After 8 LONG weeks of teaching in Dubai, it's finally the half-term break at my school but the problem I often encounter is an inability teacher mode back down to chill mode for the break. This often results in me not quite making the most of the holidays and in some cases going back to school just as tired as when I broke up. The teacher wellbeing tips shared below are some of the things that I try ('try' being the keyword here) to undertake during the holidays to switch off.
1: Don’t for guilty for not working!
You have earned this time so use this time how YOU want to use it. Don't cave into the subliminal pressure of colleagues or people on social media who do choose to work; it's not a competition.
2: Manage your time
If you MUST or WANT to work, manage your time effectively. Timetable particular days or times out of each day that you will dedicate to doing what you need to do, but equally, prioritise time for yourself.
3: Do something you love each day
Whether it’s the gym, reading, sewing, baking, binging on Netflix, or whatever else it is, do it! This time is about you so do what makes you feel happy.
4: Be social
This is the perfect opportunity to spend time with all of the people you love and to catch up on all those times you probably said no because you were too tired or too busy.
5: Be alone
On the other hand, I know that during the working week sometimes all I want is to be alone, away from other people. Not in a bad way, but simply just because as a teacher we are constantly around lots of people (and noise!), so take some time to be on your own and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Allow yourself to switch off in a way that suits you best. Meditation and yoga aren’t for everyone but there are plenty of ways you can unwind your mind and body to make sure you are recovered and rested for the next term. Just a few ideas include -
Giving yourself permission to be unhelpful/unproductive
Connecting with nature and going for walks
Time away from your local area (when I lived in the UK, a day at the seaside always made me sleep well)
Take a screen break
Join an exercise class
Try a new recipe
Be still and meditate
7: Take a trip One of the easiest ways for me to take a break is to take a trip. You don't have to go out of the country but it definitely helps me to get out of the normal routine which forces me to switch off. You might just want to take a short road trip. Here in the UAE, travel to Oman from the UAE is beginning to open up and this video shares a short trip I did during the holidays.
Check out this blog that shares a range of different tips to support teachers who may be feeling close to burnout.
Feel free to share your top tips for switching off and any suggestions for interesting things to get up to during school holidays in the comments section below.