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Educator Development, International Teachers

Three Ways to Recharge Over Winter Break

As the winter break approaches, you are probably looking forward to rest and rejuvenation after a busy fall semester! As an educator, you pour so much time, energy, and emotional bandwidth into your classroom to give students the best learning environment possible. To be the most effective teacher you can be, it is critical to rest, especially during longer breaks, so you can come back refreshed and ready to take on the new semester.

Educator stress is, unfortunately, at an all-time high, and it is more important than ever to prioritize your physical and mental health. While it’s probably not possible to completely set aside all your responsibilities over the break, try as much as you can to do things that give you joy and help you relax. 

While these strategies don’t address the underlying, chronic challenges of being an educator, we hope these simple tips will help you take time for yourself and spend your break the way that feels best to you!

Complete small, daily acts of self-care

This is a good time to check in with yourself and reflect on how you are feeling about the past few months. Your state of mind can inform what you need from this break. Maybe you are energized and excited to start the new semester. Maybe you’re so tired and depleted that you just want to sleep for a week. Whatever emotions you are experiencing, acknowledging them is a great first step to getting restoration. 

After reflecting, you can use this self-care inventory assessment to see where you might want to start new practices or habits, based on what you need the most. This assessment can also help you identify healthy habits you already have.

Remember, you don’t have to make big changes all at once to see improvements in your physical or mental health! In fact, it’s better to make small, sustainable changes you can continue over the long term. For example, if you want to start journaling, make a goal to write in a journal for five minutes each day. You can gradually increase that time if you want to.

Connect with loved ones

If you are a Participate Learning Ambassador Teacher living in the U.S., you probably have friends and family from your home country you keep in touch with. The winter break is a great time to have longer Zoom sessions or FaceTime calls with loved ones. 

Connecting with others, whether virtually or in person, boosts your mental health and helps you recharge. You can even combine two wellness practices, like taking a walk while catching up with a friend, to get even more benefits.

Do activities or hobbies that bring you joy

Even if you are far from home this winter break, observe the holiday traditions that mean the most to you, even if they look a little different than in your home country. Observing these celebrations can help ease homesickness and culture shock. Introduce your traditions to new friends, or take part in them virtually with people from home.

Also, be sure to make time for hobbies you enjoy, and spend more time on them than you normally would over the break. Read a favorite book, get creative by painting or drawing, or go outside in nature—focus on whatever brings you joy and helps you de-stress.

At Participate Learning, we are so grateful for your tireless dedication to your students and their well-being. Thank you for uniting our world through global learning, and impacting the next generation of global citizens. We appreciate all of the things that you do as an educator, both big and small!

We hope you can take this winter break to focus on your own well-being and get the restoration you need. You certainly deserve it! For more wellness ideas, see Healthy Living Tips to Be Your Best Self in the Classroom.