Recharge and Revitalize During Winter Break!

Elementary teacher Toymeka Raymond offers valuable insights on making self-care a priority during your winter break.

Taking the time to unwind and relax during your winter break is crucial! While educators are consistently reminded to practice “self-care,” it’s often unclear how to put that into action amidst the myriad responsibilities of teaching. Even when on break, thoughts about lesson plans, classroom management, grades, and upcoming assessments linger. This year, it’s vital to acknowledge that education is a career, not your entire life. Seize this opportunity to reconnect with yourself.

Consider your break as a precious period for reflection on your happiness and peace. How can you integrate more leisure activities, personal time, and moments with family and friends into your life? To help you rejuvenate and re-energize, here are some useful tips:

  1. Distance Yourself from Screens: Steer clear of computers and electronic devices. Resist the temptation to scroll through social media or browse online platforms. Instead, take a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood or enjoy a nature walk in a local park.
  2. Read Instead of Scrolling: Challenge yourself to read a book or magazine instead of mindlessly scrolling through your phone. Give your eyes and brain a much-needed “screen break.” Whether it’s a book by your favorite author, a magazine on an interesting topic, or an audiobook, immerse yourself in something different.
  3. Quality Time with Loved Ones: Dedicate meaningful moments to loved ones. Watch a movie together, play a family game, go shopping, or explore local museums and attractions. Send heartfelt messages to those who may not be physically present, spreading holiday cheer in your own unique way.
  4. Treat Yourself: Indulge in something special, no matter how small. It could be a book you’ve been wanting to read, a painting class you’ve considered, or even a new piece of clothing. Recognize and reward yourself for your hard work and accomplishments—you deserve it!
  5. Focus on Positivity: Reflect on the positive aspects of your life. Concentrate on what you can control, rather than dwelling on things beyond your influence. Take this time to celebrate the joys and achievements in your life.

As Oprah Winfrey wisely said, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Embrace the spirit of celebration this winter break, and return to your responsibilities with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

Toymeka Raymond is an elementary teacher in Newport News Public Schools and an eMediaVA Ambassador.

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