16th December 2020
2020 is finally coming to an end and the Christmas break is fast approaching. We know our teachers and colleagues are looking forward to switching off and having a restful Christmas break and a fresh start in January 2021 after a difficult year.
If you don’t already have looking after yourself at the top of your agenda this Christmas holiday, you should put it there right away! Self-care is one of the most vital ways that teachers can mitigate stress. One of the few positive things to come out of 2020 is a renewed sense of understanding from parents and the wider public around the heavy workload of teachers and their status as essential workers.
Working in a stressful role, balancing in-class and remote learning, worried parents and new restrictions has taken it’s toll on even the most experienced teachers this year. We hope Christmas gives everyone in the teaching profession a chance to put their feet up and recuperate ready to start the year with a bang in January 2021. Here are our top tips for switching off this Christmas:
Teachers can find it notoriously difficult to switch from ‘work’ to ‘recreation’ mode. Training yourself to separate your working time from your personal time will have significant benefits for managing work-related stress further down the line. Give yourself a day to deal with any outstanding tasks and then shut away your laptop. There’s of great ideas for switching off in our blog, Managing Mental Health For Teachers.
With big gatherings off the table, it’s likely Christmas will be a little quieter for most people this year. Give yourself plenty of time to plan and prepare. Delegate tasks where possible to reduce the amount you have to do. Could someone else collect the turkey or bring a pudding? You don’t want to have to rush around in the last few days before the 25th.
If you are spending Christmas alone due to travel restrictions or for any other reason – don’t despair. There are lots of ways individuals can spread Christmas cheer. Don’t be shy about mentioning you are on your own, you may find some Christmas dinner invites come your way! There are also lots of opportunities to help within your community at Christmas, so if you don’t have any other plans it’s a nice way to give back. The NHS and Crisis are looking for Christmas volunteers or search for opportunities local to you with the Salvation Army
Even if you still have a busy family Christmas, you’ll probably still be spending more time at home, with less events going on in the run-up this year. Some people find taking long, wintery walks relaxing, whilst some can’t think of anything better than a few days on the sofa watching Christmas telly. Give yourself plenty of time to relax, however you like to unwind.
Switching off your work emails (if you can!) is one of the best things you can do when the final bell rings on the Autumn term. Logging out of work-focused social accounts and stopping notifications from Google Classroom or other teaching apps will give you space to think about other things during your break without being drawn back to work-related worries.
The new year is a great chance to reassess your personal and career goals and make sure you are on the right track. Whilst new years resolutions have actually been cited as a source of stress for some when they ‘fall of the wagon’ there’s nothing wrong with planning for a year of striving towards your personal aspirations. If looking for a new teaching role is part of your 2021 plans, our consultants can help you succeed.
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