The holidays are here and with them, a break from school. Students turn in their finals and breathe a sigh of relief as they settle in for a bit of extended downtime.
Children aren’t the only ones heading home for a break though. Educators and staff are also given a chance to pause and spend time focusing on non-work-related activities.
Unfortunately, many professionals in the education industry don’t get the rest they need. Rather than unhook and prioritize themselves, they spend their holiday breaks worried about the next semester or channel their energies into other stressors.
But educators and administrative staff need to prioritize themselves to prevent burnout and keep them operating at their best.
The Importance of Self-Care
“Finding time for exercise, spiritual support or just having some fun is more easily said than done,” says the New York Times. “If you leave it to chance, self-care won’t happen.”
This applies to your breaks as well. All too often, professionals in education don’t adequately prioritize rest and rejuvenation during their holidays, instead opting to try to maximize their productivity by tackling new projects.
But doing so is probably doing more harm than good. While there’s no one right way to practice self-care, adding additional stressors is certainly not going to help you refresh. Instead, it will leave you feeling even more exhausted when it comes time to return to school.
Two Types of Self-Care
Self-care can be broken into two categories: temporary and enduring.
Temporary self-care involves one-off activities that bring you immediate joy. Examples include grabbing coffee with an old friend and catching up or scheduling a relaxing massage for yourself.
As a professional in the education sector, these activities can be difficult to fit into your busy schedule. That’s why your break can be so beneficial. The massive additional free time you have during your holiday vacation is the perfect opportunity to incorporate more temporary self-care.
Go see that movie you’ve been waiting for. Go enjoy a day at the spa. Use this brief period of rest to indulge yourself a bit. This will help you return to work with enthusiasm and excitement.
The second type of self-care is enduring. Enduring self-care centers on routines and practices that bring consistent peace and fulfillment to your life. Examples include exercise regimens and daily meditation.
Your holiday break is a fantastic time to ingrain enduring self-care habits. With the free space in your day, you can incorporate routines that will carry over into your return to work, making it easier to manage your stress and stay fulfilled on a day-to-day basis.
We here at Stronger Consulting know how important self-care is for those working in education. As the holidays roll around, consider using this time to prioritize yourself. Enjoy your break, pamper yourself a bit, and work on building the self-care habits that will keep you feeling content and happy throughout the year.