Listening to: 8 (circle) by Bon Iver 🎶
Four days and counting, four days and counting, four days and counting. I can do this…deep breaths.
As the school year comes to an end on Thursday, I reevaluate things that I need to do during my recovery season of summer break. This process is very similar to a New Year’s Resolution. I think of what needs to be accomplished to have a fresh start to the new school year. A lot of teachers look at summer break as a reboot. I’m telling you, teachers NEED this time in order to get their mental state back to stable and healthy for another school year (so I don’t want to hear about how lucky we are to get this time off, speaking for all of us, we’d like to see you try to do our job for a week!) Teachers who work in year-round schools, I don’t know how you do it!
I’ve gathered data from your homework (those five of you who turned it in, you get an A+) and got some great insight. I’ve told you, the thing I love about mindfulness is that the practice routine is rooted in what works best for you! I am not a good rule follower, I will always find ways to stretch the boundaries…but here are some of the practices that you have found successful to help clear your mind, stay in the moment, and get in better touch with your inner selves:
- journaling (dreams, thoughts, end of the day, gratitude…)
- daily/hourly reminds from mindfulness apps (click here for top rated apps – my favorite is Chill as referenced in last week’s post)
- fidgets/doodling in order to keep your mind from wandering in work meetings
- breathing exercises
- being active about not making excuses for something you want to do that you know will bring you joy
- making time to exercise, take walks, meditate
- taking five minutes in the morning when you first wake up to energize your brain or right before you go to bed to quiet your mind by doing a body scan – checking in with yourself to see how you feel in the current moment
- intentionally planning “me-time“
Me time is what I am most looking forward to this summer. I was really good at it last summer, but I was also in a much different place in life; I was happily single, living alone, not working, it was amazing. It is hard to keep up with that during the work year. One of the hardest parts about teaching is leaving work at work. It just is not one of those jobs where this is possible. If it isn’t grading, it’s planning, it’s report cards, it’s regret from how you handled a situation, it’s anxiety about how you should handle a situation, it’s creating worksheets, it’s coordinating field trips, conferences, testing, etc, etc, etc. Sometimes the job is never ending.
Only five years in, I have gotten pretty good at leaving work at work, for the summer at least. Because I am a super anal and OCD, Type A person (I’ve told you this…) I’ve been able to get everything that I need to get done completed when I leave on the last day. Then, I attentively make a plan for when we go back to work in August for what needs to happen in order to be prepared for the start of the school year.
But this summer, I am a very different person than I was just twelve months ago and I need to reconfigure this season of recharge. Your contribution to how you stay mindful really sparked some ideas on how I can continue my practice while being disassembled from routine and how I have known to be functional for my life in the past.
There are some habits I want to break and some habits I want to make this summer.
I intend to live deeply this summer. And thus, my first intentional task this summer, is to create bucket list. A list of things that I want to do and see and feel while I have time on my hands, things that I couldn’t find time to do in the past nine months. Sometimes you have to create happiness in your life, and I whole heartedly intend to do that for myself over the next three months.
No matter where you are in your life, I think you should always find time to do the things you love, things that will make you happy, things you make excuses to put off until next week/month/year or until you have more money…find a way to do all of the things you want in the now. You won’t ever regret spending time and money on experiences that you’ve always wanted to do, but I’m positive you will regret not doing them.
Join me in creating a summer bucket list, even if you don’t get a summer break, this is the season to take charge of how you feel.
If you don’t make the time creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a LOT of time dealing with a life you don’t want. -Kevin Ngo
I am enlisting you to add to my summer bucket list click HERE. I’d love to see your thoughts and ideas for me! I feel like Olaf, skipping along pumped for summer, join me won’t you?
But now remember what I said last week about constantly looking forward to things instead of living in the present…try to add deadlines to your list so you actually get them done instead of just hoping to get them done.