Don’t just rest this summer break — recharge!Jun 28, 2021
Balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle, but it can seem impossible to achieve during the academic year. Educators often find themselves living an all-work, no-play existence. What does that mean for summer? You’ve got some catching up to do!
There’s a reason it’s called summer vacation, not summer hibernation. Sure, it’s important to spend time resting during the summer, but, to truly recharge, you also need to feed your desire to play, travel, and connect.
Play Is Important
Working hard is important, but an overemphasis on work can lead to burnout, anxiety, and regret. Humans are not machines — we need more than the satisfaction of a hard day’s work to stay energized and healthy for the long haul. In fact, studies have shown that time off, with play as a focal point, can lead to numerous benefits. Here are just a few:
- Increased productivity: Oddly enough, allowing yourself time for play actually leads to more productivity, not less. Dedicated leisure time can help you refocus and work more efficiently — work hard, play hard.
- Improved health: Stress has been tied to poor health for generations, and many name work as their biggest stressor. Taking time to play during summer vacation will improve your health, and you’re worth it.
- Less burnout: Educators care deeply about their students, so much so, that they’re tirelessly dedicated to helping them succeed. While this is laudable, it’s not sustainable. You can offer more to your students as the best version of yourself than when you are burnt out and running on fumes.
Check out this article for more details on the power of play!
What Does ‘Play’ Mean to You?
It’s critical to define play for yourself. When discussing time off, vacations, and play, everyone has different ideas that come to mind, and that’s OK! The important thing is that you do what feels like “play” for you. Need an extra nudge in that direction? Ask yourself the following questions.
- What did I do for fun before I began teaching? Sometimes, pouring yourself into your work pulls you away from other things you enjoy. Remembering what you did when you had more time and energy to dedicate to other things you love can reignite old hobbies, pastimes, and leisure activities.
- How can I connect with loved ones? Experiences, vacations — they’re just not the same when you don’t share them with someone you care about. Incorporating family and friends who have your best interest at heart is a great way to ensure that you’re reaping the benefits of summer vacation play time.
- What do I want to do? I, me, myself — sometimes these can be viewed as “bad” words. Strip away the distractions, the opinions of others, professional goals, etc., and ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my summer vacation?” Answering that question is a big step toward deciding what “play” means for you.
More Ways to Stay Energized
Looking for more ways to avoid burnout and stay excited about the classroom? We’ve got you covered.