School Health and Wellness//
June 5, 2022
Summer is coming fast. The last few weeks of school were jam packed with testing, ceremonies, celebrations, trips … and it likely was exhausting. For just a moment, think about the first days of summer. After the in-service days are complete, you don’t have to set an alarm in the morning. What will you do with all your time?
If you don’t have plans, you might default to watching TV, scrolling on your phone, or snacking out of boredom.
If this sounds like you, it might be time to try a different approach for the summer of 2022. Now is the perfect time to prioritize your mental and physical health.
Here are four suggestions to get you started.
#1—Start a Wellness Routine
Depending on where you live, the summer climate might be the perfect time to get outside. Is there a local park or hiking spot you can make part of your healthy summer routine? If you’re not a runner, this might be the summer you become one. (Check out this beginner-friendly running plan from Runner's World magazine.) Or you can try some free yoga from the comfort of your living room or backyard.
Whatever physical activity you choose, aim to make it a sustainable habit. Is there a walking partner (a neighbor or your friend) who can help you stay accountable? Is there a less desirable habit you can replace with a new healthy one, such as swimming laps instead of turning on the TV, or starting your day with stretching rather than scrolling Instagram?
Remember, it’s not about the intensity of the activity, but more about the consistency. The idea is to get moving and you’ll most likely stay moving.
#2—Keep a Gratitude Journal
Don’t worry, this isn’t a suggestion to keep a lengthy diary. A gratitude journal is a short recording of the small and big things you’re grateful for in your life. This can be as simple as, “I am grateful to have a working washer and dryer.”
Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal can reduce stress and improve relationships. Additionally, it will be fulfilling to look back at the end of the summer at all the things for which you were grateful. Reflecting on your gratitude journal gives the opportunity to relive the simple moments of joy such as eating popsicles with your kids or finding the book you’ve been wanting to read at the library.
Tune in to ask questions related to this Source article or other topics you've encountered lately.
#3—Have Something to Look Forward To
By planning the trip, you will look at photos and imagine the activities and sights which extend the joy you get from the trip itself. As you budget for your summer travel, consider that spending money on experiences often creates more lasting joy than buying goods.
#4—Stay on Top of Learning
As you know, the school year will be back before you know it, and you’ll have less time to engage in professional development opportunities. The summer is a convenient time to attend conferences and seminars because you do not have the stress of planning lessons for a substitute teacher while you’re out.
Keep your eyes open for professional development topics that interest you. Have you always wanted to learn more about effective scheduling? Do you want to learn the latest research on effective advisory programs? Looking to start a growth coaching program?
All these professional development topics and more are available online or in person at ISM’s Summer Institute. Plus, in-person workshops are being held in Philadelphia, which is lovely in the summer!
Ultimately, summer 2022 is a blank slate. So, what will you make of it? What actions can you take now to set yourself up for success this summer? Maybe now is the time to research what physical activity routines to start, or set a reminder on your phone to record your gratitude entries. It may even be the perfect time to initiate conversations with your fellow faculty and administration members about professional development opportunities.
The small steps you can take today will be appreciated by your future fall self. (This could be a perfect first entry in your gratitude journal!)
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