You made it. Another school year successfully under your belt. Those last few days can be IN. SANE. So before you dive into your summer like gangbusters — whether you’re teaching summer school, waiting tables, or spending the days with your own crazy crew — give yourself permission to carve a slice of time for you.
Hold a little space to recover. Take a day or two — heck, take three — and just decompress. This is not the time to make big decisions about your lesson plans for next year. It’s not even the time to reflect on the things that were a smashing success this year — we’ll do that soon enough. Instead, just zombie your way through these first few days with all the intention of a goldfish.
Let yourself veg. Be in the present. Breathe in deeply and with every exhale, channel your inner Elsa of Arendelle, grabbing that crown off her perfectly coiffed hair and throwing it into the wind.
Let it go, friends. Let it go.
The stress. The anxiety. The chaos. The emotional investment.
Here are 5 things you can do in the next 48 hours to help you free your mind, soothe your soul and prepare yourself for all the awesome the next two months have to offer.
- Pound the pavement. We all know exercise is a fantastic form of stress relief, right? But did you know that using large muscle groups in repetition — like jogging or walking — actually works best? It helps put you into an almost meditative trance or zone, and does wonders to clear your head. Even just a 20-minute stroll can reset your perspective and quiet your mind. So lace up your kicks, and rock that repetition.
- Release the tension and the toxins. You know that spa gift certificate from your family that’s stuffed in the back of your junk drawer? If ever there was a perfect time to cash that puppy in, this is it. A 60- to 90-minute massage is just what the doctor ordered at the end of a school year — it’s a perfect way to ease tension and release toxins. Just be sure to hydrate well after to help flush out the old and rejuvenate for the new.
- Take a nap. Take another nap. Repeat. For some reason, most of us think of naps as this crazy luxury right up there with having private chefs and yachts. But let me fill you in on a little secret… they’re totally free. And they only take 20 minutes to reap the benefits. Research shows that a solid power nap improves cognitive function, boosts the immune system, and heightens creativity. Most importantly? It can significantly reduce stress. So grab your pillow and catch some Zzzs — guilt free!
- Pick up a super juicy read. It doesn’t matter if you’re an English lit teacher, you’ve gotta read a ridiculous novel once in a while. One that you can breeze through in one sitting because you cannot pry your eyes from the page. Maybe a psychological thriller. Or a romance novel. Pick your poison and then lose yourself in all its mind-numbing glory. Note: binging a Netflix series or watching a stack of rom coms with a pint of Halo Top works too.
- Choose nature over nurture. Before you go giving of yourself to any person or anything that needs your attention, prioritize getting outside. Soak up that fresh air and vitamin D. Being in nature is like a reset button for your soul. To reap even more intense benefits, take off your shoes and walk barefoot through the grass. This process, known as “earthing” or “grounding” allows the transfer of electrons from the earth’s surface to your body and can have a profound effect on your mental and physical health.
See? It doesn’t take much and it doesn’t take long to briefly sever the ties to your classroom. You just have to let yourself stop. And let it go.