How to Recover after a Challenging Year in the Classroom

How to Recover after a Challenging Year in the Classroom

There’s no doubt about it: this past school year has been one of the most challenging years for teachers in a very long time. Whether you were teaching 100 percent in-person, hybrid, concurrent hybrid, fully remote, or some strange mix of those teaching variations, it was tough.

Now that one of the most challenging years is coming to an end, it is time to spend some time recovering from the year’s tough demands. So here’s a look at several ways teachers can recover from this past year.

1. Set aside work-free time
Summer break should be a time for teachers to leave school at school altogether. And while that isn’t entirely possible for the entire break, set aside a specific amount of time for no school work. So whether it is two weeks or all but two weeks of summer vacation, avoid your email, logins, and try to push those thoughts aside. It’s summer break, enjoy!

2. Unplug for a couple of days each week
As teachers teaching during a pandemic, we’ve been looking at screens all year long. I am pretty sure that my nighttime driving glasses became my all-the-time glasses during this past year. Set aside time each week to completely unplug: no screens, no devices.

3. Read a guilty pleasure book
Save those teacher PD books for closer to the start of a new school year. Instead, read some guilty pleasure novels. If YA has your heart, read away. If a poolside romance novel is calling your name, go for it.

4. Spend time outside
I’m not sure about you, but I feel so rejuvenated after being outside, especially if the weather is terrific. Go for a walk, read outside, sip your morning coffee on the patio. Spending time outdoors will surely help you forget this year’s stresses.

5. Enjoy at-home spa treatments
At home manis and pedis, clay face masks, salt soaks, and hair masks make me feel like a new person! Pamper yourself!

6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
How much water are you drinking a day? If you aren’t drinking enough, chances are, you won’t feel your best. So jumpstart your summer healing by drinking plenty of water each day.

7. Get moving
Exercise isn’t a chore, nor should it be something one dreads. Instead, it’s essential to find something you love. For me, it was running. That was until knee surgery number four when my orthopedic surgeon told me I would need a knee replacement before I turned 40 if I kept running long distances. Now, I’m all about spin class and free weights. However, everyone is different. If you don’t LOVE exercising yet, it’s because you haven’t found something. Keep search for an activity you love. Once you find it and stick with it, you’ll feel rejuvenated!

8. Catch up on sleep
I know I’m not alone in not getting enough sleep during the school year. So use the summer months to catch up on some sleep.

9. Spend quality time with your favorites
Who are your favorite people? Family? Friends? Whoever your favorite people are, spend some quality time with them!

10. Be a little selfish
As a working mom, this one is tough for me. I try to divide my time between my job and my kids during the school year, and I sometimes always feel like I’m falling short. However, during the summer months, it’s so important to be selfish with your time. Spend some time doing what you want to do. In doing so, you’ll be ready to tackle all of the other challenges coming your way.

Are you interested in more? Check out these 25 self-care tips for teachers!
How to Recover after a Challenging Year in the Classroom


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