I saw my first "back to school" sign of the summer while shopping at Target yesterday. Carpe Diem. It's time to seize the summer, or whatever you have left of it :). Here are some principles I'm trying to follow...they help me to feel ready for the new school year when it arrives.
|Sunset in Frankfort, MI|
- Give yourself permission to sleep. The alarm will be ringing before you know it. If you're like me, you find it difficult during the school year to get 8 hours of sleep each night. Protect your long-term physical, emotional and mental health by allowing yourself to get enough sleep on a consistent basis.
- Get away. Take advantage of the time you have to travel. A change of scenery is good therapy. My husband and I try to enjoy the incredible splendor of northern Michigan as much as we can. Watching the sunset over Lake Michigan (above) is one of the highlights of the summer for us.
- Spend time outside. Having the summer off is definitely one of the best perks of this profession. Take advantage of it if you live in a climate that allows you to by spending as much time outside as possible. I'm even trying to serve family meals outside when I can. Soak in the sunshine and all the vitamin D it offers...it's good for you.
- Make time for a hobby. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing in your free time, make sure to do it. I make extra time for gardening, reading, crafting, cooking, entertaining, spending time with family and going to the movies.
- Slow down. I think it's safe to say that we teachers are generally not slackers, so we really need to discipline ourselves to slow down a little. Star-gazing, cloud-watching and stopping to smell the roses or watch the fireflies come out are all great ways to accomplish this.
- Spend some time planning for the new school year. Complete a project or some plans you had that you were never able to get to last year. I try to make some new presentations, or brainstorm a new project or figure out how to implement a new idea.
- Exercise! I find it hard to be consistent with this during the school year as well, so during the summer I work harder at it. This summer I'm swimming laps almost every day :).
- Reflect on the previous school year. Ask yourself what worked and what didn't, and be honest with your answer. Set goals for yourself and make plans to improve or to try something new.
- Eat well. Take the time to prepare healthy meals and eat at regular times. Include LOTS of fruits and vegetables.
- Complete a project not related to school. I like to accomplish a few household projects, such as painting or remodeling a room, and freezing or canning fresh fruits and vegetables in preparation for the winter months.
Simple though they may be, these ideas have really helped me to create better balance in my life as a full-time high school teacher. I hope maybe you'll find something helpful here, too!