It can take a few days to a few weeks sometimes, to fully unwind. It’s understandable why as we’ve been running at 100mph up until dismissal on the last day! So give yourself a chance to slow down from the momentum gradually.
Imagine it like you’re driving a car: if you went from 100 to 0 immediately, what would happen? You’d spiral out of control and crash, that's what! Just like when you’re driving, you need to slow down gradually before you come to a complete halt. How do you do that? By taking it easy on yourself the first few days after your break. Sometimes it’s hard to actually just stop working for me right off the bat; I like tinker about as my brain is still in momentum and needs to slow down gradually. Soon enough though, you reach the point where you’ve slowed down the pace; you’ll know you’re there when you are actually taking your time eating, you’re seeing friends and family again and you’ve forgotten what day of the week it is. Once you reach that point it’s "hello break"!
2) Stay productive
After you’ve managed to unwind, eventually doing nothing will likely result in you feeling bored and disgruntled with life. There’s a difference between enjoying freedom and being bored wasting your time. I don’t like to feel there’s no purpose to my existence, as I’m sure you don’t either! So in order to make the most of your break, keep productive to feel like you’re making progress and doing something worthwhile with your time. It doesn’t have to be school related, in fact I advise that you keep that to a minimum - you are on break after all, they get enough of your time during the school year! But keep productive for your own life: that could mean cleaning out a room in your house, purging your wardrobe, redecorating, gardening, reading, getting crafty with home décor, learning something new, practicing different recipes, filing paperwork / taxes, going to the bank, running errands etc. The list goes on!
Basically, the break is an ideal time to get your life in order and focus on you for a change. I’ll also add a short disclaimer to say that while I personally like to have a break from all things school for the first few weeks of a long break, you might quite enjoy the idea of doing up your classroom which is totally fine too, providing that you’ve given yourself time to unwind as well so that you’re operating at a more reasonable pace and not getting yourself into a tizzy!
3) Make the most of your day
This sounds similar to number 2 and being productive, but it’s not all about keeping busy. What I mean by making the most of your day, is that it’s so easy for the days to get away from us when we’re not at school. For me, a day at school can feel like a week by 3pm - I am exhausted by the end of the day but I can look back with satisfaction knowing I really made the most of that day. But when I’m at home not doing much, it’s so easy to just blink and it’s dinner time which can feel like such a waste!
You don’t want to look back and not know where your summer went or what you did with your time, so you need to make an effort to make the most of your day. Fill it with fun memories (even if it is just you, home alone watching a movie or playing dress up with the kids). Make sure you’re enjoying yourself and savouring every minute of it so come the start of the next school year, you can look back at your summer and know it was filled with fun times.
And another thing, fun is defined by you and no one else! Don’t feel like you need to be living the "Instagram life", reading by a pool on an exotic island in order to be having fun and making the most of your break. You don’t need to do anything fancy or expensive in order to have a good time and make the most of each day. Make a list of things you enjoy doing and just start doing them because you want to and because you can!
As teachers, our breaks are precious. We work our hineys off and we deserve that rest! This is your time to build yourself back up so that come next year you’ll be ready for the regularly scheduled programming of putting your cape back on and saving the world!
What are some of your favourite things to do in your break, leave a comment below!