The end is in sight! Summer vacation is days or weeks away. Right now I’m sure you are all feeling so many emotions, not the least is absolute exhaustion. My guess is that this is not the time to send you lots of ideas for lessons or strategies for online teaching. No, I’m guessing that what you want right now is to relax, breathe, and be left alone.
So this week’s blog is going to focus on YOU. Have you decided to take some time for self-care? If not, this is probably the one time in your life when no one will question your need for a break, physically, mentally, or emotionally. Here are my top tips for taking care of yourself over the summer months.
Practical Tips for Self-Care
- Exercise. I know, I know. Exercise = work, and I just finished the most exhausting year of my life. Now you want me to do MORE work? Actually, yes. I’m not saying you have to jump on the Peloton bandwagon (I might be at stage 3) or start training for a marathon (not even on stage 1). But taking care of yourself physically is one of the best ways to start feeling better and more like yourself. Looking for some lower impact and less awful ways to get in some exercise?
- Hiking: Hiking is my all-time favorite activity. It’s a STEM-fest for the senses. Being out in nature, away from the noise and the bustle. I try to get out on the trail a few times a month.
- Softball: It’s softball season! Find a local league and join up. You don’t have to be a star to enjoy this favorite past-time. If you can’t find a local league, create your own! Connect with your colleagues and form your own team.
- Volleyball: Another fabulous way to get in some exercise, fun, and connection with others.
- Paddleboarding (or any water sport): I have to be honest, I tried paddleboarding one time and couldn’t stand up past my knees. I still loved it. I just sat right on top and paddled around like I was the queen of the ocean. Kayaking, canoeing, surfing…more opportunities to get outside, be part of nature, and detach from the world of work for a while.
- Meditate. It’s actually one of the easiest ways to bring your heart rate down, improve focus, and slow your breathing. There are so many apps out there to get you started. Headspace, which is my favorite, offers FREE ACCESS FOR LIFE for teachers! Does it get better than that? Follow along with guided meditations, listen to nature sounds, or fall asleep faster with sleepcasts. Insight Timer is another great option for guided meditation and courses.
- Yoga. Similar to meditation in that it forces you to be mindful and pay attention to your body and breathing, but integrates more movement and flexibility. Yoga has moved from the fringes to the totally acceptable. You’ll find yoga classes at almost every gym, as well as free classes online. Yoga with Adriene is a great place to start, and she has several courses and challenges to keep you motivated.
- Read. You already know I’m a librarian by trade, so there was no way I was going to miss a chance to push books at you. Reading is one of the best ways to escape from the stress of the world and live vicariously through the characters in the story. I’m a science fiction fan, but you do you. Here are a few great self-care picks to get you started this summer:
- Listen. Not up for an actual book? Go for an audiobook or podcast instead! Take a walk, plug in your headphones, and forget the world. I wrote an entire blog about my favorite podcasts, but here are a few in case you missed it.
- Crime Junkie. If true crime is your jam, you’ll love this one.
- Counter Clock. Deep dive into unsolved murder cases. Warning, this one is addictive.
- Office Ladies. Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, stars of the hit sitcom The Office, go episode by episode with plenty of commentary and behind-the-scenes stories.
Teachers, you have been through it this year. You are appreciated, you are seen, you are heard. This blog is for you. Here’s wishing you a restful, carefree summer.