Five Things You Can Do This Summer to Return Refreshed In The New School Year

Veteran teacher Kristen Strickland shares ideas for using your summer break to relax and mentally prepare for next school year.

A teacher’s summer break is so precious. I’m sure that you don’t want to waste any of those valuable days fretting over next year. So here are five tips to help you return to the 2023-2024 school year, refreshed, relaxed, and prepared!

Journaling. Take up a new mindfulness hobby like journaling during your summer break. You can journal your gratitude, your to-do list, or wins for the day! Journaling helps you slow down and be present with your current circumstances. According to “Journaling for Mental Health,” journaling helps lower anxiety, stress, and depression (Watson, Fraser, and Ballas). Plus after journaling for a whole summer, you will have something to look back on to remind yourself that teaching has seasons – some are busy, and some are refreshing!

Get your Vitamin D. Being outdoors and taking in some sun (with sunscreen, of course) is known to boost your mood. In addition, Vitamin D has “anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties [that] support immune health, muscle function, and brain cell activity” (Mayo Clinic). While you’re catching those rays, also enjoy some exercise like swimming, hiking, or biking!

Laughter. According to “Why Laughing Is Good For You,” laughing helps your heart by increasing your good cholesterol (HDL) and leads to “less stress hormones.” (Cleveland Clinic). So take time every day to laugh with family and friends. Plus, it will help your relationships grow. For even more opportunities to laugh, try binge-watching a comedy or a really bad horror film to get the chuckles started!

To-do Lists. Create your back-to-work to-do list before teacher week. Sometime in late July or early August, take an hour or two to plan out the tasks you should complete before students arrive. Focus on classroom organization and lesson plans. Check out eMediaVA’s blog “Your Best First Day Ever” to get even more new school year inspiration. 

Visit eMediaVA. For relevant beginning-of-the-school-year resources, start with eMediaVA. They are constantly updating the curated collections with applicable topics for every time of year. You are sure to find resources that match your curriculum guides, and you won’t have to go far with eMediaVA.

With these tools in hand, enjoy your summer, unwind, and spend time with your people!

Kristen Strickland is an ITRT in Chesapeake Public Schools and an eMediaVA Ambassador.

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