other teachers, going out for a coffee or lunch with someone you haven’t seen in a while is a great way of letting off steam.

And don’t feel pressured to see members of staff during the holidays: you see them every day at work during term time, it’s perfectly normal to want a break when you’re on holiday.

SET GOALS

Have a list of things you want to achieve with your two week break.

No, we don’t mean a list of chores, but a list of little things you want to have achieved. From finishing that book you’ve been trying to read since the summer holidays, spend more time with your family, or finally start that TV show everyone’s been talking about in the staff room for months.

But also, don’t feel you have to complete the list: do what you want, when you want to and if that means deep cleaning the bathroom for the first time since the October break, that’s completely fine, too.

It’s perfectly normal to have work occupy your mind when you’re on holiday: it’s all most people think about 99 per cent of the time, so it can be really hard to just switch off.

However, you work so hard during the term that you deserve this break to do what you want, and no one is going to judge you for that.

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