How to de-stress over the holidays and stop turning them into nightmares. During the holidays, students are happy, parents are glad to have their children around unlike school days when kids are so busy. The entire house is all bubbling and fun is in the air. However, teachers, find it hard to let go and just have fun. There’s always that small voice checking in about what to do for next term or planning some project for class.
Teaching is a super amazing profession and it is honourable but don’t kill yourself. I know, I’m terrible for doing it but there is a way through. From getting acquainted with parents, dealing with students, as well as learning the expectations of admin, you will agree with me that life is already busy for a new teacher. When you add in the complications of a busy holiday season, it can be downright chaotic. Juggling gift buying, attending staff parties, and managing all the classroom responsibilities required by the holidays can be tricky. Whenever we have those precious days off, we need to know how to de-stress over the holidays. The need to relax cannot be overemphasised. If you get all stressed, you might break down. Enough said, let’s go through some smart ways through which you can de-stress yourself during the holidays.
When a problem is identified, it is halfway to being solved. Before you can tackle stress you need to know what is stressing you out. Make a detailed list of all the things you can remember that are causing you stress right now. Divide your list into two columns: things you can control and things you can’t. Here comes the task; focus on searching for solutions to the things you can control. From your list, select the one that will have the biggest impact on your stress levels. What can you do to tackle this issue? Set yourself a goal to manage it and write it down using positive language.
I am a huge fan of making to-do lists. Why? Basically, to-do lists help you stay on track and focused. It makes you complete tasks faster and efficiently. Very importantly, it helps you to manage time. So the first point is to write down all the tasks you intend to complete during the holidays. These tasks may include vocational and recreational tasks. There’s always a need to clearly state your priorities when pursuing a goal. It narrows your tasks and makes them more goal-oriented. From the list of the general tasks, you had made already, make a priority list.
Humour, naturally, provides instant relief and a soothing feeling, at least for a moment. As long as the intention is not to mock others, it allows us to step back and take everything, including ourselves, less seriously. So practice the art of finding the ludicrous, paradoxical and nonsensical in daily events. And laughing itself is priceless. A belly laugh changes biochemistry and clears out emotional gunk like little else.
Try as much as possible to do all those things you know are good for your physical well-being: get regular exercise; take it easy on the caffeine, sugar and alcohol; get enough sleep; eat healthy food — you know this stuff. This is the baseline of stress reduction. Oh and don’t eat too much ice-cream, chocolate, pastries and cakes, you will only have to work it off later.
It’s a priceless thing to know what you can and cannot do. You love to be perfect and that’s okay but sometimes, you need to wrestle your perfectionism to the ground. Also, don’t let idealised expectations influence you into doing more than you can realistically manage. It’s difficult not to but it will pay dividends. Learn to say no. Set your limits. Work intelligently. This is especially important around holiday time when trying too hard to do too much can create the exact opposite of the holiday feeling you’re striving for, and you morph into the cranky, resentful, martyred, overworked nightmare you swore you’d never be.
Identify your triggers, prioritise tasks, add a daily dollop of humour, care for your body, and know your limits. Additionally, one of the special tips you need to know about how to de-stress over the holidays and every other time is that choosing to be happy reduces stress. So irrespective of what life throws at you, what family throws at you, what work throws at you, what your friends throw at you, smile through them and choose the option of being happy.