Here it comes; I’m just going to rip the band-aid off…summer vacation is coming to an end sooner than later. Our more flexible schedules will soon be replaced with bells and books and papers and energetic students and increasing demands on our time. Just thinking about this may have you starting to become anxious, stressed, depressed or distraught. Now, I’m not going to tell you to just not go back (unless that’s really what your mental health needs) but instead I am going to offer you some suggestions to make your daily routine a little less shocking to your system. Perhaps by integrating these four simple tips, you will feel a little less stressed, rushed and more present in your day. If nothing more, they will hopefully give you a little space to breathe throughout your day which may help to lower daily stress and anxiety.
Here are the 4 tips to ease into the new school year…
-Set aside some time for quiet
-Create a daily intention
-Spend some time reflecting each day
-Find a good way to transition between work and home
Some of you may recognize these tips from the 20 Minute to Wellness Routine and they are in fact the same ones, but I wanted to introduce them again at the start of the school year for anyone who has not yet seen them and for those of you who may have forgotten these simple ways to build in some moments of peace into your day.
Set Aside Some Time for Quiet
Take five minutes in the morning and just sit and focus. It may be helpful to listen to music, sit in silence or focus on your breath. Set aside five minutes of your time to connect with yourself and start your day on a positive note. Although it may seem silly or unimportant, just try it for a few weeks and see if taking these five mindful minutes doesn’t help put you in a better place to start your day!
Create a Daily Intention
Before going into work, write down a specific intention for your day. By creating an intention, you are giving your day some focus and direction. Check in throughout the day and see how you are doing with upholding the intention. Is your intention to actually eat lunch away from your desk? When the lunchtime bell rings, you will probably be much more apt to get away from your desk for a few minutes because you set a specific intention than if you didn’t. Try to set your intention after your five minutes of quiet time so that you really start to ease into your day!
Spend Some Time Reflecting on Your Day
Taking time to reflect is not an invitation to beat up on yourself for all the things you wished you did differently. Rather, this is a time to take stock of what went well, what you could improve and some things to be grateful for in your day. This could be a time to check in with your intention or spend a few minutes quietly contemplating your day. By reflecting each day, we allow ourselves to consistently keep in touch with our classrooms, our mental health and the demands on our time and energy. This checking in will allow us to ease into our school year in a more healthy, proactive way where we hopefully won’t feel completely burned out by December.
Find a Good Way to Transition from Work to Home
Sometimes when we don’t make a break between work and home, our work starts to seep into all areas of our lives. Creating clear and deliberate transitions between work and home will allow us to ease back into our work routine because we are still making time for other priorities. Life isn’t ending because work is starting again. We just need to be more deliberate with the way we spend our time so that we create room for those activities that really matter and that are important our larger lives.
So, there’s really no getting around it: summer is soon going to be over and our vacation is coming to an end. Just because this is happening doesn’t mean that we need to go back to the stress and anxiety that used to accompany our jobs. By adding these four tips into our schedules, we will find ways to ease back into our work lives, while maintaining balance and perspective about what’s really important. Creating these small pockets of mindful moments in our daily lives will hopefully provide us with some peace among the change of our daily routines. Remember those first few weeks to be especially gentle with yourself as this transition can be a difficult time. Hopefully these four tips will help ease the change a bit!
If you want to learn more about these four tips, please consider signing up for our free guide Teaching Well’s Twenty Minutes to Wellness Routine. You will receive a guide and accompanying information with tips to get started integrating these focus areas into your routine. In addition you will be among the first to know when our first online course, 28 Days to a Working Wellness Routine, will be available for a discounted rate. In this course we take an even deeper look at how to create a routine to ease the stress and anxiety that accompanies being a caring educator in the classroom.
Looking forward to hearing from you and helping you on your journey to wellness both inside and outside of the classroom!