As an elementary music teacher, your dedication to your craft often leads you to prioritize work even during the precious summer months. However, it’s crucial to remember that rest and relaxation are essential for your overall well-being and creativity. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to make the most of your summer break by incorporating some time for you into your summer routine. Let’s dive into three key strategies that will help you unwind, recharge, and rediscover the joy of the summer season.
- Week 1 – Get caught up on your sleep:
Sleep is important, because YOU are exhausted. If you’re like me, it takes a few weeks until you’re not falling asleep every time you sit down (true fact). Allow yourself the luxury of catching up on those much-needed Zs. Set aside the first week of your break to rejuvenate your body and mind, allowing yourself to wake up naturally and fully rested. Embrace the blissful feeling of letting go of alarms and schedules, and let your body guide you to the ideal sleep routine. If you have littles at home, maybe this means going to bed a little early until your body is caught up.
- Weeks 2 & 3 – Take time to relax and enjoy your summer:
Give yourself permission to truly unwind and savor the freedom of the summer months. Don’t dive right into those projects that have been hanging over your head all year. DON’T start planning for the upcoming year, or create classroom themes right away. Instead, dedicate at least two weeks solely to relaxation and enjoyment. Free yourself from the constraints of a schedule, and allow your days to unfold organically. Spend quality time with your loved ones, engage in activities that bring you joy, and immerse yourself in experiences that nurture your soul.
- Weeks 4 thru the end of summer – Plan strategically and prioritize self-care:
Once you’ve had ample time to relax, it’s natural to start thinking about the tasks and projects awaiting your attention. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, create a to-do list and employ a decision matrix to prioritize your activities. Break down your projects into manageable tasks and assign them to specific weeks on your calendar. Remember, it’s essential to pace yourself and avoid overloading your schedule. Aim to complete one project per week. This will allow your ample time for rest and rejuvenation between tasks.
If you have littles at home, here are 3 tips to relax with them:
- Have a book party:
Gather your children and indulge in the magic of reading. Create a cozy reading nook, complete with blankets, pillows, and a selection of captivating books. Spend quality time together immersed in the enchanting world of stories and imagination.
- Visit the park or another outdoor setting:
Take advantage of the summer weather by exploring nearby parks or other outdoor spaces. Engage your children in fun activities like picnics, nature walks, or playground adventures. Breathe in the fresh air, soak up the sunshine, and let nature rejuvenate your spirit. Be sure to bring some friends along for you and your kiddos. It’s always fun to catch up with friends you never get to see during the school year.
- Get outside:
Combine some friend time with outdoor fun by organizing playdates with a friend who also has children. Spend time chatting and sharing some much-needed friend time while the kids enjoy playing together. Whether it’s a trip to the beach, a hike in the woods, or a visit to a local attraction, shared experiences can be both relaxing and rewarding.
If you don’t have kids at home, here are three suggestions to help you relax and make the most of your summer:
- Learn a new skill:
Challenge yourself to work on a new skill or explore a creative hobby. Consider options like cross-stitching, pottery, painting, photography, or even pickleball. Learning something new not only helps you unwind but also stimulates your mind and nurtures your soul.
- Take time for you:
Create moments of solitude and self-reflection. Embrace silence by setting aside dedicated periods for quiet contemplation or meditation. Consider using apps like Insight Timer to guide your meditation practice. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment, focusing on your breath and cultivating a sense of inner peace. If meditation isn’t your thing, try just sitting and relaxing in silence. Listen to the birds and the sounds of nature. If you don’t sit still easily, try building up time. Start with 1 minute and move up from there.
- Start tiny exercises:
Incorporate a little exercise into your daily routine can help you feel great, physically and mentally. Take short walks in nature, practice gentle stretching or yoga, or engage in activities like swimming or cycling. Physical exercise not only benefits your health but also releases endorphins, boosting your mood and energy levels.
The key to a truly restful summer is to find balance between relaxation and productivity. While you absolutely want to give yourself time to unwind and enjoy the season, planning and accomplishing meaningful tasks can also bring a sense of fulfillment. By following these strategies and allowing yourself the grace to prioritize self-care, you’ll set the foundation for a summer of relaxation, rejuvenation, and personal growth. Take a deep breath, embrace the freedom of the summer months, and allow yourself the joy of true relaxation. Your well-rested mind and body will thank you, and you’ll return to your music classroom refreshed and ready to inspire your students with renewed energy and creativity.
Want to hear more tips and tidbits? Check out my podcast.
Summer can be a great time to work in some needed professional development, once you’ve set aside those first weeks to just catch up. If you’re looking for an easy way to rack up PD credits, join out The Happy Music Teacher Academy.