It’s that time of the year: things are wrapping up at school and summer vacation is in sight. Some of you will be taking a much-needed break before returning for your second corps year. Others of you will be moving on to new opportunities and experiences. This will be the last Mental Heath and Wellness post for the year. But before signing off for the summer, I wanted to leave you with several things to think about in the upcoming months.
How will you rejuvenate this summer? You deserve a break! How will you provide yourself with the time and activities needed to recharge? When I was a CM, summer break was crucial for maintaining my mental health. I allowed myself to spend at least a month not thinking about teaching at all. I took trips to visit old friends, spent time with my family, and indulged a bit by doing things like getting massages and pedicures. I found that taking a break from the things I had been so immersed in for the previous 10 months gave me the chance not only to get some much-needed rest and relaxation, but also to gain some perspective on my experience.
What did you learn about yourself this year? Often, when we have the chance to step back from an experience, we are then in a better place to reflect on things. For instance, how did you do with self-care? What activities or strategies did you find most rejuvenating? If you didn’t do well with self-care this year, how might you make the time for it next year? Perhaps you could use this summer to kick-start a regular exercise regimen. Or spend some time learning to cook fast, healthy meals. Or maybe you could pick up a new hobby. Whatever it is, balancing work with care for yourself will improve your effectiveness as a teacher—plus you’ll feel better, too!