8 Ways Teachers Can Relax and Recharge This Summer

I know I don't have to tell you this, but teachers work hard. Really hard. Summer is our time to relax and recharge.

Sure, we spend our summer planning and preparing for the upcoming school year, but we also have the time to rest and refuel. Something we don't have much time for during the school year. Resting is vital to a teacher's success in the new school year. My hope in writing this post is to remind you to take time every day to do something that helps restore your mind, body and/or soul. OK, that sounded dramatic, but seriously, please be sure to find time for YOU this summer.

What follows are a few (really simple and basic) suggestions for relaxing this summer. Heads up, I apparently enjoy taking pictures of my coffee and books. You'll see this theme on repeat. Haha!

1. Enjoy Your Favorite Beverage
Pretty simple, right? But, I'm a firm believer that it's the little things in life that the most enjoyable.

My favorite beverage is coffee. During the school year, I don't get to enjoy my coffee because I'm busy scarfing it down while I do a million other things. During summer, I can sit and relax with that delicious cup of liquid perfection and savor every sip. You can do the same, no matter what your drink of choice may be.

For an added bit of relaxation, sip your special drink outside while you enjoy the weather, or scenery. :)

UPDATE: Since originally writing this post, I've had to make significant changes to my diet (for health reasons). I no longer drink coffee, but I still take time to enjoy my favorite beverage. Instead of sipping my coffee, I sip on sparkling water. I sure do miss my coffee, so if you're able to savor a cup for me in the morning, I sure would appreciate it. ;)

2. Find a Relaxing Morning Ritual
Again, if you're like me, you probably find that during the school year you're hustling from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to sleep. Find a relaxing ritual to start your day. This will look different for different people.

For me, that involves leisurely drinking my coffee while reading a book (see next suggestion). Once I'm finished with the coffee (two cups every morning), I workout (more on that in a moment).

3. Read a Book
Reading is a relaxing activity. It's a way to escape to another place without actually having to go anywhere. It's also a way to experience a life unlike your own. Basically, reading is pretty awesome.

During the school year I manage to read professional development books from time to time, but I find that I have a hard time getting through any novels. So, I tend to save those books for the summer when I can really sit down for longer periods of time and fully enjoy the story.

If you're looking for some book recommendations, click HERE and HERE.

4. Workout
I know, the idea of working out and getting hot and sweaty, and maybe even a bit sore doesn't sound relaxing, but it is good for you! A good workout will help you feel centered, energized, and more focused. And that is the whole point of summer, to get centered, energized, and refocused.

Not a gym rat? No worries, neither am I. I love working out from home with Beachbody. There are a ton of workouts to choose from, I don't have to drive anywhere (or worry about child care), and I can workout whenever it's convenient for me. Oh, and their pricing isn't too bad either!

5. Head Outside
Fresh air is good for you. Don't spend your summer cooped up inside the house all day long. Go for a walk, or a hike. Work in the garden. Or, go for a swim. Just go outside. The oxygen, sunlight, and presence of plants is a great way to ground yourself and feel connected to your surroundings. In other words, it's an easy way to feel more centered.

Note: if you're like me and live where the weather is extreme, you can still go outside, just do it before the heat kicks in (early morning), of after it starts to cool down (late evening). Or, aim to spend those minutes outside at the pool (my favorite).

6. Meet Your Friends For...
It can be hard to spend time with your favorite friends during the school year. Take advantage of your days off and get together with your pals. Meet up for coffee, lunch, drinks, or a mani/pedi. Connecting with other human beings fulfills a basic human need, so don't let your summer go by without spending some time with your friends.

7. Play Tourist
If you can't take a full vacation, find some fun things to do around town. It's a great way to get out of the house. You may just try something new. You'll likely see your city through a different lens. Maybe you'll learn to appreciate your home even more. Maybe you'll feel more connected to your community. I feel refreshed just thinking about it!

I took this pic while playing tourist. It is a close up from the Seven Magic Mountains public art installation outside Vegas. I'm not sure how long it will stick around as it was originally commissioned as a two year installation (opened in 2016). Regardless, the rainbow rocks were amazing to look at against the stark and bland desert, and it was fun checking out something so grand and fun in our city.

8. Don't Do Any Work
I know, I know, summer is a great time to tackle classroom projects, refine your teaching practices, and plan for implementing new ideas and strategies. It's a great time because you actually have the time to thoroughly think these things through.  But, it is also possible to pick a day (or 4) where you don't do any work. Let your mind be 100% free of anything school related. After all, how can one fully recharge and refuel if they are constantly working? So, make sure you assign yourself at least one day each week where you don't do any school related work.

I hope you can use these suggestions to help make your summer as relaxing as possible. :)


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