As educators, we are bucket fillers. We give selflessly to others, and that’s what makes us amazing. But this time of year my bucket is darn near empty between work, school and home.
Here are five things to help put a little back in your bucket and sail on into that well-deserved summer vacation.
1. Say No
Go ahead try it. “NO.” It’s a hard word. As educators, we are “yes” folks, but the word “no” has its place in self-care. By saying “no” to things that don’t fit your schedule, cause you undue stress and simply aren’t necessary in your life, you’re able to say “yes” to things that are. It’s okay to be real and honest with people in your life.
2. Ask for Help
Filling your own bucket sometimes means you need someone else to get the hose. Be humble. You’ve probably got an incredible support system surrounding you right now that would jump at the chance to help you.
It could be something as simple as asking your significant other to do a load of laundry, or asking your mom to watch the kids for a few hours so you can work on a project. You can’t do it all and that’s okay – no one expects you to. You also can’t expect people to know how to help. Clearly communicate to those around you how they can support you.
3. Eat, Drink and Be Merry
We have celebration dinners this time of year. Whenever it’s finals week, we have “midnight breakfast.” Midnight to a 2-year-old and 4-year-old is 8 pm, but regardless it’s a way we celebrate that, as a family, we’ve made it to the end of the semester. The time and energy spent to execute some lavish family meal are unnecessary. You just need some time with those other humans you live with around a table, and if that happens over cereal, take out pizza or cheese, so be it!
4. Make Time for Recess
It can be easy to become so task-oriented trying to cross things off the to-do list that you don’t factor in some free time. Give yourself some recess. It may be taking a walk, working in the yard or taking a class at a local yoga studio. If you’ve never tried a yoga class, I highly recommend it. (When you go to sign up for the class, make sure to mention you are a college student – if you are – as you may be able to score a sweet discount.)
5. Take a Daycation
Getting away from it all this time of year is impossible, but a daycation is a great way to relax, unwind and avoid staring at all the dishes in your sink. State parks are fantastic options since many have free or affordable entrance fees, organized weekend activities like birdwatching and great places to picnic and play.
Self-care isn’t selfish and it’s not withdrawing from your life. It’s taking time to reflect and prioritize the things that are most important to you so that you can continue to give 100 percent through the end of the year.