Have caught yourself thinking ”I don’t have time to relax and do something else, I have so much work to do”? I know I have, numerous times. When you feel this busy is exactly when you would benefit most from taking a step back and recharge.
We live in a world of information. Taking time away from all the hustle and bustle of the world sure is not for everyone (hello fellow introverts). Regardless of personality type, it is always good to take or make time for yourself in order to be your absolute best. The fact is, you will probably be in a better position once you have recharged a bit. By now you may be asking yourself, how exactly this could benefit your busy work schedule. Hear me out, I know this struggle all too well!
Taking Time off Is Important!
The first problem can be finding the time to actually relax. I don’t mean to just put up your feet and watch the clock ticking, feeling anxiety build by the minute. It could be that you need to block a part of your day in order to lessen the guilt you may feel.
If you are a teacher, then you recognize the ebb and flow of the school year. Some weeks are packed with things that need to be done in order to make the rest of the year work. Other weeks are more relaxed. Some weeks it will be almost impossible both to take and to make time to do something else entirely. But prioritize yourself when you have the chance.
It doesn’t have to be anything as large as booking a time at a spa, as heavenly as that might be. Perhaps taking a long bath or a relaxing shower can do the trick for now?
You’ve Heard It Before: Move Your Body!
Moving your body is a great way to relax and unwind. The good news here is that even a short walk counts! Moving away from your desk and stack of papers (in whichever form they come…) is an excellent thing to do.
Not only is it good to rest your eyes and sore shoulders a bit, but getting the blood flowing more in your system will both boost your energy levels and lower that cortisol for you. If you have the chance, make sure to step outside for an extra boost in the form of fresh air and some vitamin D ☀️
During a busy day at work, try to take a short walk or take your coffee outside. The change of scenery can do wonders for how you view things. My personal go-to as far as workouts go is either taking a walk outside (with or without Pokémon Go active) or doing some yoga at home.
The last option is not entirely without a screen, the screen serves its purpose. In this case, since it is the home for the apps and videos I use. A good choice, even without a subscription, is Down Dog. Another choice if you prefer to use YouTube as your source, is Yoga with Adriene. Here you can pick and choose a session that suits you that day.
Some Good Fitness Apps
If you do wish to make a purchase (or see it as an investment for yourself) my current go-to combining yoga and a resistance band is Total Body Challenge from Yoga Burn. Some weeks are definitely more intense, but even a short 15-minute session does wonders for my mood.
Another good option is to stick with your regular fitness app or wearable and there are plenty to choose from nowadays. I have retired my Fitbit for now, but I used Fitbit Coach and Fitstar Yoga for a long time. I believe Fitstar Yoga is retired, but I don’t have a Fitstar Premium subscription so I can’t say for sure.
Activate Your Brain – Do Some Reading!
If you have more time on your hands, take a day off altogether. A real one, one where you put focus on doing anything but work. It could be reading that novel you still have at your bedside table. Or picking up the guitar for the first time in weeks.
Whatever you decide to do with your time, make sure it is not about work. Something that tends to happen when you really focus on something else, is that you can take some of the things you do back to work eventually.
By making your body and brain busy with something else, you may notice your focus improving. You may also get as well as new ideas and solutions to problems you had popping up. A day like this is also excellent to develop your hobbies and interests. Perhaps it is time to write that short story or pick up your paintbrush again?
Slow Down Instead of Pushing Through!
If you find yourself working too close to the familiar wall, then you might at some point reach the state of sitting down and watching the clock tick your time away.
Being bored can sometimes be good and make us more creative. Other times it is a major stress factor and creates more bad than good. But how can all this benefit your students? A healthy teacher is more likely to have the energy to care for his or her students.
A teacher full of energy is more likely to be able to create good lesson content and notice if students need something different that day. You may also take risks or experiment a bit more in your teaching practice.
Taking a step back and taking time off to recharge yourself, is actually the best thing you can do for both yourself and your students!
It’s probably not the solution every time – but when you are able to do this, you will thank yourself.
In the next post, I’ll look a bit more into calendar blocking using Outlook. I’ll mention how I started using this the last semester, and how this helped me stay more on top of things. If this sounds helpful to you, make sure to subscribe to get notified when this post is published.