4 Ways to Refocus and Recharge this Summer

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Congratulations! Another school year is almost in the books! It’s a well-known fact, however, that educators’ responsibilities don’t end when the final bell rings. Whether you’re teaching summer school, participating in professional development opportunities, meeting with your grade-level team, working a second job, or packing up and moving to a new classroom, we hope the change of season provides the change of pace necessary to so deservingly focus on your own well-being. Here are four suggested ways to refocus and recharge this summer.

  1. Bask in Nature

From stress management to heart health, the American Society of Landscape Architects provides links to study after study supporting the mental and physical health benefits (for both adults and children) of spending time in nature. You don’t need to go camping in the woods or go on a strenuous mountain hike to reap the benefits of nature, though. Head to a local city park or other urban green space, pick up some fresh local produce at the farmer’s market, take a walk along river or lake, fly a kite, watch the sunset, plant flowers – you’ll have fun and will improve your overall well-being at the same time.

  1. Try Something New

We present our students with new tasks to try every day. This summer foster your own growth and learning by trying something new or going someplace new. According to this Huff Post article, the benefits of new experiences include: overcoming fears, getting to know yourself better, increased creativity, and becoming more marketable. Try a new recipe. Take a new class at the gym. Sign up for a 5K run/walk or participate in another community event. Practice mindfulness. Volunteer (search for opportunities in your community here). Explore a museum you’ve never been to before. Start a daily journal. Learn a new language. Find something you’re interested in and give it a try - the possibilities of new experiences are endless!

  1. Spend Time with Friends

As rewarding as it is, teaching is also stressful and exhausting - most likely your tank is empty. Spend time with people who fill you up! According to this article published by Mayo Clinic, friends are good for our health. Spending time with friends increases your sense of belonging and purpose, boosts your happiness and reduces stress, and increases your self-confidence and self-worth. Strong social support is attributed to a reduced risk of depression and high blood pressure. Studies even show adults who spend time with friends have a healthier body mass index (BMI) and are likely to live longer than adults without strong social connections. This summer, stay connected with friends from school or get reconnected with old friends.

  1. Read for Pleasure

It increases one’s sense of achievement, confidence, and self-esteem; it alleviates stress and widens horizons – reading for pleasure has a range of benefits and can be done almost anywhere. Looking for a book recommendation? Last winter I compiled a list of fantastic titles educators from across the U.S. shared in this blog post. And last summer, educators made these recommendations. Consider starting or joining a book club or read in a local park to maximize the benefits.

Whether you’re spending some extra time with Mother Nature, experiencing new things, visiting with friends, or reading good books, we hope this summer provides opportunities for you to recharge your batteries and refocus on your own well-being.

 

Sources:

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/tutors/using-skillswise-as-a-tutor/reading-for-pleasure


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Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin.