We’re almost there, summer. You can see it on the calendar, you’ve started making travel arrangements, and your classes are nearing the end of the syllabus! Also, if you’re anything like most of us, you’re tired right now and hanging on the edge. We all understand and totally get it, summer is coming and it will be gloriously refreshing and help us all recharge. However, we’ve still got a few weeks left – how do we find the energy to get to the end?
I read a couple great blog posts the other day that inspired my post this week, I like some of the ideas and will share those here along with a few of my own.
- Stay planned and organized: The end of the school year is always crazy because there are a million things happening around school. If you have kids of your own you’re juggling their end of year schedules too! Similarly, if you’re moving away there are countless numbers of things that need to get done before the end of the year. How do you do it all without the stress wearing you down? Get organized. Not only does this help relieve stress but the feeling of achievement as you cross things off your to-do list will give you the much needed boost of dopamine. You’ll feel better and in turn be more motivated to keep moving forward 🙂
- Take some time to reflect: The school year has been wild and crazy, and busy! And if you’re struggling with staying organized (see #1) you probably haven’t taken much time to do this yet this school year. I know you’re busy but hear me out – taking time to reflect on your successes this school year can help you relive the positive experiences and boost your serotonin. Serotonin is a natural antidepressant and a chemical in our body produced to help us feel good and positive! On a similar note, if you’d rather help make someone else’s day, write them a note to show your gratitude…it will make both of you feel better!
- Take a chance to breathe and find work/life balance: This might be the hardest thing to do as we try to squeeze in every last bit this school year. However, it may be the most important thing we can do for ourselves. Taking a walk, going for a run, doing some yoga, seeing a movie, or reading a book are all possible ways you might step away from the craziness of everyday life. Whether it’s 30 minutes before or after work, or an afternoon on a Saturday, take some time for yourself to unwind and relax. I just looked back and realized that I wrote about this very same idea almost exactly one year ago – it’s that time of year!
- The First Five: It’s okay to stop and give a few minutes of your class time over to talking with your students about non-academic stuff (gasp!) Yes, it is, really…give it a try! I’ve written about the importance of positive relationships with our students and that doesn’t stop. Keep the lines of communication open with your students by showing that you still care about them, even with the craziness of the end of the year upon you. Not only will your students feel better but so will you, the connection helps everyone feel like there is more than just content, content, content.
- Face the FOMO: It’s the end of the year. There will be parties, gatherings, group outings, and all sorts of social events. Just like I tell new teachers at the beginning of the year – you don’t have to do everything, in fact skipping some things is healthy! FOMO or “fear of missing out” is real…no one wants to be the only person to miss the party and they certainly don’t want to be sitting at home thinking that everyone else if having fun without them! However, sometimes that’s okay, in fact it’s more than okay. Taking a night off and missing a social event is a healthy choice, especially when you know there are a million things getting squeezed into the last few days of the school year. We’ll never be able to do everything and we have to be okay with that, knowing that our lives are full of wonderful experiences and missing this one won’t ruin our lives!
The school year is winding down quickly and so is my time here at AC and in Ecuador. In fact, I just counted and there are only 43 days left. I’ve got four trips planned, a hike up Pichincha, International Festival, my birthday, 29 school days, countless parties, and waaaay too many things on my to-do list. Perhaps I wrote this post more for myself than anyone!! It’s that time of year, be good to yourself and be good for each other!!