Summer is here: there are no papers to grade, students to wrangle or bells to dictate when you can run to the bathroom and scarf down lunch. Without all of those obstacles, now is a perfect opportunity to begin building a routine that supports your well-being and helps you get the most out of your summer vacation. By taking care of yourself and enjoying your summer, you are much more likely to figure out a feasible plan to continue this self care when the school year begins again…but let’s not even start thinking about that yet! Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting a routine filled with a bunch of tasks and to-dos, rather I’m suggesting that you figure out what’s important to you and find the time to fit those things into your daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. Here are some tips to get you started…
Write down the goals you have
Do you want to go on at least one vacation? Begin exercising a little more regularly? Make some more meals at home or use some more fresh produce in your cooking? Maybe you want to spend more time outside or reconnect with some friends you have lost track of in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Perhaps you want to take more time to read or pick up a new hobby (or rediscover an old one). Maybe you want to start a regular five minute mindfulness practice and haven’t had time to start. Now is a great time to try!! So, take a few minutes to brainstorm a list of goals. Then write them down somewhere you can see them…but make sure you add some specifics to them. Maybe you want to exercise more…how many times per week were you thinking? Maybe you want to reconnect with friends. Instead of just writing that, maybe you say “Have coffee with Linda at least once and call Barb every other week.” The more specific you are, the more likely you are to be able to meet those goals you have.
Don’t forget about time to just be!
Don’t get so carried away by goals, that the previous list starts to get overwhelming! If one of your goals isn’t “take some time to just be…weekly (or daily)” make sure to add that to your list. The object is not to schedule your life away but to put in place those big goals, create some kind of routine, and then go with the flow. It’s perfectly fine to take a day to read a book or get out of bed later than normal or to lounge by the pool. You are recharging your battery and there should be no guilt in that. The more we allow ourselves those moments of self-care now, the more likely we will be to fit them in when our schedule gets a little busier. So, relish the feeling of just being! You deserve it!
Plug in the big obligations
We all have a variety of different obligations during summer time, so a lot of “just you” time might not be realistic. However, I beg you to figure out some kind of solution to care for you and keep that appointment just like you would a doctor’s appointment! Just as you reschedule if you need to miss those appointments, the same should be said if you have to change something around on the day you scheduled to get a pedicure or have lunch with a friend.
I wish you a wonderful summer break of goal setting, self care, new routines and time to just be! If you are interested in some guidance about how to set up a daily schedule, check out Teaching Well’s Twenty Minutes to Wellness.