How to to Switch Off and Enjoy the Festive Period

For teaching staff, the end of term is in sight. The Christmas holiday is an ideal time to unwind, relax and enjoy festivities with family and friends. However, with large workloads and numerous tasks to complete, it is likely many teachers are already thinking ahead to January and the beginning of the new term. With lesson planning to complete, resources to create and pupil progress meetings looming, for some teaching staff, it might be challenging to fully switch off and enjoy the festive period. Wellbeing matters and it is vital teaching staff take the time to unwind, relax and recuperate over the next 2 weeks. 

We have compiled some top tips to help you to switch off this Christmas and be present in the festivities rather than worrying and anticipating the term ahead. 

Go screen-free with a digital detox

We spend a great proportion of our time looking at screens and immersing ourselves in the digital world the internet offers. But this Christmas, switch off – quite literally! Commit yourself to screen-free time; put your phones, laptops, tablets, and computers away. It is all too easy to take a sneaky peek at our work emails or spend time researching an upcoming topic. Equally, many of us spend too much time on social media. Unfortunately, social media often portrays picture perfect lives which can create feelings of inferiority, sadness and loneliness. Remember, social media is selective; people have complete control over the content they share and the glimpses they give into their lives. Moreover being glued to our phones and digital devices detracts our attention from what really matters; quality and real time spent with loved ones. 

Get as many administrative tasks completed as you can before the holidays

During the last week of term, work together with your Classroom Assistant to complete any outstanding administrative duties, such as filing, recording data, outstanding marking and stocktakes of stationery and classroom inventory. This will ensure you are organised and ready to go for the next term.

Look over your lesson planning for the next term and put together a plan for the first week before school breaks up 

Use your PPA and any spare time you have to prepare your lessons for the next term. Ensure medium term planning is up to date and matches up to outstanding learning goals. Break the medium term plan down into weekly plans, focusing on Week 1 of the new term. This will save you from the necessity of planning during the Christmas half term. Why not print resources on the last day of term ready for the first day?

Make time for fresh air and exercise

During the holidays ensure you factor in plenty of time for fresh air and exercise. Exercise has a profoundly positive impact on wellbeing. Indulge in crisp winter walks with your loved ones, allocate time to completing your preferred form of exercise and spend time in the great outdoors, appreciating the beauty of nature. Keep yourself active will prevent you from worrying too much about the term ahead or any unfinished tasks. 

Mindfulness

Continue to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing over the festive period with a variety of mindful activities. Mindful activities include adult colouring books, puzzle books, completing a wellness journal, meditation, body scanning, breathing exercises, yoga and much more. 

Indulge in festive treats

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to let go and enjoy a variety of food and drink. Ensure you drink plenty of water and consume your 5 -a-day but also allow yourself to indulge a little over the festive period.

Prepare a yearly diary ahead of 2022 and a calendar to remain organised

There are a variety of diaries and calendars available; you will be sure to find one that appeals to you and meets your needs.

Treat yourself to new stationery and treats for the new term

Is your pencil case looking a little lack lustre? Perhaps your pens are beginning to dry out? Treating yourself to new stationery and supplies, such a snazzy water bottle, will help you to feel optimistic about the term ahead.

Make time for real conversation and quality time with friends and family.

 It is the season to be surrounded by your loved ones. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in pondering on the previous term or the one ahead. Live in the moment and enjoy yourself alongside prioritising your social wellbeing. 

Establish a new daily routine ahead of the new year

Consider your current weekly routine. Do you often find yourself rushing around? Do you feel overwhelmed or stressed? Establishing a routine will help you to remain organised and calm under pressure. Be sure to make time for exercise and activities that will benefit your wellbeing.

Whatever you have planned for the Christmas half term, have fun, relax and be proud of yourself and all that you achieved in 2021.

Further Reading:

Prioritise Your Wellbeing: Say Yes to Yourself

This Kent-Teach article is dedicated to you and your wellbeing. When was the last time you put yourself first before others? Or when you prioritised your own wellbeing and self-care. If you are reading this and struggling to recollect a recent moment where you did something (no matter how big or small) to improve your wellbeing, then today is the day where you can begin to make that change in your life.

Mind - Guide to Switching Off

This guide by the wonderful Mind contains further tips to help you to switch off and enjoy Christmas . 

NHS - Keep Warm, Keep Well

A guide published by the NHS for keeping healthy during winter.

Investing in 'Me Time' as a Headteacher

In this blog, one Kent Headteacher discusses the positive impact that coaching and investing in 'Me' time has on wellbeing, professional development and personal development.

Self Care Tips When You’re Feeling Burnt Out

Working in education can sometimes be a stressful job at the best of times but the additional pressures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is causing many teachers to feel overwhelmed. Here are 4 self-care tips you can implement when you are feeling the strain or suffering from burnout.
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