Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation

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How to . these holidays

Teachers regularly have to juggle many competing demands. As a result, they can easily put other people’s mental health and wellbeing needs ahead of their own. However, it’s important that teachers take the time to prioritise their own mental health and wellbeing during the holiday break to make sure the are fully recharged before the next school year starts.

Our top tips for teachers

The following tips are adapted from ReachOut Schools

Power of positive emotions

Switching on to your emotions is an important way to improve your wellbeing, being intentional about doing things that result in positive emotions can increase your wellbeing Some simple ways to tap into positive emotions include:

  • Gratitude: At the end of each day, think of one or two things you are grateful for and record them so you can revisit on those days when you may not be feeling as positive.
  • Kindness: Random acts of kindness all help generate a culture of kindness in our community. Never under-estimate how much joy you can experience from doing a random act. Try it today!
  • Experience joy: Think about other ways you can generate joy in your day, such as by spending time in nature, watching a comedy, reading a good book, exercising, taking up a new hobby, or connecting with family and friends.

Understand the power of connection

Research has shown that social connectedness is at least as important for your health as regular exercise or eliminating nasties such as smoking.

Simple ways to build and maintain your social connections:

  • Connect with family and friends: Make a commitment over the holiday break to spend quality time connecting with the people you love.
  • Find your tribe! Joining a community group  or volunteer for a charity or a cause that’s close to your heart, or try a group fitness activity.
  • Give your existing relationships some love:  Sometimes when things get a bit chaotic in our work lives we tend to neglect some of our relationships. Make time in the holidays to reconnect with a mate you haven’t spoken to for a while. 

Build in a digital detox

Social media has made the world much smaller, and it’s now a simple matter to keep tabs on your people.  The downside is that it’s too easy to substitute a quick click for a more personal and meaningful connection and failing to switch off – our phones, tablets and minds can have a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing.

  • Reconnect in real-life: Commit to spending time with others offline and in real life.
  • Switch off your tech: Create tech-free chunks of time throughout the holidays.
  • Go to bed on time: Netflix binges can cause chaos with our sleep cycles. Just because you’re on holidays doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need its sleep.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is having a moment right now. It seems like every man and his dog is getting in on it.  When we’re faced with looming deadlines, endless inboxes and mountains of work, taking the time to refocus and centre our attention can help us to regain a sense of calm and control. Pausing gives your body and mind the chance to take stock of the situation and enables you to respond more skillfully.

Practising mindfulness also has other benefits, including improvements in your overall mood, and an increased ability to make decisions and to regulate emotions. 

There's an app for that!

Smiling minds

Practice your daily meditation and mindfulness exercises from any device.

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365 Gratitude

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