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Adult SEL: Winter Wellness for Educators. 5 Steps for an Amazing Winter Break!

Hey fellow educators! Feeling like you're just chugging along on the last fumes of energy? Guess what? Winter break is here, and it's our perfect chance to hit the refresh button!

Let's face it, we're pretty much running on empty after months of teaching. It's like we're cars that have been zooming along the highway non-stop. Now, we've reached that sweet spot for a pit stop. Winter break is our time to rest, rejuvenate, and gear up for the next part of our teaching journey. It's like giving our minds and souls a much-needed tune-up!

So, how can we make the most of this break? Here are my top five strategies:

Strategy 1 - Define Your Intentions

Ask yourself, what do you hope to achieve during this break? Whether it's unwinding, dedicating time to yourself, or cherishing moments with loved ones, clearly setting your intentions is crucial.

We don't want to just glide through the break without a sense of presence and purpose. Getting clear about our intentions can help us with this.

 I've chosen to embrace slowness this season. Often, we get caught up in the hustle, and before we know it, January is upon us. Let's take control of our time. Enjoying each day to the fullest.

What is your Winter Break Intention?  _________________________________________

Strategy 2 - Relax and Unwind

Winter break is the ultimate time to slow down and do what makes you feel relaxed. Maybe it's curling up with a book, doing some yoga, or enjoying a warm drink in your favorite chair.

For me, I love to put on my favorite red housecoat (yes, I have one) and my favorite red shoes, and enjoy a New York Times crossword puzzle. Taking that time to do just one thing helps recharge my batteries.

The Holidays can be a time of too many things, too many events, and too much stuff. Relax and unwind with less.

Remember, don't overbook yourself. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between being social and having some peaceful 'me' time.

What do you like to do to relax? _______________________________________________

Strategy 3 - Take Charge of Your Tech

Don't let technology dominate your day. It can grab us first thing in the morning and not let go until evening time.  Let’s take charge of our tech by setting tech agreements. 

Ever tried the 'One Hour Head Start'? Spend the first hour of your day tech-free. Resist the urge to immediately check social media; embrace the present moment.

Additionally, consider a tech curfew during family or social time, perhaps no gadgets post-8 PM? Imagine the possibilities – engaging conversations, reading, playing games, or simply enjoying each other's company. Let's do less tech this winter break.

What are your tech agreements for winter break? ____________________________________

Strategy 4 - Rekindle Your Hobbies and Passions

Utilize this break to reconnect with activities you love but may have neglected.

Whether it's art, outdoor adventures, or learning something new, doing what you love is incredibly fulfilling.

For me, it's all about pickleball – the camaraderie, the physical activity, the joy of being outdoors. I would love to play more but don't ever seem to have the time. This break, I am going to prioritize my pickleball playing. What about you? What's your passion? Dive into it!

What is a hobby or passion you have been ignoring?  _________________________________

Strategy 5 - Reflect and Plan

Take some time to reflect on the past semester and plan for the upcoming one. This could involve setting personal or professional goals, organizing your resources, or simply contemplating your teaching practices. 

I am both a planner and an avoider.  How is that possible you may ask?  Well it is a duality that can make things challenging for me.   I love a good plan, and I tend to stick to them.  The problem is, I don’t love to MAKE the plan.  Better to just sit on the sidelines and shout at the problem. 

No more!   I’m gonna set aside ½ day during winter break to reflect on this past year, and set new goals for 2024.  

What is your plan for reflection? ________________________________________

Remember, this break is your time – a period to rejuvenate and reignite your passion for teaching. Let's return to our classrooms with a renewed sense of purpose and energy. Tag a fellow educator who could use a well-deserved winter wellness boost!

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