Holiday Break Wellness

Holiday Break Wellness 

by Dr. Will Henson

Since I started working in the world of education, and especially since diving deep into trauma-informed practices, I have realized the importance of educator wellness.   Education is a relational business, one in which we don’t just bring our skills, but ourselves. We can’t fill the needs of students if our own cup is empty. Our ability to be whole and healthy is at the heart of how successfully we educate.  

Despite what the holiday season is supposed to represent, it can often be synonymous with stress. You’ve got two weeks off! Let’s talk about how to use it.  

Here are three tips for being well this season:

  1. Be Present. Instead of spending time thinking about all the things you have to do, take time to be fully engaged with the people you love.  This goes for worries at work, as well as tasks at home. If you’re dwelling on how your students may do on a test when you get back, try and let it go. Or, if you’re concerned about fixing the perfect Holiday dinner instead of really being in the moment with your family, you’re missing out on the meaning of the holidays. Be a participant, not just a spectator.
  2. Reduce Stress. Why make 10 kinds of cookies if you can get away with two?  Do you really need to send a Christmas card to your dentist? There is almost an unlimited amount of things you could do. Prioritizing your to-do list, and focusing on what’s really important will go a long way towards reducing your stress. Find time for the things that make you happy, and bring a sense of calm. Think of it as recharging your batteries.
  3. Give. Find a way to give this season. It could be a gift of time, or a physical gift. Giving allows us to think outside ourselves, which can help take the focus off any negatives in your life. Research on giving shows it’s good for you.  Giving is associated with increased happiness, life satisfaction, and living longer.

If you can follow these tips, you can make the most out of your time away from school, so that you may return refreshed and energized to start the year. Coming back to school with renewed enthusiasm will set the tone for your students and the rest of the staff, and begin the new year on the right foot. Happy Holidays!

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