Look after your wellbeing this summer: tips for teachers and education staff
Teachers and education staff need the summer holidays to unwind, relax and recharge. Our Director of Programmes, Faye McGuinness, outlines some simple ways to look after your wellbeing during the break.
Articles / 2 mins read
When we talk about individual self-care, it can leave many of us rolling our eyes. We recognise that teachers and education staff work within a school environment and an education system that is often not conducive to good mental health.
Workplace decisions, national policy – and of course the pandemic! – all have an impact on us, and are out of our control.
We understand that the self-care advice we give, exists within this challenging context. Despite this, you can still make a positive impact on how you feel, moment to moment.
"Teachers and education staff work within an education system that is often not conducive to good mental health."
Practical tips to help you look after your wellbeing over the summer break:
1. Use our circle of control, influence and concern tool
Our tool will help to consider the challenges you are facing and think about how can respond to them. The challenges can be related your work or personal life.
2. Give yourself worry time!
Give yourself dedicated time to acknowledge and process your worries. Put a boundary around this worry time so you do not focus on your worries all day, every day.
3. Make a wellbeing action plan
Plan what you are going to do to look after yourself during the summer. Consider your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.
4. What are your wellbeing non-negotiables?
What are the actions you will do no matter what. These actions should keep you balanced and help you feel good. It could be regular exercise, time to enjoy a hobby or a simple routine that helps you organise your time.
Share these with your colleagues, friends and family so it becomes widely understood that you keep this routine.
5. Start your day well
Start your day calmly with meditation, being in nature or breathing exercises. Be careful of news, too much tech and caffeine!
6. Do a weekly wellbeing check up
Check in with your mental health. Ask yourself how you’re feeling mentally and physically? Are you looking after your wellbeing in terms of exercise, nutrition, sleep? How are your thoughts making you feel?
7. Take a moment
Use a simple technique like STOPP to take a moment and ground yourself.
- Stop! – just pause for a moment
- Take a breath
- Observe your thoughts and feelings
- Pull back – get some perspective. See the bigger picture. Your thoughts are thoughts, not statements of fact.
- Practice what works – what is the best thing to do right now?
- AND remember self-care is not indulgence! It’s an essential part of being the best teacher you can possibly be.
Download our A4 poster with a summary of our tips to share with your colleagues.
Finally, do not forget that our helpline is here if you need it. It’s free, it’s confidential and available 24/7 on 08000 562 561.
Our confidential grants service is here to help you manage money worries.
Everyone occasionally needs help. Our friendly, experienced team is here to support you.