” The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day.” ~ Unknown
Without question educators have one of the most important callings in life. Teaching is a 24/7 job, even in the Summer. From spending countless hours painting a classroom, to stalking the school supplies at Target, a teacher rarely has the opportunity to relax. The rarity of a day off only sweetens the moments when an educator finds themselves “truly relaxed.”
As the new school year begins this feeling will seem as common as an unicorn sighting, but finding the ability to relax is a necessity for all teachers. For some it may come in the form of a quiet dinner at home, for others it may be quick jog around the block. No matter the outlet, finding the ability to relax can be crucial for the success of any teacher.
As teachers we often take on an immense workload. We rarely stop to think of the detriment this stress is actually doing to our bodies. We are constantly on the go, and rarely stop to rejuvenate. We strive to be the best teacher for our students, but the reality is often our constant lack of R&R is actually hindering ourselves from being at our best. We find ourselves taking on numerous tasks, dabbling in multiple avenues instead of honing in on perfecting our strengths. The fear of burnout begins to creep into the picture, and the countdown to May begins before the crisp Autumn air even sets in.
How is it possible to avoid this pitfall? The best solution is by not confusing relaxation with time wasted. Mental breaks are as important to a person’s well-being as a healthy diet and exercise. In this, perhaps one of the most stressful times of the year, it is vital that teachers remember to take that occasional break. Take the time to drink that second cup of coffee, watch that guilty pleasure t.v. episode (When does House of Cards return again?) or just settle in for nice evening with a loved one without the distractions of that pesky smartphone. Providing these little getaways will in return help revive your spirits better preparing yourself for the task ahead of you. With a fresh outlook you will find that the obstacles ahead are no great challenge at all.
Perhaps Anne Lamott said it best when she stated, ““Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” The simplest of escapes can provide for a happier day, week, month and year. No matter the stress, always remember to take a deep breathe and understand you are not at this alone. Educators do an amazing job of supporting each other. We are a family that is always willing to help out in need. We have all felt that feeling of burnout, but with the help of relaxation and encouragement we continue to provide inspiration and enlightenment to our students. In the immortal words of Aaron Rodgers, “R-E-L-A-X.”