Well it’s half term, and time for a well-earned break! The weeks from September to now are long (do you remember being fresh and raring to go after the summer holidays? Me neither!). Busy. You don’t know if you’re coming or going most of the time. Or at least I that’s how I feel!
This week is about switching off from school work. I crammed last week to get all of my marking done before the holidays. My planning for the first two weeks back is done. I am going to relax and have fun this week, and try to get myself back to normal! Whatever that looks like! I think when you’re in a demanding job it’s important to make sure that you take time out for yourself. Do what makes you happy, not what you think will make your boss happy!
So, what are my top tips for switching off? How do I relax and get out of that teaching bubble that can too often consume us?
I’m lucky enough to have a little boy who is happy to have a lie in, who will sleep until 8am from 7pm the night before. So I sleep! I go to bed at a decent hour in the holidays and I try to rest as much as I can. Am I lazy? Probably! Does my body (and my brain) need it? Absolutely! I am too old to go back to work after the holidays feeling more exhausted than I did at the end of term. Who’s with me?!
2. Have fun!
I enjoy my job, I really do. Working with kids is what I wanted to do from the age of about eight. But it’s becoming increasingly data and target driven and less about the creativity and fun in the classroom. Therefore when I am off, I like to have fun! This ranges from doing exciting things with the family to seeing friends. I like to read and catch up on tele. Simple things! I enjoy having a night (usually at the start of the holidays so I can recover) where I drink too much Prosseco or gin. This week I’ve been on a spa day. Noah’s been taken to the Lake District Wildlife Park with his auntie, uncle and cousin so I am spending the day writing and working on my Forever Living business- both hobbies of mine that I can’t spend enough time on normally. Andy and I are going to go out for tea. We’re going to various Halloween parties with Noah this week and I’m taking him to visit my friend and her kids on Thursday in Whitley Bay. It’s all about enjoying life and making the most of free time.
I don’t do enough of this usually so I like to relax as much as I can. Now, I am aware that relaxing falls under the previous two categories, but it’s also so much more. I listen to music (currently got Kisstory presents Old Skool & Anthems on), dance in the kitchen, have long baths, read books that I tend to ignore when I’m at work. Sometimes I just sit and think about life, or look at photos. Anything to calm my mind. I’m very tightly wound and anxiety often takes over, so I try my upmost to push those feelings away whilst I’m off work.
4. Plan ahead.
I love to plan! I love thinking of amazing things to do with people I love. This time of year is perfect for planning. Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas, New Year! How will the Williamsons see out the year in the best possible way? Currently we have lots to look forward to, and I can’t wait to plan more! I’m also loving planning for my Forever Living business and my website. I can’t wait to start the next phase of my sideline work!
5. Take care of yourself.
This is so important. I’ve always been accused of not devoting enough time to looking after myself. I fall into the bad habit of putting myself last on my list of priorities. This week I’ve had a full body massage- which was fairly brutal! I’ve booked in for my eye-test and I’ve ordered the vitamins and supplements that I need to get me through the winter. I’ve tried to eat well and drink loads of water. I’ve even started wearing my Fitbit again so I can focus on getting moving and getting out and about.
Whatever you decide to do with any free time you have, regardless of your job or situation, make sure that you use it effectively and do what makes you happy.