What do teachers do during their holidays? This is a question that has mystified learners, parents and society to no end. What we all need to be doing is no big secret. It starts with an “r” and ends with an “elax”!
During December, we all need to sit back, relax and binge watch some good ‘ol Netflix. All your 2019 planning, printing and laminating can wait until January. Right now, we just need to be like Elsa and let it go.
So, here’s how to make the most of your relaxation during the December month:
1. Sleep, sleep, repeat
Teaching is tiring work. It’s a constant juggle between classroom management, marking, playground duty, weekend sport, and, well, teaching.
Treat yourself to some rest and recovery. During the first week of holidays, the bed is a teacher’s best friend. Enjoy those lazy mornings!
2. Get some fresh air
South Africa has some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes and nature. Don’t replace the four walls of your classroom with the four walls of your lounge.
Whether it’s the fynbos of Cape Town, the immense mountains of the Drakensberg, the beaches of Durban, or the lush forests of the East Coast, GET OUTSIDE! Try exploring parts of your city that you haven’t ventured to before.
The great outdoors holds health benefits for you too. One study suggests that spending 20 minutes in the open air gives your brain an energy boost comparable to one cup of joe.
Shut down. Tune out. Get outside.
3. Read something relaxing
Books have an amazing way of carrying us into new realms where schoolbooks and marking do not exist. They help us escape from the stress of everyday life.
Make time to read one book these holidays. Make sure that whatever you read is total unrelated to school, education or teaching. Find a romance novel, a gardening magazine or even a cookbook – whatever tickles your fancy.
The more mindless book, the better. Think of it as a bubble bath for your brain.
4. Try something new
Holidays are the time to move outside your comfort zone and try something new. During school terms, we are all about routine. Teachers thrive on routine. But now is the time to shake things up.
- Start a journal
- Visit a neighbour
- Make a card for a loved one
- Take a language class (or download a language app)
- Try cooking a new meal for dinner, like Thai or Lebanese
- Visit a local museum, exhibit or art gallery
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter
- Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while
5. Do a clean out
I’m not sure about you, but during the year we find that so much clutter gathers in our homes, shelves, drawers, cupboards and even under the bed. The holidays are a great time to do a proper clean out and you’ll actually find it to be quite therapeutic and relaxing. You can even listen to your favourite podcast while doing it.
Sort. Store. Discard.
You deserve a break, so just take one. Choose one (or more) of the ideas in the list and go for it. Enjoy!